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Carrot Cake

Makes one 2-layer, 8 or 9-inch cake or one 3-layer, 6-inch cake

1 Yellow Cake Mix

6 large eggs
4 medium carrots, finely grated
½ cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
(Pineapple or orange juice may be substitute for water)

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and line two (or 3, if using 6-inch) cake pans with a circle of parchment paper.
2) Using a hand or stand mixer, combine the mix, eggs, oil, and carrots. Beat until completely blended; it will be thick.
3) Beat in ½ cup of water until it is fully incorporated.
4) Divide the batter equally into two pans, place on the middle rack of the oven, and bake for 35 to 38 minutes.
5) Remove from oven and allow to cool on a rack for 10 minutes before turning layers out onto a piece of parchment on the cooling rack to completely before icing.

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Double Chocolate Banana Muffins

Makes six large Muffins

1/2 Chocolate Cake Mix (Note, this is ½ mix!)
3 large eggs
¼ cup oil
2 ripe bananas
½ cup mini chocolate chips

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 6 large muffin wells with paper liners (or grease the wells).
2) Mash the bananas with a fork; add the cake mix, eggs, and oil. Mix by hand until thoroughly moistened.
3) Fill each muffin well with approximately 1/2 cup of batter.
4) Bake for 35-37 minutes. Remove from oven and turn out onto a cooling rack as soon as they can be handled—about 10 minutes.

5) Allow the muffins to cool fully before individually wrapping.

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Mini Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

Makes 30 mini cupcakes

1/2 Yellow Cake Mix (Note this is ½ mix)
3 large eggs
1/4 cup (50g) safflower oil
1/2 cup (120g) plain yogurt
1/4 cup (60g) water
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cinnamon sugar filling:
3 tablespoons butter, softened
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Easy Buttercream Frosting with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Powdered sugar drizzle (optional)

1) Preheat the oven to 350 F, and line mini muffin pans with cupcake papers.
2) Make the Cinnamon Sugar Filling: in a small bowl blend the butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Set aside.
3) Using a hand or stand mixer, combine the mix, eggs, oil, yogurt, water, and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes; the batter will thicken.
4) Pipe or spoon the batter into each mini muffin well. Drop about 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon filling into each cupcake and swirl with a toothpick.
5) Bake for 13 minutes or until the tops spring back when touched.
6) Frost the cupcakes when completely cooled.

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Cheesecake Bars

Makes nine bars

½ Yellow Cake Mix (Note, this is ½ mix!)
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese
¼ cup sugar
¾ cup milk
1.5 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup fruit filling of choice
1) Preheat oven to 300 degrees F, and grease a 8x8 or 9x9 inch baking pan.
2) Measure out ½ cup of the cake mix; set aside.
3) In a medium mixing bowl, stir together remaining dry cake mix, 2 tablespoons (25g) egg, and oil. Press the crumbs evenly into the bottom of a 8x8-in pan.
4) In the same bowl, blend the cream cheese and sugar. Add the remaining eggs and reserved cake mix; beat 1 minute at medium speed. At low speed gradually add milk, lemon juice, and vanilla; mix until smooth. Pour into crumb crust. Swirl in your filling of choice. Bake at 300 degrees F for 60 minutes, or until center is firm.
5)When cooled, cover and chill 1 hour before serving. Store in the refrigerator.

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Strawberry Shortcake Bars

Makes 24 bars

Yellow Cake Mix
1-1/4 cup gluten free oats, divided
8 ounces (1 stick) butter, divided
3 large eggs, divided
9 ounces, all fruit strawberry jam
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup brown sugar

1) Preheat the oven to 350 F, grease a 9x13 inch pan, and line with overhanging parchment paper.
2) In a large bowl, combine the cake mix 6 tablespoons of butter, and 1 cup of oats. Measure out 1 cup of this mixture and set aside for the topping.
3) Add 1 egg to the remaining mixture, mix well, and press into the bottom of the pan
4) Make the cream filling: in a medium bowl, whip the mascarpone cheese, cream cheese, 2 eggs, and 1/2 cup sugar until well blended and fluffy. Spread in the pan.
5) Carefully spread a layer of jam over the filling.
6) To the reserved crumb mixture, add the brown sugar, remaining oats, and the remaining butter until the mixture is crumb-like.
7) Sprinkle the mixture over the top and bake for 1 hour or until browned. and set. Cool completely and refrigerate before cutting.

