Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Mocha Cake

It's very important to me to teach my children life skills. To me, homeschooling is about so much more than just the 3 Rs. I start bringing my kiddos in the kitchen with me at a very young age. That's why Jake was able to make cupcakes by himself at 4-and-a-half and why he had the skills necessary to create his very own cake recipe at age 6. Sometimes, he'll ask if he can make something: a cake, cookies, whatever. I like knowing that I can give him a recipe and, with minimal overseeing, can leave him in the kitchen to create.

This time was a bit different. This time, as part of his schoolwork for the day, I told him to look through some of my cookbooks and pick a recipe. He had to make sure we had the necessary ingredients or note which ones we needed, gather the supplies, and make it. By himself.

After flipping through the pages of 3 books, he showed me the picture of a slice of mocha cake.

"This one," he said.

I looked through the ingredient list. "Are you sure?"

"Yep. This is the one I want to make."

Instead of finding something in the desserts section, he chose one of the guilt-free recipes. Guilt-free meaning prune baby food in place of some of the oil. Ok, it was his choice. The baby food intrigued him, but did not deter him. And the coffee? Surely, the boy who has always hated everything coffee would want to choose something else.


"Yes, I'm sure. This one." 

Since baby food is not something we keep stocked in the pantry, he had to wait until the next day to make the cake.

He and Alyssa gathered the supplies and immediately got to work. They were measuring. Dumping. Pouring.

"What about the coffee?" I asked. "The cold coffee." I made the coffee and got it cooling in the fridge.

A minute later I heard, "Is the coffee ready?"

It made for a good lesson about the importance of reading the recipe fully before starting and making appropriate preparations. 

When the coffee was cold, he immediately poured it in the bowl. "Ugh, I was supposed to combine it with the milk." Again, we talked about reading and following the recipe, instead of just assuming you know what to do.

A minute later, another similar conversation took place.

This activity made me realize that he had gotten lazy in the kitchen. Since he had been baking by himself for a while, he had gotten overconfident in his abilities. It was a good lesson for us both.

And eventually, the cake did get baked.

And my favorite part? The kids washed the dishes and cleaned the kitchen!

Jake made sure to add his own spin to the cake: a sugar & cinnamon sprinkle and mini chocolate chips. That's my boy! Adapt the recipe; make it your own. Have fun creating yummy foods!

But until you understand more about baking, follow the directions.

Despite my apprehensions, the kids all loved the cake! Jake even said it might be his favorite cake ever. Food always tastes better when you make the effort to bake it yourself.

Mocha Cake
Cake Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
1 container (2.5 oz) prune baby food
3 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup milk
1 cup cold strong brewed coffee
3 cups flour
1/3 cup baking cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

Frosting Ingredients:
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1 teaspoon hot water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups whipped topping

Cake Directions:
1. In a large bowl, combine sugar, eggs, oil, prune baby food, vinegar, and vanilla. Beat until well-blended.
2. In a small bowl, mix milk and cold coffee.
3. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in another bowl.
4. Gradually beat the flour mixture in the large bowl, alternating with the milk mixture. 
5. Bake in a greased 9x13 pan at 350* for 30-35 minutes. Cool completely.

Frosting Directions:
1. In a small bowl, dissolve coffee granules in hot water. Stir in vanilla.
2. Place whipped topping in a large bowl and gently fold in the coffee mixture.

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home: Most Requested Recipes 2010.
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1 comment:

  1. This looks scrumptious and sounds like something we could make for daddy during Kids and a mom in the Kitchen. Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe.