Baking ingredients are back! Thankfully, they’ve been available for quite some time now. Never have I ever been elated to spot items like flour and boxed cake mixes! Speaking of cake mixes, I found a cake mix that sounded like an enjoyable baking project: red velvet.
As soon as my eyes detected those boxes, I had a momentary flashback to 2015/2016 – the season that I was experimenting with chocolate cookie mixes: transforming them into tea cakes by adding other ingredients (I vividly remember adding self-raising flour in one instance) as a hobby. My kitchen was a mini lab, and the results were oh-so good.
Post-2015, I rarely browse the boxed cake mix section of the baking aisle. But, if there’s one treat I’d choose to use a baking mix for, it’s got to be red velvet cake. Red velvet is one of my favorites in the cake realm: caramel, chocolate and red velvet cakes are the best, hands-down! I felt a little tug in my heart to re-live that golden “cookie mix experimentation era” of the mid-2010s.
My mission: bake 12 tea cakes following a “half a cake mix cake” recipe. This mouthful of a concept refers to bakes that are created from half of the quantity of an entire box of cake mix. I’ve never attempted to bake this before whilst following a cake mix’s instructions to a ‘T’ with measurement adjustments. After a bit of math and conversions, I successfully recorded a recipe that halves every listed ingredient. Now, it’s time to pick a filling. I just can’t picture sinking my teeth into red velvet cake without a little something to pair it with!
After reading an article on Bill Gates celebrating Warren Buffett’s birthday with an Oreo cake (one of the most random ‘lifestyle’ articles to grace the business/finance news), I couldn’t shake out the thought of baking an Oreo-filled cake ASAP. ‘ASAP’ ended up being a couple of days later on a spectacular sunny afternoon.
When I arrived at the Oreo section in the snacks aisle, only two options of ‘non-fun sized’ packages were available: chocolate and strawberry creme. As soon as I read the words “strawberry creme”, I instantly recalled a post I penned last year – the spring-themed strawberry red velvet cake from Starbucks. Seeing it as a sign from the foodie universe (it’s definitely fate!) and as it’s officially spring in the Southern Hemisphere, I selected the strawberry-filled version. It was then decided: I was going to bake red velvet tea cakes with strawberry creme Oreos.
Without further ado, let’s bake 12 tea cakes!
Tools For Baking
- Kitchen Scale
- Tablespoon (TBSP)
- Medium/Large Mixing Bowl (or Electric Mixer)
- Whisk/Mixing Spoon (if you aren’t using an electric mixer)
- Muffin or Cupcake Pan (6cm wide & roughly 1.5cm deep per mold)
Half-A-Box Cake Mix Batter (half of Betty Crocker’s 432g red velvet package):
- 216g Cake Mix
- 10 TBSPs Water
- 2 TBSPs Oil
- 1 Large Egg (or 2 small eggs)
- Strawberry Creme Oreos (or any Oreo flavor you desire)
Let’s Get Baking!
Step 1: Add all wet ingredients to the cake mix in your mixing bowl (or mixer). Give it a good mix until the batter’s consistency is smooth.
Step 2: Pre-heat oven at 160˚C (320 ˚F)
Step 3: Grease your pan with butter and flour (or spray oil).
Step 4: Fill each mold in your pan halfway.
Step 5: Divide each Oreo cookie sandwich into quarters.
Step 6: Place Oreo pieces on top of the batter (4-8 quarter Oreos pieces per mold is perfect)
Step 7: Fill each pan with more batter (nearly to the brim) and encase the Oreos completely.
Optional: you could add Oreos on top after filling the molds with the second layer of batter in Step 7.
Step 8: Bake at 160˚C (320 ˚F) for 15 – 20 minutes.
Step 9: Remove from the oven and allow them to cool before removing them from the tray.
Step 10: Grab your fork, because you’ve done it! Bon appetit! 🙂
As soon as I removed the tray from my oven, the tea cakes’ strikingly vibrant colors stood out – a bold red hue with pops of deep brown and peeks of rose pink. The aesthetics I aspired to curate is inspired by café-style Oreo muffins, in the form of red velvet tea cakes. The combo of red velvet, Oreo cookies and strawberry cream is a match made in heaven! The flavors blend perfectly together, resulting in a sweet tooth’s ultimate dream.
Each tea cake is soft and decadent. Red velvet’s glorious signature flavor is rich in every bite (well done, Betty!). With this being my first red velvet baking experience, I’m elated with the result.
The Oreo cookies are soft and aren’t mushy, and the cream’s role is reminiscent to delicate icing. Oreo’s strawberry cream filling reminds me of the strawberry layer in Neapolitan ice cream, which I loved as a child. I quite like the inclusion of strawberry instead of vanilla cream, as it possesses a cookies and cream vibe with an edge. I’m sure vanilla cream will taste divine, though!
These little cakes turned out to be more than ordinary teatime treats: they brought many special memories. This week’s baking journey reflects that something as simple as tasting various flavors can awaken incredible flashbacks and feelings, especially those that include warm hugs, smiles and laughter. As Winnie the Pooh once said, “We didn’t realize we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun”. Happy baking, dear friends!