Paula’s Improv Cake

Oh, we can do recipes here. There are no rules. Now that’s settled, let’s move on. Friday was Sharon’s last day of high school … apparently there’s some ceremony next week where I have to sit in the sun and watch kids in robes walk around and stuff, so I bought a cute straw hat for this. But I heard that people actually give kids graduation gifts also, not sure why (shouldn’t the kids be giving their moms gifts for putting up with them all these years?), so I got Sharon a funny card that plays The Lion Sleeps Tonight (since it’s a “jungle out there”) and a lemon cupcake candle. Think this is too extravagant? I hate spoiling my girls.

Then I decided to bake a cake, as this seemed like a festive occasion, and besides … cake! Since Sharon likes to be healthy, I figured carrot cake would  be good, so I picked up a box mix. But that seemed too boring, so I grabbed a bag of coconut, a package of golden raisins, and a can of pineapple. I used the pineapple juice instead of the water the mix called for, but added like 1/2 cup more, since I was putting extra solid stuff in there. Makes sense, right? Then I dumped in around a cup of coconut, or thereabouts. Same with raisins. Use golden — regular raisins remind me of bugs.  I know peeps like nuts in carrot cake, but I don’t, so no nuts. Dates are good though, but I skipped ’em this time.  I also threw in a whole bunch of cinnamon, dunno how much sorry. A big bunch, if that helps. Frosted it all up with cream cheese frosting straight outta the can and used a boatload of sprinkles. Gotta have sprinkles or it’s not festive!







Delicious! OK, to be 100% honest (just this once, don’t expect me to make a habit of it), the bottom got an eensy bit burnt. I hate electric ovens. Hate. Probably left it in one minute too long (that’s what she said). Use the directions for the 13×9 pan, go up to the max time minus a minute or two. Check constantly with toothpick.

My daughters had mediocre reviews of this concoction. Sharon: “It’s complicated, I’ll give you that. A fruit medley.” Diane: “It’s too tropical, but the frosting saves it.”

Everyone else: “This cake is great!”

Majority rules.

29 responses to “Paula’s Improv Cake

  1. I love sprinkles on cakes! Looks cute and yummy!


  2. I dunno, it sounds nom to me. And a new hat! Woot.
    Now both of your babies are graduated from high school! Congrats to you, for guiding them through and having such success. Both fine young ladies.


  3. Sounds pretty good to me! I’ve been experimenting with non-sugar sugar in my baked goods. The best ones are the ones in which you add fruit, like bananas or pineapples, to make up for the lack of real sugar and to smooth out the slightly bitter flavor of the non-sugar (splenda, truvia, etc.) I haven’t yet come up with a good brownie recipe. I tried using applesauce once, but it’s just not the same. THANKFULLY, Pillsbury has come out with a surprisingly good sugar-free brownie box mix. Their sugar-free chocolate and yellow cake mixes aren’t too bad, and the frostings are okay, but adding flavorings to the cakes and butter to the frostings makes them MUCH better. Info in case you ever find yourself having to forego sugar. Here’s hoping you never have to! 🙂


  4. This looks great!
    Please stop by and say hi.


  5. Carrot cake! Whenever I go to the coffee club I order a cappuccino, and some carrot cake and I *love* it.


  6. So this is how some wimmins feel when I write about cars.


    • @Don: so you can imagine the response _I_ get for writing about clonavators (the essential cloning machine I have in development now to allow us to be in more two places at once).


  7. Oh, and congraduations! When’s UCD? We must scheme dinner sometime in there. An easy drive for me, you know.


  8. I have been using this recipe for years although not with their frosting:


    Don’t be frightened by the page’s claim that it’s “nutritious,” which is about the worst selling point for cake I can think of, and also not true.

    I always find the cream-cheesiest cream cheese frosting recipe I can, although I always fail to bookmark them, and then have to find another one the next time. I hate when there’s as much butter as cream cheese in a CCF recipe. It’s not buttercream! I want it to taste, essentially, like a big wad of cream cheese, except sweeter.


  9. I like carrot cake. Carrots are vegetables, plus the frosting is not super sugary.


  10. My god that sounds good and carrot cake is already my favorite.


  11. CIWE = Cake I Would Eat. Definitely.


  12. I’m spoiled forever by carrot cake the way Europeans make it: mostly ground almonds instead of flour, a dense, wonderful concoction.

    But I’d eat yours.

    AJ: fruit in brownies? Prune paste. Trust me. Sauerkraut also works.

    Not kidding.


  13. Ground almonds…ohhhhhhhh….heaven! I looooove anything made with almonds. I’ll have to give prune paste a try. Thanks!


  14. Mmmm Almonds.

    Hey, Paula, seriously, what’s the difference with an electric oven? Yes, I know the advantage of a gas range over electric but I don’t understand how that can translate to a closed box that keeps heat.


    • Maybe I just have a bad one? First, the temp zooms way past whatever I set it at (had to buy my own thermometer). So I jiggle it down/up/down until it’s correct. Then I put in item, usually a cake. Have to keep watching temp because it will begin to creep up again. Even if temp is kept correct throughout, usually will have to subtract a minute or two off normal baking time to get item perfect. I am constantly burning stuff unless I stand and watch constantly. This never happened with a gas oven … had a little bit of slide time. But with this oven, must get it to the second or else. Have also burnt cookies and rolls by leaving in for less than a minute too long.


      • I’m thinking your electric, even with the thermometer, runs about 25° too hot. Maybe more. It’s also likely that the thermostat problem also causes the variability of temperature so, yes, I think it’s a failing oven not a failure of fuel.


  15. Dunno what it is about carrot cake. The icing, sure, however it’s the whole cake itself –definitely my favorite.


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