Waffled Apple Bread

Low Effort, High-Reward Cakes

When you need a really great dessert but you don’t want to run to the store to get a bunch of weird ingredients or spend tons of time making it, one of these recipes might just be what you’re looking for!

If you’ve never made a Bundt cake, you’ll find that the dips and ridges in the pan create a stunning treat that looks like you put a LOT of extra effort into making it, when in reality it doesn’t take any more work than a standard cake.

For the absolute easiest of all cake recipes, try a dump cake. What these recipes lack in name appeal, they more than make up for in taste and simplicity. Some dump cakes are more like cobblers and need to be scooped from the pan, but this one can be cut into squares and looks nice setting on a plate.

Both the Bundt cake and the dump cake offer high rewards in taste and visual appeal when you want to impress your guests, but are easy to make, getting you out of the kitchen faster. You can make variations for both cakes simply by using different flavors.

Find the recipes below.

How to Make the Perfect Bundt

  • Make sure to grease all dips and ridges thoroughly with solid vegetable shortening.
  • Sprinkle flour liberally over the shortening; shake the pan to distbribute evenly then dump out excess flour. Or sprinkle with sugar instead of flour to make the cake glisten.
  • Get rid of air bubbles in the batter by LIGHTLY tapping the pan on the counter.
  • Remove the cake from the oven immediately when done.
  • Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes then slowly and carefully turn the pan upside-down on a wire rack to loosen and remove the cake.
  • When cake has cooled completely, store it in an airtight container or wrap well in plastic wrap and freeze for up to a month.
  • To clean your Bundt pan, simply wipe with a dry paper towel to get rid of excess flour and shortening then hand wash.

Helpful Hints for Dump Cakes

  • Break up lumps in dry cake mix.
  • Grease baking pans with shortening or coconut oil.
  • Spread layers (if any) evenly for uniform baking.
  • Pour liquid ingredients slowly and evenly over the dry ingredients. 
  • Some cakes may develop dry spots during baking. If that happens, drizzle additional melted butter or other liquid over any dry areas or spritz with butter spray during the last 15 minutes of baking.
  • Let cake cool at least 30 minutes before serving.
  • Always use non-metal utensils when cutting and serving from a baking pan to protect the pan’s surface.

Neapolitan Bundt Cake

Makes 15-20 servings

1 (18.2 oz.) box white cake mix (pudding kind)
¼ C. vegetable oil
3 egg whites
1 C. water
1 tsp. strawberry extract (or ¼ tsp. almond extract)
Red liquid food coloring
⅓ C. chocolate syrup
½ cup prepared chocolate frosting, optional

Preheat oven to 325° and grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan.

In a big mixing bowl, beat together the cake mix, oil, egg whites, and water on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl as needed. Increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, scraping bowl as needed.

Pour 1⅔ C. batter into a small bowl; stir in 1 extract and up to 12 drops food coloring. Pour 1⅔ C. batter into a second small bowl; stir in chocolate syrup. Keep the remaining batter plain.

Pour a thin layer of each batter into prepped pan, one on top of the other. Repeat until you’ve used all the batter. Run a knife or chopstick carefully through the batter in a zig-zag or swirled pattern. (Or simply make three thicker layers.)

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Invert pan on a wire rack to remove cake. Cool completely before slicing. Warm the frosting to a drizzling consistency and drizzle over the cake if you’d like.   

 

Orange Dreamsicle Cake

Preheat oven to 325° and lightly grease a 9×13″ cake pan. Dump 1 (18.25 oz.) pkg. orange cake mix (dry) and 1 (3.4 oz.) pkg. French vanilla instant pudding mix (dry) in a mound in the prepped cake pan. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the juice from 2 (11 oz.) cans mandarin oranges into a 2‑cup glass measuring cup and add enough orange juice to measure 1½ cups. Add the juice mixture and 3 eggs to the well in the dry ingredients and whisk together until blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Stir in the mandarin oranges and spread the batter evenly in the pan. Cut ½ C. cold butter into thin slices and scatter evenly over the batter. If you’d like, sprinkle ½ C. finely crushed butter cookies over the top. Bake for 45 minutes or until the cake tests done with a toothpick. Cool completely. Spread thawed whipped topping over the cake to serve. Makes 15‑20 servings

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