I will never forget the first time I encountered a cake made from a box.
My dad’s parents lived in a house called Monksfield. Whenever we would go there to visit as children we were on our very best behavior. Knowing the need for those manners and the best etiquette at Monskfield, my other grandfather, my mum’s dad, would tease us if we ever did something half way naughty or bad mannered in his home and say in a jokingly stern voice, ‘Would you do that at Monksfield?’ with a playful look in his eye. We loved it. He knew it was a place for good behaviour only! Good behavior yes, and lots and lots, and lots, of good food. When I say lots… Every day sandwiched sometime between a long three course lunch and an even longer three course dinner, was tea. A small squeaky gold trolley would be wheeled in to whichever room we were in and any appetite that you had managed to conjure up in the short space since lunch, would be filled with tea, cake and biscuits. Each day the selection would be a little different but by far our favourite treat to find on the gold tea tray was a big dark chocolate fudge cake. It was light and not too dense but rich and gooey too with multiple layers of cake and fudge frosting. Oh. Yes.
There was a lady who lived with there who did most of the cooking for Granny and would prepare all the yummy things that ended up on the tea trolley. On one of our visits, my mum told granny that she would love the recipe for that chocolate cake. Granny must have passed the message on to the lady who cooked, because next time we were there this sweet lady (who I will add, was American!) excitedly found us and handed us a box and a tub with a proud smile. Yep, it’s true. It was a box cake mix, and a tub of icing. That famous chocolate cake was infact the product of a box. Wow. I’d never made or really even seen a box cake mix before that and I remember us all talking about it for ages! I’m not sure Granny even knew that’s where the cake came from! But, not even that discovery persuaded me to move to the side of the boxed cake mix. I will always be a ‘from scratch’ baker. Always.
So, when a friend asked me this week to make a Sock-It-To-Me cake for her husband’s birthday and a quick recipe search showed up ‘yellow cake mix’ as the number one ingredient, I knew what I was not going to do! Cue lots of trials, lots of failures, lots of cake, one veeeery happy husband who was watching the oven telling cakes to fail so he could try them… and a few days later…. a paleo, husband approved, Sock-It-To-Me Cake!
For the cake:
1/2 cup butter (the flavor is what makes the cake so it won’t be quite the same without but you can use coconut oil, or use a good organic, grass fed butter)
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 cups cashew flour
2 tbsp coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
For the middle layer:
3 tsp coconut sugar
2 tbsp coconut flour
2 tsp cashew meal
2 tbsp cinnamon
For the glaze:
1/2 cup coconut sugar (blended until fine)
1/2 cup butter or coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
Cinnamon to dust
Mix together the middle layer ingredients as set aside. Beat together the butter and honey until well combined then add in the eggs one by one and the vanilla. Mix together all the dry ingredients and then fold them into the wet mixture.
Spoon half of the mix into the cake tin and spread it until it is reasonably level. You can use a simple bundt pan as I did like this or you can opt for a more decorative style like this. Now spoon a good layer of the cinnamon mix all over the cake. Next add on the remaining batter over the first layer. Bake on 325F for 40 mins or until a skewer comes our clean and the cake is just firm to the touch. Transfer onto a rack to cool.
When the cake is fully cool, melt together the butter and the powdered coconut sugar then add in the vanilla and drizzle on the cake.
Dust the top of the cake with cinnamon and coconut sugar!