I found a new cookbook, The $7.00 a Meal Cookbook, on one of my thrift store jaunts last week. It appears to have never been opened. After quickly thumbing through it, there were several recipes that caught my eye. For 99 cents, I couldn't pass it up.
The book lists tips and suggestions to go along with the recipes. It also shows the calorie count (but unfortunately not the carb count) for each recipe.
I decided to try any easy dessert recipe for my family. All of the family love mandarin oranges so I figured that everyone would like this cake. Even though I did not try this cake, it looks and smells delicious. I could've eaten the caramel icing with a spoon - I resisted the temptation to do so ...my willpower was working OT that day.
Caramel Mandarin Orange Cake
2 (9 oz) boxes yellow cake mix
2/3 C. vegetable oil
1 (11oz) can mandarin oranges, undrained
1/2 C. coconut
1 1/4 C. brown sugar
2 TBSP honey
5 TBSP butter
6 TBSP milk
2 tsp milk
Preheat oven to 350* Spray a 9 x 13 cake pan with spray containing flour and set aside. ( I didn't have a 9 x 13 pan available since I was using it to bake a chicken in at the time. I used 2 - 8 x 8 glass pans instead. The next time I will make it only one layer so that the whole cake soaks up the caramel topping.)
In a large bowl, combine cake, eggs oil and undrained oranges.
Beat on low speed until combined, then beat at medium speed for 2 -3 minutes. Fold in coconut. Pour into pan.
Bake for 25 - 35 minutes or until cake pulls away from the sides of the pan and top springs back when lightly touched. (Keep an eye on it so that it doesn't overbake. It took my cakes about 30 minutes to bake.) Place on wire rack to cool.
While cake is cooling, make caramel topping. In medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, honey, butter & milk. Boil for 3 minutes.
Using chopsticks poke about 20 holes in the warm cake. (Very important to use chopsticks and not the end of a wooden spoon like I did or you will end up with big holes in it like my cake.)
Add vanilla to caramel topping and slowly pour over cake, spreading evenly if needed. (I cooked this topping for 7 more minutes but it still wasn't "spreadable". I took it off of the heat and sat the pot in cold water, stirring constantly, for a couple of minutes. It thickened right up to a silky consistency of caramel sauce.)
Total cost: $4. 17
The verdict: My son loved it, although he said that it was really sweet. My husband thought that it would be better if it wasn't so sweet. I would definitely use the caramel topping on other cakes - it would be great on an apple cake, apple sweet rolls or even apple pie.