My interest in food began to take shape in college, a gradual process beginning my sophomore year. That year I moved out of the dorm and into an apartment, where I had to cook for myself if I wanted to eat. I started with apple cinnamon pancakes for my roommates, then mom's recipe for lasagna bolognese. There was a time where I'd make eggs and tomatoes in a tortilla every morning before class, and I remember really good salmon baked in parchment with rice and tzatziki on the side.
operated on a 4-1-4 semester system, the '1' being a single intensive course in January, known as Jan Term. For my senior year Jan Term, I took a food writing class. Being able to read and write about food from the likes of MFK Fisher and Julia Child was a great way to spend a month. The last class meeting included a potluck. Our writing was gourmet but the potluck wasn't- we were still college students! I brought this cake and it was pretty popular.
Tomorrow is my 28th birthday and I decided to bake myself a cake. Yes, there is still a bunch of baby weight to work off but there has to be some cake for a birthday. (Mom is making my favorite apple pie for us tomorrow, but I want cake too. Don't judge.)
The thing about this cake is that it's delicious and so, so, so easy. There's nothing about this that is from scratch! I have no shame in using cake and pudding mixes today, especially because this is my baking assistant~
(Times have changed since the last time I made this cake. My repertoire has expanded, and my baking assistant wears duckie jammies. And the main fixture on my counter is now a Bumbo seat
One thing hasn't changed: the notion that a little booze makes baked goods even better. This particular cake benefits from a healthy portion of this~
The cake is very moist with a lovely almond scent, while the icing is flavorful and just a little boozy from the Amaretto.
The best part? Start to finish during naptime. Sweet.
1 package plain yellow cake mix
1 package instant vanilla pudding mix
3/4 cup Amaretto liquor
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup plain applesauce
1/4 tsp almond extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahreinheit. Grease and flour a 10-in bundt pan.
Blend the mixes, Amaretto, water, oil, applesauce, eggs, and extract with a hand blender for 1 min on low speed. Increase the speed to medium and beat for an additional 2 minutes. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and bake for 45-50 minutes until golden brown and springy. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes.
Run a knife along the edge of the cake and invert on to the cooling rack. Drizzle with the glaze (recipe below) and 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds. Cool completely before serving.
Glaze: 1 cup confectioners sugar whisked together with 5 Tbs Amaretto