After last week's discussion of cooking compromises, we felt honor-bound to share the recipe that makes us choose baking cakes from scratch over using a mix.
This one-bowl recipe can be mixed up in under 10 minutes, and it turns out a reliably light golden cake with a moist crumb. It's solid with flavor and the taste of butter, unlike the over-heightened, additive-ridden cake mix products, which usually taste overwhelmingly of sugar and not much else. It's a plain, fast cake, and ideal when slathered with thick fudgy frosting. I also like to layer it with warmed jam and powder the top with confectioners sugar.
The most time-consuming part is preparing the cake pans, and you are going to have to do that whether you use a boxed mix or not. It really does come together in a few minutes, and in spite of the quick one-bowl method it has always given me reliable and consistent results. Cakes have a reputation for trickiness, but this recipe simply doesn't support that.
The recipe is pretty much straight out of the old reliable Betty Crocker. I use whole milk, since I think it adds just a little more richness, and I do not make the original recipe's allowance for margarine in place of butter. For a cake, only real butter will do!