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Raspberry Cheesecake

Makes one, 8-inch or 9-inch cheesecake

½ Yellow Cake Mix (Note, this is ½ mix!)
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
¼ cup sugar
¾ cup milk
1.5 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 pint raspberries
2 tablespoons sugar
1-2 tablespoons tapioca
Whipped cream (optional)

1) Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease the sides and bottom of an 8-inch spring form pan.
2) Measure out ½ cup of the cake mix; set aside.
3) In a medium mixing bowl, stir together remaining dry cake mix, 2 tablespoons (25g) egg, and oil. Press the crumbs evenly into the bottom of the pan.
4) In the same bowl, blend the cream cheese and sugar. Add the remaining eggs and reserved cake mix; beat 1 minute at medium speed. At low speed gradually add milk, lemon juice, and vanilla; mix until smooth. Pour into crumb crust. Bake at 300 degrees F for 60 minutes, or until center is firm.
5) The cheesecake portion my split and will sink when cooled. It is supposed to. When cooled, fill this depression with raspberry filling.
6) Prepare the filling: in a medium saucepan, heat the raspberries and sugar, stirring frequently, until the raspberries soften and begin to break down. (At this point, if you want seedless raspberry filling, strain the mixture and pour it back into the pot.) Spoon out several tablespoons of liquid, and combine it with the tapioca. Pour the tapioca/juice mixture into the raspberry filling and cook until thickened.
7) Pour the filling over the cheesecake and chill before serving. Store in the refrigerator.

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Microwave Chocolate Cupcake in a Mug

Makes 1 individual cake

Make a quick individual cake just for yourself. Leave out the chocolate chips, and this cake is a fat-free indulgence. The secret is applesauce, which binds and moistens the ingredients.

¼ cup (40g) Chocolate Cake Mix
2 tablespoons apple sauce
1 tablespoon water
15 chocolate chips or 1 teaspoon mini chips

1) Measure out ¼ cup of the Chocolate Cake Mix into a microwaveable mug.
2) Mix in 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce and 1 tablespoon water. Make sure all the dry mix in the bottom is incorporated.
3) Microwave on high for 2 minutes (microwaves may vary.)
4) Allow to cool for 5 minutes before gently using a table knife to release the sides.
5) Turn out onto a plate. Eaten still warm (like with ice cream!) it will be gooey like a lava cake. As it cools, the cake firms up.
Chocolate Chai Option: Add in ¼ teaspoon each of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cardamom for a chai version.

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Vegan Chocolate Whoopie Pies

Makes 12-halves or six whoopie pies

½ Chocolate Cake Mix (Note, this is ½ mix!)
¼ cup (50g) vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup cold water
1 tablespoon white vinegar

1) Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2) In a medium bowl, combine the cake mix, oil, vanilla, pumpkin, spices, and water. This may easily be mixed by hand until the batter is smooth. The batter will thicken as the coconut flour absorbs the water.
3) Quickly stir in the vinegar until just combined, and then use a #__cookie scoop to make 12 rounds.
4) Bake for 25 minutes.
5) Allow to cool on a rack for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Cool completely before filling.

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Variation: Vegan Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Makes 12-halves or six whoopie pies

½ Yellow Cake Mix (Note, this is ½ mix!)
¼ cup (50g) vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup (120g) pumpkin puree
½ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ cup cold water
1 tablespoon white vinegar

1) the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2) In a medium bowl, combine the cake mix, oil, vanilla, pumpkin, spices, and water. This may easily be mixed by hand until the batter is smooth. The batter will thicken as the coconut flour absorbs the water.
3) Quickly stir in the vinegar until just combined, and then use a #__cookie scoop to make 12 rounds.
4) Bake for 25 minutes.
5) Allow to cool on a rack for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Cool completely before filling.

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The Best Fruitcake

Makes one, 9-inch cake or two loaf pans 1 cup dried dates, chopped 1 cup golden raisins 1 cup dried apricots, chopped
1 cup dried prunes, chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dried pineapple, chopped
½ Yellow Cake Mix (Note, this is ½ mix!)
3 large eggs
1 stick butter, softened
¼ cup (50g) brown sugar
3 tablespoons apple butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup orange juice
¼ cup Triple Sec
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon baking soda

1) Preheat the oven to 300°F. Grease the pan(s) and line the bottom with parchment paper.
2) In a large bowl, toss the fruit with the cake mix until all the fruit is covered. Set aside.
3) Blend the eggs, butter, brown sugar, apple butter, vanilla, juice, Triple Sec and spices. Add in the baking soda last.
4) Pour the blended mixture over the fruit and toss until evenly moistened.
5) Spoon the batter into the pan and smooth the top.
6) Bake for 1-1/2 hours or until a toothpick inserted in the center is dry.
7) Allow to cool fully on a rack before removing from pan.
8) This fruitcake lasts months in the refrigerator or can be frozen.

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Italian Sugar Cookies

Makes approximately 6 dozen 1-1/2 round or shaped cookies

1/2 Yellow or Chocolate Cake Mix (Note, this is ½ mix!)
1 large egg yolk
10 tablespoons (140g) butter softened
½ teaspoon vanilla
Jam of choice, chocolate glaze, or sprinkles

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
2) In a food processor or a stand mixer, combine all ingredients (except fillings and dip) until just entirely blended. On a piece of plastic wrap, form the dough into two logs, approximately 1-1/2 inches in diameter.
3) Wrap the log in the plastic wrap to keep it round and place in freezer until cold enough to slice. With a sharp knife, slice the log into approximately ¼-inch slices and place on baking sheet, 1-inch apart. (Alternatively, pipe the soft dough into desired shapes—the cookies will spread some, though.)
4) Bake for 11-13 minutes on middle rack.
5) Allow to cool fully before transferring to a rack.
6) Fill with apricot, raspberry, or other jam or chocolate ganache. Dip ends in chocolate and apply sprinkles while chocolate is still wet.

