On my previous post, I talked about making a bourbon infused peach coffee cake, using a box cake mix. Oh the horrors! Using a box mix? Well, yes, a box mix. I like mixes. I like the convenience and knowing that the cake will turn out fine every time. I like knowing you can alter ingredients, making a cake with only one ingredient, or lowering the fat content. Box mixes give me a lot of baking freedom in that the leg work has been done for me. Now not all mixes are created equal nor are they priced accordingly. Fancier mixes from gourmet shops will set you back at least $15. I'm not sure a $15 box of Sprinkles Cup Cake mixes, Stonewall Kitchens', or even my favorite, Williams-Sonoma, have ingredients that are any better than the good ole supermarket standbys - Duncan, Betty and the Doughboy. An upscale mix from Wegmans Supermarket might set you back $5 - which isn't a lot of money when you think about the per-price cost of a piece of cake or cupcake.
My new favorite choice for an economical commercial box mix is this new line by Pillsbury. Let me be clear, I have not received anything in exchange for my opinion. I really like this new line because it has very few ingredients, no additives, no artificial coloring's, no unpronounceable words. I wish all mixes were made this way. It reminds me of Heinz's Simply Heinz Ketchup - why not make all ketchup with just the needed ingredients? Why do we need to have high fructose corn syrup? Why the colourings? I don't mind paying an extra dollar for products that taste and are better for you. The Pillsbury Purely Simple mix has been used twice now with fantastic results. The first time I used the white cake mix I just added vanilla bean paste and followed the instructions. The cake turned out beautifully.
For my coffee cakes, I embellished the mix and doubled the batch. Herewith is my recipe for one batch. Double it if you need. I baked them in 3x5 mini loaf pans, and with the double batch, I yielded 12 mini loaves. One times the recipe should yield 6 mini loaves
The peaches I used had been soaking in a jar of bourbon that I was turning into Peach Bourbon. Those need to soak at least 1 week. Mine soaked for about 3 months - but truly, a week's infusion is fine. Once I strained the peaches from the bourbon, I saved them in a zip-lock baggie and put them into the freezer. Because the peaches had been in alcohol, they never truly froze, but became semi-slushy. I kept them in the freezer for almost a year! At the time of usage, I chopped up the peaches and used the liquid that was in the bag to drizzle over the cakes before baking. That liquid was full of peach and bourbon flavors - too good to go to waste, hence the moniker, Tipsy Cakelettes. A sort of riff on the
Tipsy Coffee Cakeletts Ingredients:
- 3 Tablespoons All-Purpose Unbleached Flour
- 2 Ripe Peaches - pitted and small dice
- 3 Bourbon-Soaked Peaches - small dice (To make bourbon soaked peaches, place peach slices into a clean glass jar and cover with bourbon of choice, it can be an inexpensive brand. Seal jar and place in a cool dark place for at least a week or up to 1 month. Strain out the peaches, and use these for tipsy cakeletts and use the reserved peach infused bourbon for a Peach Old Fashioned.) - Reserve any liquid that the peaches give off for drizzling over cake batter.
- 1 Box Pillsbury Purely Simple White Cake Mix
- 1 Stick Unsalted Butter - softened
- 3 Large Eggs - lightly beaten
- 3/4 Cup Milk - Whole, Low-Fat or Non-Fat it's your choice
- 1/2 Cup Plain Non-Fat Greet Yogurt (or other plain yogurt, but the Greek-style is best)
- 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract or Vanilla Bean Paste
- 2 Tablespoons Bourbon or Reserved Peach Bourbon Liquid - for drizzling (optional)
- 1 Cup All-Purpose Unbleached Flour
- 3/4 Cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
- 1 Cup Quick Cook Oats
- 1 Stick Unsalted Butter - cold and cut into small pieces
- Pinch Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Prepare your cake pans - spraying/buttering them and flouring them. Set aside
- Make Streusel topping first - in a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, oatmeal, butter cubes, pinch of salt and cinnamon and combine with your hands or with a pastry cutter, to create the streusel topping. Cut the ingredients together to create a "sandy-textured coarse meal". The topping should be slightly chunky or the size of peas. You can make this in a food processor, pulsing the mixture a few times to combine. The final texture needs to be coarse and wet-sand like. Set aside and refrigerate until ready to use. You can make this ahead of time and the mixture can be frozen for up to 2 months.
- In a small mixing bowl, add the diced fresh peaches and the diced bourbon soaked peaches and toss the three tablespoons of flour over them, tossing to combine. If the peaches are supper juice/wet, use another tablespoon of flour on them. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the Pillsbury cake mix with the soften butter and beat on low in either a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or with a hand-mixer on low speed - for two minutes.
- Add in the beaten eggs, milk, yogurt, and vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste. Mix the batter on medium speed for four minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl to make sure the batter is thoroughly mixed.
- After the batter is mixed gently fold in the peaches until they are combined with the cake batter.
- Pour the batter into prepared pans - Six 3x5' loaf pans or One 9 inch loaf pan. Scatter the streusel topping over the cake batter. If using, pour the two tablespoons of bourbon or peach bourbon liquid over the streusel topped cake batter, the place loaves/loaf pan onto a sheet tray and place in the pre-heated oven.
- Bake in the middle rack in the oven for 30-40 minutes, rotating the pans after 20 minutes, and check to see if the cakes are done after 30 minutes but inserting a long thin knife or skewer into the center of the cakes. When a knife or skewer come out clean, the cakes are done. It won't be enough to tell the cakes are done merely by looking - the cakes may look golden brown and the streusel topping will be brown and crunchy but the cakes need to be cooked all the way through to the center.
- Allow cake/cakes to cool on a rack in the pan/pans, then turn the cakes out and allow to cool completely before cutting or storing - about an hour.
- Cakes will keep three to five days wrapped and refrigerated or can be frozen for up to three months if tightly wrapped and placed into a freezer bag.
- Yeilds One 9-inch loaf or Six 3/x mini loaves.