duncan and betty strike again

I know what you’re thinking. Another chocolate cake. But if your 10-year-old foodie studied cookbooks religiously, searched the pantry for potential ingredients, and then declared she was going to write her OWN recipe because she couldn’t find what she wanted, wouldn’t you let her make it?

Say, “yes.”

brownie cake

Seeing as this is the third chocolate box cake variation in a month, I feel the need for a disclaimer here. I really do prefer, and am able, to bake without the help of Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker. In fact, growing up, I cannot recall my mother ever buying box cake or brownie mix (nor, to my dismay, did she buy Wonder bread, Velveeta, Miracle Whip, or Coke). As for cookie mix, I didn’t even know it was an option until well into my twenties.

And while I appreciated and savored my mom’s infrequent-but-homemade baking, when I visited friends’ houses (Cindy’s house was the mecca of junk food), I discovered the joy of quick-fix baking. I promised myself that when I grew up, I would use baking mixes. Now, many years and four children later, that promise has been unwittingly kept. When my foodies want to make brownies, I turn to Duncan and Betty for some help. They are always there, and they’re always on sale.

So here it is (really, it’s delicious and very rich). Created and photographed by K.

Brownie-Bottom Cake

created by K

  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • 1 box family size (for a 9 x 13 pan) brownie mix
  • eggs (number depends on the mixes)
  • oil (amount depend on the mixes)
  • buttercream frosting
    IMG_5299 IMG_5305 IMG_5313
  1. Line a 9 x 13 pan with foil so that the long sides have extra foil hanging over them (so you can remove the brownies and reuse the pan for the cake). Coat the inside of foiled pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Mix brownies as directed then pour into prepared pan. Cook as directed.
  3. Meanwhile, make the cake batter according to the box directions and set aside.
  4. Remove brownies from the oven when a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool. Use foil tabs to lift brownies from the pan and transfer to a serving tray.
  5. Prepare the pan with nonstick cooking spray (cake is easier to get out of the pan so no need for foil). Pour cake batter into pan and bake as directed. Cool.
  6. Make the buttercream frosting.
  7. Frost the brownies, then gently lower the cake on top. Frost the cake then refrigerate until served.
  8. Makes a BIG cake.

One last photo: In the midst of the baking, my budding photojournalist captured her brother, mid-air, jumping from one couch to the other. Never a dull moment.

w jump


2 thoughts on “duncan and betty strike again

  1. YUMMY!

    I did something similar with brownie bottom and plopping blobs of cookie dough and snicker bar chunks randomly on top and baking it all at once. Scoop some ice cream and choc syrup on badboy and it ROCKS!

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