Thursday, September 3, 2015


As I said in July, my main guinea pig, I mean my son, was diagnosed with diabetes.  His birthday was coming up. So I began to look for alternatives to his favorite "Cheeto cake" (see photo on left). I am not familiar with using artificial sugar replacements in baking. I was a little concerned because I wanted to make him a cake,  but I also wanted it to turn out right.
So I chickened out. I bought the Pillsbury sugar free yellow cake mix*. I didn't even know such an item existed until I seen it in the store.**I also bought the orange sugar free Jello*** as well as Pillsbury's reduced sugar  white frosting. I wasn't sure how or if I could punch it up.
Well, this is how I did it.
For the cake, I used milk instead of water, it gives the cake a richer taste. I also replaced 2 teaspoons of the milk with 2 teaspoons McCormick's orange extract. I filled the 2 prepped cake pans with about one half of the batter (each pan got one quarter of the mixture). I mixed the sugar free Jello with the remaining cake batter and swirled that into the already prepped pans. Then I waited.
It seemed to me that the cake had to bake a little longer then what was stated on the box. Do_not_ take that as advice to bake the cake longer. My oven can be a bit strange sometimes so I normally have to adjust to its quirks.
While the cake baked, I fiddled about with the frosting. I wanted to add some orange extract to it, but I was apprehensive because I might put in too much. I started off with a teaspoon of orange extract to the can of frosting. I wasn't completely satisfied, so I upped it by one half of a teaspoon and the flavor was right. If you intend to do this, you may want to do some tasting of the icing  to make sure it has the right flavor. Orange extract is clear, so you don't see the icing turn a pale orange color.
The cake was baked and frosted and ready for the ultimate taste test - my sons Dan and Will. The cake met their rather high expectations. Believe me, if it was off in any way, they would have no problem in letting me know.
So the experiment was a happy success. I would like very much if Pillsbury produced  an orange sugar free cake mix (they do produce chocolate****) to use. The color is much more intense with the varying colors of orange.  If I intend to use the frosting again, I would buy some orange food coloring. It is amazing to me how much color can trick the mind and make something taste so much better. I know it works.  But I always think I could have done better. Maybe use orange juice instead of the milk or water? I'm not sure.
Bur now I have about 2 months until the next birthday at my house. So I have 2 months to troll the internet for a diabetic friendly chocolate cake recipe. That will also give me some time to fiddle about with it, seeing if I could make it better. Then there is Christmas coming up and sometimes I bake for it. If I am going to bake for Christmas, I am going to have to troll for diabetic friendly recipes. So perhaps I should shut this down for today and start looking.

* I  know, you are thinking, sheesh, do you call that baking?  Well, yes I do.
** If you must know, I found it at Wal-Mart
*** No, I do not get a kickback from any of the products mentioned or Wal-Mart. I can be bribed but nobody offers me a bribe.
**** besides the sugar free chocolate cake, they produce a sugar free brownie mix and sugar free icing

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