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Chocolate Orange or Peppermint Bark

Makes a 13x15 pan of bark or a 15x19-inch pan of thin bark

1/2 Chocolate or Yellow Cake Mix (Note, this is ½ mix!)
1 large egg yolk
½ cup (8 tablespoons) butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon orange extract or peppermint extract
1 cup chocolate chips
Dried orange peel or peppermint candy (optional)

1) Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a 15x19 inch baking sheet.
2) Combine the mix, egg, butter, vanilla, and extract of choice.
3) Work the dough with your hands until it is uniformly blended and pliable.
4) Spread the dough in the pan from edge to edge.
5) Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips.
6) Return pan to oven and bake 3 to 4 more minutes or until chips soften.
7) Remove from oven and spread chocolate evenly over top. If the chocolate doesn't spread easily, place it back in the oven for a few minutes. Sprinkle with toppings while still soft.
8)Transfer to a rack to cool. Once cooled, place in refrigerate to make it brittle enough to break.

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Chocolate Swiss Roll

Makes one 12 to 13-inch roll

½ Chocolate Cake Mix (Note, this is ½ mix!)
6 large eggs separated
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup (120g) water
(no oil)

1) Preheat the oven to 350 F; line a 13x15-inch pan with parchment paper.
2) Combine the mix, egg yolks, water, and vanilla
3) Using a stand or hand mixer, whip the egg whites until still peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter.
4) Spread the batter unto the pan, smoothing it until it is level.
5) Bake for 18 minutes or until it sets. Remove it from the oven and cover with a damp tea towel or paper towels until completely cool.
6) Spread from edge to edge with frosting or whipped cream.
7) Using the parchment paper and gradually peeling it back, roll the cake up starting with the short side.

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Cider Cake Doughnuts

1/2 Yellow Cake Mix (Note, this is ½ mix!)
1/4 cup (50g) safflower oil
1/4 cup (60g) sour cream
1/2 cup (120g) fresh apple cider
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Topping:
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1) Preheat the oven to 350 F, and grease the wells of donut pans.
2) In a medium bowl, mix the cake mix, oil, sour cream, cider eggs, and cinnamon until the better is smooth.
3) Carefully pipe or pour the batter into the donut wells.
4) Bake in the middle of the oven for 13 to 15 minutes.
5) Allow to cool on a rack for 15 minutes before removing them from the pans and inverting them on parchment paper.
6) Mix the cinnamon sugar in a small bowl.
7) Brush each donut with butter and dip it in the cinnamon sugar.

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Pumpkin Roll

1/2 Yellow Cake Mix (Note, this is ½ mix!)

6 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup (120g) pumpkin puree
1/2 cup (120g) water
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Powdered sugar for dusting
Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting with 1 teaspoon cinnamon

1) Preheat the oven to 350 F; grease and line a 13x15 sheet pan with parchment paper.
2) Combine the cake mix, egg yolks, pumpkin puree, and water.
3) Using a stand or hand mixer, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the cake batter.
4) Spread the batter into the pan, smoothing it to be as level as possible.
5) Bake the cake for 18 minutes or until it sets. Remove from the oven, and cover with a damp tea towel until completely cool. Spread from edge to edge with frosting. Using the parchment paper, roll the cake up starting with the short side.

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Lemon Filled Lemon Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes

1/2 Yellow Cake Mix (Note, this is ½ mix!)
3 large eggs
1/4 cup (50g) safflower oil
1/2 cup (120g) sour cream
1/4 cup (60g) water
juice of 1 lemon
zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 ounces Lemon Curd
Buttercream Frosting
Lemon slices (optional)

1) Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a cupcake pan.
2) Using a hand or stand mixer, combine the mix, eggs, oil, sour cream, water, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes until smooth. The batter will thicken.
3) Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 19 minutes.
4) Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning them out on a rack to cool.
5) Using a small paring knife cut out a depression in the top of each cupcake and fill with lemon curd. Pipe or spread frosting over the the lemon curd, and garnish with a lemon slice (optional.)

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Frosting Alternatives:

Easy Buttercream
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Vegan Buttercream
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 cup shortening (such as Spectrum)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Brown Sugar Cream Cheese
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup (50g) brown sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon honey
Blend all ingredients but honey until smooth; add the honey and blend just until mixed in. Good for 12 cupcakes; double for layer cake.

Vegan Chocolate Frosting
2-1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup shortening (such as Spectrum)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Royal Piping Icing
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon powdered egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Water
Mix all ingredients, adding 1 tablespoon of water at a time until desired consistency.

Vegan Chocolate Glaze/Ganache
15 ounces, dairy-free dark chocolate
1 can (15 ounces) coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Place chocolate in medium bowl; set aside. in medium pot, heat coconut milk just until it comes to a boil. Pour it over the chocolate and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir for 2 minutes, and then stir in the vanilla. Use warm or slightly cooled.

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