In case you aren't familiar with the 30 by 30 Project, here is the original post, with the big fat list.
Thanks to the invention of the cake mix, any 13-year-old with a sweet tooth can whip up a chocolate cake, and pop open a can of frosting to go with it, if she so desires. I was just such a 13-year-old, and thus I have been baking cakes for a long time. Cake mix cakes. Sweet, fairly tasty, and easy. My life was transformed when I discovered The Cake Mix Doctor. My cakes went from regular-from-the-box to delicious-moist-to-die-for. I was pretty happy with my discovery, especially since these new cakes were in no way difficult. Make a cake mix cake, add a few ingredients, voila!
But as I was creating my 30 by 30 list, I came to the conclusion that I don't recall having ever baked a cake from scratch. (Maybe I have, maybe I haven't, my long-term memory apparently sucks.) So I decided now was the time. Since "Create a new recipe" was on the list too, I figured that baking a cake from scratch might help me in that area as well.
I searched and searched for a recipe (really, I just asked my friend Al for one), and decided on a chocolate cake. Christmas Eve, we had the missionaries over for dinner, so we needed a dessert. And I thought to myself, "Why don't we bake a birthday cake for Jesus? What a fun idea!" It was the perfect opportunity to bake the cake.
The results? Well, take a look (at a picture taken the next day, because, of course, I forgot to take a picture before we ate it):
It was absolutely delicious! So moist, and the frosting was my favorite part I think. Sweet and smooth and buttery. I was glad to have made it. Compared to a straight box cake? Oh, about 20 times better. 200 times better. Much preferred. Compared to a Cake Mix Doctor cake? Oh, probably about the same. Both are fabulous.
I think the most surprising part of this whole endeavor was that baking a cake from scratch is almost no different from baking a cake from a box. Scratch cakes require you to measure out the flour and sugar and all that stuff. And then, it's almost exactly the same. I was shocked at how easy it really is.
Will I make a "from scratch" cake again? Well, sure. I am definitely not going to shy away from it, now that I know how simple it is. And especially that recipe, it was really quite good. But, will I eschew all cake mixes? No. Nothing wrong with making someone else measure the ingredients for you. Especially if you doctor it up.
Random side note: I was worried we'd run out of cocoa for the frosting, so I sent poor Clark to the grocery store on Christmas Eve, and then it turned out we had just barely enough, so I felt bad that I'd made him go get it, but he was out doing shopping anyway (Christmas shopping, on Christmas Eve) so I didn't feel too bad.