It doesn't happen, but every now and again (usually when I know I'm moving soon) I get the urge to clean out all the random ingredients that I have lying around in the kitchen. But I absolutely despise throwing things out--it seems so wasteful. But how to make use of these ingredients in an efficient way?
Well, when I found myself cleaning out the cabinets recently, I had an inspiration.
It started when I found a box of Jiffy Yellow Cake mix. All of a sudden, I looked at everything else with new eyes.
What if I could combine orphan ingredients, all in one cake? It would certainly be something completely awful, or awesome. Maybe both.
So I rounded up a few things that I thought could possibly work in this monster of a cake: half a jar of peanut butter, a third of a box of Teddy Grahams, a handful of Fun-Size candy bars, and about 2 handfuls of potato chips (plain, salted).
I started by mixing the cake according to the box ingredients (1 egg, 1/2 cup of water). Then, I stirred in the peanut butter. It smelled really good, and my spirits began to get high.
I then stirred in the rest of it--I broke each candy bar into 3 or 4 pieces, crushed the chips in my hand before adding, but just added the Teddy Grahams as-is. It made for an extremely thick, lumpy batter.
I spread it into a well-greased 8x8-inch pan.
I baked it for 22 minutes at 350 degrees, at which point I took out one of the most alluring-smelling cakes my nose has ever known.
When it cooled, I realized that this was a great opportunity to use another ingredient--half a can of cream cheese frosting--so I added that too. Why not? And sprinkles. Rainbow!
So, you're wondering after this big buildup, how did it taste?
I was so glad I hadn't thrown anything out--this cake was a keeper. The peanut butter mixed throughout the batter worked amazingly with the chocolate chunks studded everywhere from the Fun-size candy bars, making it feel like you were eating birthday cake with alternating bites of a peanut butter cup. But all mixed in your mouth. The only weirdness was the Teddy grahams, which had lightly softened in the baking process, just to the point where they were just crunchy enough to distract from the cake texture, but not different enough to really have a crunchy crunch impact. Next time I'd crush them before adding. The chips were a pleasant surprise, adding a nice saltiness which made all the competing tastes--peanut butter, cake, frosting, chocolate--come together in a beautiful salty end note. It's like the most beautiful epilogue.
Clean Out the Cabinets Cake (Printable recipe here!)
- 1 Box Jiffy Cake
- 1 Egg
- 1/2 cup water
- Whatever stuff you want to add (I added: half a jar of The Bee's Knees peanut butter by Peanut Butter and Company, 2 handfuls of potato chips, about 6 fun-size candy bars, and a third of a box of Teddy Grahams
- Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a cake pan (round or square).
- Prepare the cake mix per the package instructions (1 egg and 1/2 cup water).
- Once the batter is ready, stir in the peanut butter (or any "wet" ingredients).
- Stir in the rest of your ingredients.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, per the package instructions. When golden, remove from the oven. Cool the cake, and turn out on to a wire rack. Let cool completely.
- If you have frosting, go ahead and frost it. Add sprinkles (why not?). Enjoy!