Recipe modified by Gretchen Wilson – February 3, 2011 and finished on February 5, 2011
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Recipe originally published in Taste of Home daily e-zine on Thursday, September 11, 2008
Taste of Home has “field editors” which are basically people like me who write recipes, send them in, and then get paid a small amount for their submissions. I guess they can also claim they’re “published” but that’s neither here nor there. When you read their e-zines or magazine, usually the chef will write a little blurb, either about who likes it, why they came up with it, how it is a family tradition, etc… So this recipe’s blurb was about how the baker and her husband are trying to eat lighter but still wanted sweet treats to enjoy now and again. That’s sounds like me, so I decided it was time to give this one a try.
My finished product:
Picture published with recipe:
I made my cake in a different size pan (I’ll explain in detail later) so not only is it a little thicker, the frosting is also thicker. I didn’t use chocolate curls because (a) I didn’t have the equipment to make them and (b) I didn’t feel like making them.
for more details about what my ratings mean, go to Gretchen’s Rating System
Mess: NADA – there is no prep work for either the cake or the frosting. You mix up the cake batter in one bowl and bake it in a single pan. You mix up the frosting in one bowl and frost the cake in the pan. Almost as mess free as you can get.
Start-to-Finish Time: LITTLE OVER AN HOUR – my cake took quite a bit longer to cook but it still was done quickly. Now, I had a small issue with the frosting, so I didn’t frost my cake the same day I baked it; therefore, I didn’t have to wait for it to cool. Give it at least 30 minutes to cool on top of what I’ve listed, but hands-on time for me was a little over an hour.
Prep Work: ALL FINGERS STILL HERE – other than opening up some boxes, there is nothing to prep.
Ease of Recipe: COOK IT IN MY SLEEP – you’re not even making the cake from scratch. You’re going to “fancy up” a box mix. The frosting is much simpler than any other frosting I’ve ever made. It is really difficult to make a mistake with this one.
Overall: SORRY HONEY, NO LEFTOVERS – I knew it was going to be good, but I wasn’t in any hurry to frost it. My husband, on the other hand, was VERY ready for me to frost the cake. We fought over each and every piece to the bitter end.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 15 minutes + cooling
- Calories 197
- Total Fat 5g (Saturated Fat 3g)
- Cholesterol 0mg
- Sodium 409mg
- Total Carbohydrate 35g
- Fiber 1g
- Protein 3g
I don’t know what took them 20 minutes to “prep” this dish. It didn’t take me half that to get the cake in the pan, and I’m kind of an idiot. Now my bake time was a lot different because I used a smaller pan which meant the batter was in there thicker. My timing ended up as follows:
- Assemble cake: 10 minutes
- Bake cake: 32-28 minutes
- Make frosting: 30 minutes
I’m thinking that the time it takes to make the frosting, it should be cool enough to frost, but it definitely has to be cool before you do it. If not, the frosting will melt on the cake.
Changes denoted by red text
|© You Want Me to Cook?|
1 package (18¼ oz) chocolate cake mix
1 package (2.1 oz) sugar-free instant chocolate pudding mix
1¾ cups water
3 egg whites
|© You Want Me to Cook?|
1¼ cups cold fat-free milk
¼ teaspoon almond extract
1 package (1.4 oz) sugar-free instant chocolate pudding mix
1 carton (8 oz) frozen reduced-fat whipped topping, thawed
Chocolate curls, optional
Chocolate Cake Mix – it doesn't specify a kind of cake mix to use, but since there are a million different chocolate cake mixes out there, I thought I'd tell you which one I used - Pillsbury Moist Supreme Chocolate cake mix.
Sugar-Free Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix – I had the hardest time finding a 2.1 ounces package of pudding. I ended up buying two 1.4 ounces packages and using my scale to get the right amount.
Cooking Spray – the baking pan for the cake needs to be coated in cooking spray, but for some reason, they left that off the ingredient listing.
|© You Want Me to Cook?|
Large mixing bowl
9x13 baking pan
9x13 baking pan
- Ordinarily the difference between glass baking dishes and metal baking pans are the ability to withstand extreme heat and altered baking temperatures. However, according to Better Homes and Gardens metal pans are best for baked goods.
- The original recipe called for the cake to be baked in a 15x10x1 baking pan. I didn’t have one and wasn’t going to buy a new pan for this recipe. Okay, I should have, but money’s tight right now! Of course, using a different size pan changed the baking temperature, so I had to do the toothpick test every 5 minutes until it came out clean to determine the baking time.
(1) In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mix, water and egg whites.
(2) Beat on low speed for 1 minute; beat on medium for 2 minutes.
(3) Pour into a 9x13 baking pan coated with cooking spray.
(4) Bake at 350°F for 32-38 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
It took me 20 minutes of extra bake time to get the cake to be correctly set. So instead of the original 12-18 minutes of bake time the recipe called for, the range changed to 32-38 minutes. Now, if you are using the 15x10x1 pan, stick with the 12-18 minutes.
(5) For frosting, place milk and extract in a large bowl.
(6) Sprinkle with a third of the pudding mix; whisk pudding into milk.
The recipe said to let the pudding stand for 1 minute before whisking. It ended up clumping and making it hard to mix, so the second and third times I added the pudding mix, I immediately whisked with much better results.
(7) Repeat twice with remaining pudding mix. Whisk pudding 2 minutes longer. Let stand for 15 minutes.
(8) Fold in whipped topping. Frost cake. Garnish with chocolate curls if desired.
I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you about my little boo-boo with this recipe. I started the cake and realized I didn’t have all the instant pudding to make the frosting. I had someone bought regular pudding. Don’t think I wasn’t tempted to try the frosting with the regular pudding. I was, but I had a funny feeling that I was going to end up wasting the other frosting ingredients.
I baked the cake with the plans of getting the pudding the next day, but we were still in the midst of SNOWPOCALYPSE and the plows had made another pass down our street and completely buried me in again. Therefore, I had to wait an extra day. My husband was not pleased since he was very ready to eat the cake.
As for the cake itself…
The almond really adds something to the cake. It was so moist and creamy with a delicious chocolate taste that had a little punch of sweet almond. It was delicious. This cake was so simple to make and ridiculously moist and creamy that it is definitely a keeper.