Thursday, June 11, 2009

Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap - Better Than The Box

There's a common myth out there that when you're in a hurry, a box of cake mix or brownies is faster than homemade. And I've made thousands of both. But I can honestly say that it doesn't take me any longer to make basic cake or brownies than it does to open a box (laden with ingredients that I can't even pronounce) and stir in some eggs, water and oil. The cooking times is the same and the taste is so much better.

So here are my standard brownie and cake recipes for when I want a no frills cake fast. I have more complicated recipes for special occasions but if you want a homemade version of a mix, then this is the way to go.

Moist Fudgey Brownies From Scratch

1/2 cup melted margarine or butter
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup
2 teaspoons
1/2 cup
1/4 teaspoon

Preheat oven to 350°F and grease an 8 inch square pan.
In a bowl combine melted butter and cocoa and stir until cocoa is dissolved. Add sugar and mix well. Add eggs one at a time and stir until well combined. Stir in vanilla, flour and salt until you no longer see any flour (do not overmix). Spread in pan and bake for approximately 25 minutes. DO NOT OVER-BAKE. Do the knife/toothpick test. It should come out with moist crumbs, not clean. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

For double recipe, bake in 9x12 pan and add 5 minutes to baking time.

And for total decadence

Texas Sheet Cake (this is like the Krispy Kreme of cakes)

Chocolate Torte ( a flourless gourmet cake made from everyday ingredients but SO amazing)

If you'd like to share a recipe, please link directly to your blog post, not your homepage and include a link back to The Grocery Cart Challenge.


Precision Quality Laser said...

Gayle I so agree with you. Homemade brownies trump store-bought every time! Friends are always amazed when I tell them I make my brownies from scratch. It is SO easy too!

Hoosier Homemade said...

Those brownies sound awesome! It's also a lot less expensive to make from scratch.
Thanks for hosting!

SnoWhite said...

yum - thanks for the links to the cakes and for your brownie recipe! I have been wanting to try cakes from scratch -- maybe that will be on our menu this week.

Nicole Feliciano said...

I do a recipe/food tip exchange on Fridays. Thought you might to link up with this tip or another juicy tidbit from the week:

Leila said...

Hi Gayle!
I'm a little late with my post :)
I just found your linky...I couldn't agree with you more about box vs. homemade.

Especially brownies! One bowl (I use the pot I melt the chocolate in) people!!

And as for cakes...if it's the steps you don't have time for -- get a good quick cake recipe and leave the boxes behind!!

Thanks for the link!

Megan said...

I'll being trying the brownie recipe. I always use box but hate to. This recipe really does look as easy!!!!


Becky said...

Homemade is ALWAYS best!

LOVE the Texas Sheet Cake recommendation...I've been eating that since I was a tiny girl in Texas. I always add a tiny bit of cinnamon to my batter...

Jill said...

Your brownie recipe is almost identical to mine. I got the recipe in a church newsletter years ago and have used it about a million times. It is SO good and so easy. I'm bad about cakes, though. Thanks for some great recipes to make me try them from scratch more often.