Tonight we're celebrating my cousins 30th Birthday....even though his birthday was last month. In my opinion 30 is a pretty big milestone and we were not able to celebrate with him on his actual birthday so here we are. I've got Ribs in the slow cooker and I'm just waiting for my Vanilla banana cake to cool so that I can ice it. I love my cousin, and I love to bake, but lets face it there's only so much time in a day. Normally I would have made the cake a day in advance, but this was kind of put together at the last minute so time is not a luxury I have. Without too much guilt I can admit.....I cheated, I went out this morning and bought a cake mix.....not a big deal for some people, but for me this is definitely cheating. The reason I'm able to live with myself? Well I give it more than just the "boxed cake mix" effort. Here's a secret if you're ever pressed for time but need someone to feel special and spoiled... you start with the cake mix.....I usually prefer french vanilla or devils food as my base. You take the cake mix and put it into your bowl, and you pretty much throw out the rest of the directions. Instead of following the standard recipe on the back of the box you add 1 cup of buttermilk 1/3cup vegetable oil and 4 large eggs Mix it altogether until it's smooth. The next step is the best step.....You add flair.... what ever you like. My personal favorite despite being overly simple is 3 mashed bananas. Although Chocolate Mint and Ginger Molasses are pretty good as well. These changes allow you to maintain the simplicity of a boxed cake mix while giving you a much more home made decadent flavour.
Here they are Vanilla-Banana cake with creamcheese frosting garnished with strawberries and 24 mini vanilla banana cupcakes....the cupcakes were so he had something to take home, we ate the cake after dinner.