Two cake experiments, with variable results!

Cherry cake bars

I shall come to what the picture above is all about in a minute, but first…

My son’s homework this week was to choose an event that has happened in recent history (post-World War II), and represent it in any way he would like. He chose the first moon landing as his event, and after some discussion, we decided to represent it through the medium of cake. We made a round cake for the moon. Unfortunately my son left me in charge of adding just a little bit of blue food colouring to the frosting to give it a tinge of colour, but I put too much in, so we tried to disguise it by covering it in a lot of moon dust. We then made a rocket by baking a cake in a loaf tin, trimming the ends to make a point and using the trimmed bits to make the tail, and my son decorated it rather well I would say. This was the result:

Moon Landing Cake


Now I shall explain the picture at the top of this post. Sometimes we like to make things from scratch, sometimes we like to buy ready made things, and sometimes we want to do something that falls between the two. That’s what this is. For a while I’ve had this idea of taking a can of cherry pie filling…

Cherry pie filling

And a packet cake mix…

Cake mix

And mixing them together…


So that’s what I did last night. I also added 3 tablespoons of custard powder, just to see if the custard taste would come through. I put it into a rectagle dish, lined (not very neatly!) with baking parchment…

Batter in baking dish

You can’t really tell from the photo, but the batter was a rather vivid purple! I then baked it at 180C / 350F for about 25 minutes. After cooling it, I attempted to cut it into cake bars…

Cherry cake bars

I’m afraid they were rather stodgy. They were a bit undercooked, but more significantly, I think they would need two packets of that cake mix to one can of pie filling. I liked the taste though, and the custard flavour did come through, so I shall attempt this again sometime with adjustments. See, I’m willing to share my cooking failures as well as my successes!

UPDATE: I put the cut up cake bars back into the oven for another 10 minutes, and they were much better!

Do you have any quick and easy half-homemade recipes you like to do?


19 responses to “Two cake experiments, with variable results!

  1. Dump Cake
    1 20 0z can crushed pineapple with juice undrained
    1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling
    1 pkg classic yellow cake mix
    1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
    1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 13 x 9 inch pan
    2. Dump pineapple with juice into pan. Spread evenly. Dump in pie filling. Sprinkle cake mix evenly over cherry layer. Sprinkle pecans over cake mix. Dot with butter.
    4. Bake 50 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Serve warm or at room temperature


  2. Peanut Butter and white chocolate cookies – So nice and naturally gluten free! All you need is :
    250g peanut butter
    100g caster sugar
    100g light brown sugar
    1 egg
    1tsp baking powder
    50g white chocolate

    Mix peanut butter and sugars together, then add the egg and baking powder. Then divide the mix into around 16 balls, evenly spaced, then flatten a bit, add chunks of white chocolate on top, then bake for 8-12 mins at 180 degrees. Simples, yummy and suitable for coeliacs! 🙂


    • These peanut butter and white chocolate cookies look great! I’ll have to try them!
      Is white chocolate gluten free, or is that just a taste choice?


    • Thanks for this. Those cookies DO sound good. I can’t quite imagine how they turn out, which means I shall have to try them! I don’t know if you noticed that the orange almond cake recipe I put up in my last post was gluten free too.


  3. I love the moon landing cake. Quite original idea! What did your son’s class think of it? Did he bring any of it home, at all? 😉

    I don’t think I’d trust myself to throw some baking together. Cooking – a stew, curry, soup, or whatever – is one thing; baking is a different chemistry beast. Looks like you’ve got a decent handle on it, though. Consistency-wise, maybe a reduction in the pie filling? Just to make them less gooey? Hmm. They still *look* pretty yummy, though. 😀


    • He brought home a little pile of crumbs on the tray, the bulk of it had all been eaten by the class!

      Yes, baking is quite difficult to experiment with, it either works or it doesn’t! I don’t do a lot of baking experimentation, but sometimes it’s fun.


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