If the grocery store isn't your favorite place, it should be. We're sleuthing for the best back-of-the-box recipes and every Sunday, Posie Harwood from 600 Acres will share our latest find.
Today: A crazy trick to turn graham crackers into cake.
This past weekend I baked a very deceptive little cake. The recipe read like a standard layer cake (eggs, flour, sugar, baking powder, etc.) and the final product smelled like a cake and looked like one, too. It was airy, delicately-crumbed, and slightly moist; it sprung back at my touch, just like a cake.
But then I took a bite, eyes closed, and tasted graham cracker. Was it magic?
I uncovered this brilliant bit of baking alchemy in some old Nabisco archives. The recipe promised a delicate graham cracker cake and I was intrigued. Full disclosure: I think graham crackers dipped in milk are the eighth wonder of the world.
Upon further inspection, the recipe is nearly identical to a yellow layer cake. The difference is that almost all the flour is swapped out for finely crushed graham cracker crumbs. I worried that this would make the cake leaden, dense, and overly sweet. When I considered experimenting with graham flour, I thought "Ye of little faith!" and gave the original recipe a shot.
The result is incredible—as in, you literally won't believe how good it is. You get the exact flavor of a graham cracker in a light, tender mouthful of cake.
Adapted from Nabisco
Makes two 8-inch layers
For the cake:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 20 squares)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk
For the frosting:
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
10 ounces chocolate
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla
Do you have a favorite back of the box recipe, or have you heard about a great one? Leave any suggestions in the comments, and I'll try them out and share them here!
Photos by Posie Harwood