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Bailey Tries... Cake Hacks

If I’m honest, Pinterest is a bit of a black hole for me. I can’t help but find so many interesting and clever things to try and this one has been at the top of my list for ages because it could really come in handy if you’re crunched for time but want to make it look like you made a bit of a fuss. My fear was that these tips were too good to be true or that they were absolutely disgusting and a waste of time so, of course, I had to try them out!

Let’s start with the cake. I made half the box according to the directions and half according to the hacks online which included replacing the water with milk, adding extra eggs and replacing the oil with double the butter. The hacks were simple enough and didn’t make the mixing anymore complicated but the result was strange. The store box directions came out just as you would expect. Fluffy with rounded tops but the hack came out flat and sank down further with every second. Obviously, this would be a bit of a disaster if you were trying to make a that required structural integrity so that’s definitely a mark against. Even these cupcakes looked pretty sad.

I’ll come back to the flavor of the cake but let’s talk about this frosting option. I have always disliked store bought frosting because I feel it has a chemically aftertaste so any easy option that could replace the traditional plastic tub is alright in my book. This was the easiest recipe ever and I found over a dozen versions under different names, most often titled “Russian Buttercream”. All you do is cream a cup of butter and then add a can of Dulce de Leche while whipping. Several recipes said you could add a tub of whipped topping but I wanted the easiest option. The color is certainly not the shade of buttercream so there’s no way to dye it and the flavor will only match certain cake flavors but what a delicious frosting! It reminded me of the caramel cake from a local bakery.

So, what’s my overall opinion of these cake hacks? Structurally, the hack version left a lot to be desired but flavor and texture wise they were fantastic. Everyone that tried them thought the same. They were incredibly moist and tasted more homemade just as promised. I wish there was a way to make the cake sturdier. Perhaps you could just take the sinking into account and level off the divet just like you level off the muffin top on a traditional cake.

The frosting will be my forever go to from now on because it was absolutely scrumptious! It is a bit loose at room temperature but sets up nicely in the fridge or perhaps you could add a bit of confectioner’s sugar to stiffen it up? Regardless of the texture, it is worth making for the caramel flavor alone. I did a “Cinnamon Toast Crunch” mix, weird, I know, but it was the perfect flavor combo. What combo would you mix?


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