Regardless of age, everyone needs birthday cake. Whether you purchase an overpriced cake from a specialty bakery, or go for the plain box mix and canned frosting, a cake is a must.
Recently I spent a few weeks with my father in Alabama to help him recover from rotator cuff surgery. Two days after surgery he celebrated his birthday, so a cake was needed. Usually I make a semi-homemade cake with homemade frosting. However, my father is a diabetic so most cakes are out of the question. So I started looking for options. I found that Pillsbury now has a sugar-free cake and frosting. Being a bachelor for many year my dad is not too picky, and it was just the two of us we decided to give it a try.
For the record I do not usually eat anything that is sugar-free. I do not tolerate aspartame (it triggers my migraine headaches) and I have heard so many risk associated with artificial sweeteners so I try to avoid them when possible. I realize that all artificial sweeteners are an acquired taste that I do not have. So that is important to note ahead of time. Both of these contain Splenda.
CAKE: You make this cake like you would any other mix. Add oil, water and eggs and bake. Before I baked the cake I tasted the batter. Before anyone says anything, yes I know that it contained raw eggs, but I wanted to be prepared for how it would turn out. There was a slight after taste before baking, but I did not notice it after it cooked. I baked the batter in two 8 inch pans and noticed that they did not rise as much as usual. The taste was pretty good (not as good as my usual cake) but it was okay. Overall, I would give it a grade of B-. If I needed another “sugar-free” cake I would make it again.
FROSTING: What goes better with yellow cake than chocolate icing. This stuff was so thick there was no way I could but it on the sides without tearing the cake apart. So I decided to only put a thin layer between the two layers and a generous amount on top. After tasting it I was glad I had not put more the cake. For this was the worst frosting I have ever tasted. Besides not being as sweet as regular frosting, it had a heavy, taste. Spreading the frosting was impossible. If I had to give it a grade, it would definitely be an F. I will not be buying this stuff again. My dad and I both ended up scraping as much off as we could and just eating the cake.
Thankfully I will not be needing any more sugar-free cakes for a while.