I really like cake mixes. They’re stable and extremely versatile.
Imagine my delight when I discovered Anne Byrn and her Cake Mix Doctor series. She takes an ordinary box of mix and turns it into a gourmet dessert with a flick of her blender.
In my opinion, one of Miz Anne’s best recipes is for Chocolate Flan Cake. It’s a decadent blend of chocolate, pumpkin, caramel and cinnamon. Yeah. I’ll wait while you grab a napkin.
The following recipe is my homage to the Cake Mix Doctor. I wanted something that would pay tribute to her inspiration and run up as little kitchen time as possible.
I give you the Three-In-One Apple Cake. Is it cake? A pie? Custard? Kind of. Is it easy and impressive? You bet!
You’ll want your Bundt pan again, with a generous coating of grease on the inside.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and break out your stand mixer.
Crack three eggs into the bowl, and then add one 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk, one 12-ounce can of evaporated milk, half a teaspoon of almond extract and a teaspoon of vanilla. Blend these together on medium speed for a minute or two.
Pour your custard blend into a bowl and set it aside. Into the now-emptied mixer bowl (no need to rinse bowl or beaters), dump one box of spice cake mix, three eggs and one 21-ounce can of apple pie filling. You bake-sale mavens have probably tried this part of the recipe before; it’s a classic.
Blend the cake ingredients on low speed for about 30 seconds, and then crank the speed up to medium and blend for another minute and a half. Scrape the bowl a lot; this will be a really thick batter.
Grab a bottle of caramel sauce and pour 1/3 cup into your prepared pan. Scrape the cake batter on top of the caramel and smooth it with your spatula.
Now for the super-sneaky awesome part. Remember the Alamo? I mean, the custard mix? Pour it gently over the top of your cake batter. No, don’t stir it together. Just let the whole mess float and clump however it wants. Set the pan onto a cookie sheet and put this assembly into your oven. Set the timer for 50-55 minutes and wait for the magic to work.
When the cake is done, it should spring back when touched with one finger. Give it a few extra minutes if need be. Set the Bundt pan on a wire rack and set your timer for 10 minutes’ worth of cooling time. If a big puddle of cake batter dribbled onto your cookie sheet, leave the oven on and let it bake for the 10 minutes; it’ll turn into a cookie!
Find your flattest plate and invert it over the pan. Flip them over and (carefully) shimmy the pan loose. Gaze in awe and put the cake in the fridge to cool.