I’m sure you’re wondering what the heck I’m talking about by a “Drunken Carolina” Cake but I promise I’ll get to that in a minute.
I recently had a conversation with one of my readers about providing more recipes for those with less time on their hands. Now, honestly, I have a soft spot in my heart for recipes from scratch. Some of the many recipes I run across online that require a box cake mix just make me sad. I think a big part of this is that our society has become so accustomed to picking things up from the store that we’ve tricked ourselves into thinking the box mix is easier or cheaper. But, in reality it is not.
I’m sure you’re thinking well a box mix is just $1.89 and less hassle. Funny you should say that though because plenty of those box mixes still require eggs, oil and sometimes even milk. The only thing it has replaced is the flour, sugar and flavoring which are usually things you already had on hand prior to the $1.89 box. The box still requires you to mix and bake it, which all from scratch recipes require as well. There are even recipes and Pinterest pins out there on how to improve a box cake mix by making it taste more like it is from scratch. Seems pretty silly if the from scratch version ends up being easier and cheaper from the get go.
So that is the end of my rant on box cake mixes. Since I do listen to my readers though and take their advice to heart, (because let’s face it, I want to give you what you want) I have decided to add something to the lineup for the new year. Many of you are aware I used to be a single working mom for a good five years or so. During that time, I didn’t feel like I had the time nor energy to make many or anything from scratch. I’ve been in those shoes and understand those shoes. On Mondays, I am going to start posting Minute Monday recipes. These are recipes and life hacks that I discovered the hard way while working a full-time job, going to school online and raising my son by myself. They are specifically designed for you to enjoy and have just as much heart and soul in them as my from scratch recipes because I’ve been there. I know how hard it is to provide healthy, delicious food when your feet ache from being on them all day. I also know that specific anxiety of bringing something delicious to the work potluck that still looks pretty when you’ve had maybe an hour to whip something together the night before. I’ve got your back.
What better way to start off my Minute Monday rant about box cake mixes than with a super easy delicious box cake mix recipe? I love the irony guys, I really do. I will preface this one by saying this is not a “minute” recipe. It is fairly easy but because of the unique shape of this cake it does take longer than average to bake.
This particular cake has a little story behind it. My soon to be mother in law, who Little Cupcakeasaurus Rex has lovingly named Grams Cracker (apparently we have a thing with naming people after food) shared with me a recipe that she wanted me to try out. It was referred to as a “Baked Alaska” cake. I like to be fairly accurate in the naming of my flavored cakes because, well, I feel it is important for you to know what exactly you are sinking your teeth into. I have never had a Baked Alaska dessert so I looked it up to learn what we were attempting to recreate in cake form.
From a little Google Fu, I discovered that Baked Alaska is pretty much layers of different ice creams covered with meringue and then blow torched. Keywords: ice cream, meringue, and blow torch. This “Baked Alaska” cake recipe on the other hand, had zero of those key words anywhere in the recipe. This was my red flag that this particular recipe was really inappropriately named and I had the responsibility of fixing it. So I changed some key ingredients in the recipe and decided to name it after home. Does it necessarily have anything to do with North Carolina? Nope. Is the liqueur used in the cake made in North Carolina? Nope. Did I maybe just inappropriately name my own recipe? Maybe, but it is so delicious you won’t care what state it was named after.
There are two things that are necessary for this recipe that maybe not everyone will have on hand. One is a stainless steel dome-shaped mixing bowl. I just mean that it is deeper than it is wide. Also, a bread knife with a serrated edge will be helpful for this recipe too.
Take two boxes of Devil’s Food cake box mixes and prepare almost as it directs on the box. EXCEPT, instead of adding water, you will replace that with Kahlua. I mixed the batter in a separate bowl than the one I was baking in. Then, grease and flour the stainless steel mixing bowl and pour the Devil’s Food cake batter in. This will bake at 325 degrees for about an hour and a half. If the top is the least bit questionable, add another 10 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out mostly clean.
I learned the hard way on this one. I took it out too early the first time. Removed it from the bowl and everything and then I noticed a little crack in the side of the cake. The next thing I know I have an oozing lava cake all over my kitchen.
When you pull it out of the oven, go ahead and turn the bowl upside down on a cooling rack but leave the bowl on just to hold everything in place.
When cool, you may need to level out the bottom of the cake by cutting some off with the serrated knife. The cake should form a good-looking dome. With the same knife cut three layers into the cake that are approximately even width apart. Set each layer to the side.
In a small microwave safe bowl, microwave 1/2 cup of mini semi-sweet chocolate chip pieces. Only heat for a few seconds each time and then stir until smooth to prevent from burning the chocolate.
In a large mixing bowl, beat one package of cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add in one cup of powdered sugar and the melted chocolate until well blended. Then, with a spatula fold in two cups of whipped cream and add in a 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips.
Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly between the three layers, and end with the top of the dome cake. Frost the completed dome with the remaining whipped cream. Now, I’m in Florida and of course my Cool Whip wasn’t wanting to cooperate. The cake was still delicious of course but my sad whipped cream was melting down the sides of my cake. Just remember to let the whipped cream completely thaw before you try to frost the cake. My melted cream I felt spoke volumes for how warm this winter has been and I couldn’t imagine a Drunken Carolina cake any other way.
Though this cake takes a couple of hours, it is well worth it and makes a huge impression. Everyone loves the dome, what can I say? I hope you enjoy it as much as we did for dessert at our New Year dinner party. Let me know if your family creates a new cake variation and we can name it after your home state too!