I need to tell you about something called The Cake.
Here's the story: my darling one has a handwritten book of family recipes, and one is definitely more captivating than any others, because its name is simple, mysterious, and a bit imperious...
It has a credit of Claire Goddard. I have never had the pleasure of meeting Claire, but based on her cake, I'm pretty sure I would like her.
This cake is pretty, but perhaps not exceptional to look at: it just looks like a pleasant cake baked in a doughnut shape.
But one bite will tell you that there is something special about the cake. It's rich, probably owing to the high amount of eggs, and it is a bit tipsy, owing to the whopping 3/4 cup sherry (or rum, thankyouverymuch). It also has that certain addictive quality that boxed yellow cake always seems to impart on a cake (evidence: gooey butter cake). It's the sort of cake that doesn't need frosting...
but hey, why not?
Even in spite of the above selling points, I'm not sure how exactly to explain the pleasure of The Cake. It isn't the fanciest dessert you've ever had, but it's got star quality--a certain je ne sais quoi that you can't quite put your finger on, but you're drawn to nonetheless.
The Cake is worth your time--I promise. A little treasure from my family's memory box to yours.
Slightly adapted from Claire Goddard
Note: the original recipe calls for 3/4 cup vegetable oil; we used part coconut oil. You can use 3/4 cup vegetable oil if you prefer.
- Serves 6-8
- Prep: 10 minutes
- Baking time: 45-50 minutes
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 1 package vanilla instant pudding
- 4 unbeaten eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup coconut oil plus 1 tablespoon
- 3/4 cup sherry or rum
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups buttercream frosting, for topping (optional but suggested)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a tube or bundt pan; set to the side.
- Combine all of the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed for 5 minutes.
- Transfer to a greased tube pan (we used a bundt pan).
- Bake for 45-50 minutes. Let cool for about 20 minutes before inverting on to a serving rack. Serve as-is, or covered with frosting (that is my suggestion) or with ice cream.