No frills cake from cake mixes

Cake decorating has been the rage these two years. Generally I do not like frosting/icing/cream on my cake – it distracts one from the cake. This christmas, with lots of help, I’ve been testing out variations of the chocolate covered cherry cake recipe from cake mix doctor. I made chocolate covered strawberry and a yellow cake with peach pie filling using Betty Crocker’s Super Moist mixes.

As my cakes were gifts, I didn’t get to taste the cakes. I knew enough that cakes are generally improved after a day of rest. It was only after Mr TCM brought home two slices of leftover chocolate cake that I slathered a 2:1 ganache that I realised:
1. the cake is not as delicious as the reviewers made it out to be. Yes, it was moist but pie filling made it sugary sweet – I couldn’t taste chocolate.
2. not very good cakes require things on top as distraction. The cake alone was bleah. With the ganache and it was rich, moist and very chocolately. Rather delicious, I thought.

For the peach pie filling version, I chopped up a canned peaches, mixed it with bought whipped cream as filling and topping. The cake was extremely moist and extremely sugary. It was only saved by the cream and the peaches.

The second recipe I tried was Darn Good Chocolate cake. I used the recipe once last year with Betty Crocker Devil’s Food cake mix but wasn’t impressed by the lack of chocolate in the flavour. This year I used Duncan Hines German Chocolate cake mix and substitute coffee instead of water. I haven’t tasted it but Mr TCM did and he said it is quite good. I am hoping this is The mix to use.