Here's my Homemade Chocolate Cake Mix for my one-bowl chocolate butter cake. Especially during hot summer weather, it's wonderful to have the time-consuming measuring or weighing part of cake-making done ahead so that first thing in the morning you can quickly mix the cake and get it baked before it gets too hot. If you're not a chocolate fan, here's my Homemade Vanilla Cake Mix.
I have a lifelong thing (genetic, I think) for canning jars, and the quart jars are just the perfect size for this (and look so cute lined up in the cupboard!). I'm no expert on shelf life, but I pulled a number out of the air and plan to use my homemade cake mixes within three months, though I doubt they'd go "off" in six months or longer.
This makes a nice host(ess) gift when you've been invited to dinner and want to take something that the host(ess) can use later. You can do something fancier with the recipe card than I did here: just card stock cut into a 3-by-5 index card and kitchen string to tie it round the neck of the canning jar.
Do you bake in the hot summer weather? My mother baked cakes in the middle of the night! But I'm not a night person, so I've been doing my baking at 5:30 in the morning. (I wonder who first said, "Nothing good happens after midnight.")
The cake makes 2 layers, but sometimes I like to freeze one layer for another occasion.
Homemade Cake Mix - Chocolate Butter Cake
(Makes two 8-inch layers or 24 cupcakes)
The Cake Mix
1 1/2 dip-and-sweep cups (7.5 ounces/213 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (10.5 ounces/298 grams) sugar
1/2 packed cup (1.5 ounces/42 grams) unsweetened natural cocoa powder*
1 1/2 teaspoons (7 grams) baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons (7 grams) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) salt
The Cake Batter
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces/170 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup (8 fluid ounces/237 ml) heated water or brewed coffee*, slightly cooled
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* I buy organic and Fair Trade Certified coffee, cocoa and chocolate products.
1 Into a quart canning jar for each cake mix, measure flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt; whisk it with a fork; put on a lid. Store in cupboard for up to 3 months.
2 On baking day, bring the butter and eggs to room temperature. Preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. Grease well and lightly flour two 8-inch layer pans.
3 In large mixing bowl (I use a Cuisinart stand mixer), beat the softened butter on medium speed for 1 minute. Add cake mix to butter; mix on low speed for 1 minute. Add eggs, liquid and vanilla extract; mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. With mixer on medium-high speed, beat for 1 1/2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and beat on medium-high for another 30 seconds.
4 Pour into prepared pans. Bake for about 30 minutes.
5 Cool in pans on wire racks for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on racks for at least an hour, until completely cool, before frosting.