The Essence of Yellow Cake
What is "yellow" cake? Is it any different than a standard vanilla cake? I began to ponder this question after asking a coworker with an upcoming birthday what his favorite cake is. I asked because I wanted to bake him cupcakes, naturally.
He said ice cream cake or yellow cake. I've never made an ice cream cake–and if I did I wouldn't be able to eat it–so I opted for yellow cake.
When I think of yellow cake, red boxes of Duncan Hines cake mix come to mind. Ninety percent of my baking is done from scratch. Occasionally, I take a shortcut and make something semi-homemade. Last week I opted for a box of yellow cake mix after discovering it didn't contain any dairy.
The day to make the cupcakes came. I felt like crap; my throat felt swollen and all I wanted to do was sleep. After leaving work early, I slept the day away and managed to stay awake long enough to make cupcakes and dairy-free buttercream (this is what makes the boxed cupcakes semi-homemade).
Of course I didn't have any eggs, so I made the cupcakes vegan. There's always flaxseed meal in my fridge for the purpose of vegan baking. Vegan baking is a natural occurrence in my house, even if I have eggs.
I snuck the cupcakes into work. My coworker wasn't aware of the surprise lunch potluck we'd planned for him. With cupcakes in my desk drawers, I couldn't wait until lunch.
Though I don't consider these my best cupcakes, they were still enjoyable. If you're looking for a quick, cheap, vegan cake, don't hesitate to read the ingredients on cake mix boxes. Just because it doesn't claim to be vegan doesn't mean it's off limits.
So what exactly is yellow cake? Well, quite simply, it's the cake you think of when you think of cake– vanilla and yellow because of the eggs. This is what I learned in my search for yellow cake clarity. One occasion where you might find "white" cake is a wedding. It's essentially a vanilla cake, but uses less eggs so it doesn't have the yellow coloring.
If the color is from the eggs, then why is this vegan cake yellow?! Yellow cake mix is just yellow; it doesn't need the eggs to be colored. Once upon a time it probably did, but now, you can achieve a tasty, moist, vegan yellow cake by simply opening a box and following the direction.