When I was a child there were no baking mixes. No cake from a box, no muffins either, and no pie crust. Home cooks made everything from scratch. My mother was an excellent baker and I learned the basic skills from her. At 16 years of age, I was making made-from-scratch French chocolate layer cake for church suppers, a fact I can hardly believe myself.
Even when mixes were available, my mother was still a scratch cook. Over the years I’ve followed here example, but do use some commercial products, such as a baking mix. These mixes are pretty much the same: flour, shortening, salt, dehydrated milk, and a leavening agent. Reduced fat mixes are also available.The reduced fat baking mix has about 40 percent less than all-purpose mix.
Using a mix saves some time. You don’t have to measure flour, or shortening, or leavening. If I use a mix, I try to make it my own by adding different ingredients, changing the method, and in some instances, changing the pan size. Minnesota mornings are getting chiller and I wanted to eat something warm from the oven.
I decided to use a baking mix and the last of some blueberries in the refrigerator. Although I started with a crumb cake recipe, I used a sugar substitute, spreadable butter product, unsweetened applesauce and, of all things, a packet of instant oatmeal with apples and cinnamon. It turned out well and we enjoyed it. Kids will enjoy this too.
1 1/3 cups baking mix
3/4 cup sugar substitute (or granulated sugar)
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon spreadable butter
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1 large egg, room temperature
3/4 cup fat-free milk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 packet instant oatmeal with apples and cinnamon
2 tablespoons cold butter
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 9 1/2″ layer cake pan with cooking spray.
2. Whisk baking mix and sugar substitute (or sugar) together in a batter bowl.
Add rinsed blueberries into this mixture.
3. Stir in spreadable butter and applesauce.
4. Beat egg with fork and add milk and vanilla extract.
5. Combine this mixture with the other ingredients.
6. Transfer to prepared pan.
7. Cut top off oatmeal packet and sir contents with spoon. Sprinkle half of the oatmeal over coffee cake and dot with cold butter.
8. Bake 35 minutes, or until tart starts to pull away from pan. Makes 8 servings.