“Baking” this icebox cake was a lesson in reading directions, not just skimming them, but reading them carefully. I didn’t do that when I made this cake.
I have to go off on a tangent for a moment here. When I was growing up, Charles in Charge was one of my favorite shows. On one episode in particular, Charles, played by Scott Baio, exclaims when referring to a bowl of unbaked cake batter sitting in the kitchen:
GREAT! This is just great. Welcome home, Commander Powell! Would you like a sip of cake?
I just thought it was the funniest thing in the world. I burst out laughing every time I saw it, which was often in the days before DVRs and cable television. The episode, titled “Piece of Cake,” is available on YouTube and embedded below. Go to 05:33 for the moment I’m referring to.
I’ll explain why this is relevant in a moment.
While I was measuring out ingredients for my mise en place, I thought, “Gosh, that’s a LOT of liquid for not a lot of pudding.” That was my first inkling I was doing something wrong.
Of course once I had the 2 packages of pudding mix plus alllll that liquid in a saucepan I realized the recipe called for 2 boxes (6-serving size each) vanilla pudding and pie filling mix (not instant). And what I was using was the more common 4-serving size each boxes. So, I was using an extra 2 cups of liquid. That’s when my positive self talk started – “It will be FINE. We can just simmer it longer and all that extra liquid will just disappear, resulting in a richer, more luxurious pudding.”
While the watery pudding mixture simmered on the stove, I started to assemble the first layer of vanilla wafer cookies on the bottom of my springform pan.
On top of the cookies, I placed a layer of pineapple rings.
Once the soupy pudding had simmered and cooled, I poured about half of it on top of the cookies and pineapple and repeated the layers.
It was all fine and nice until I notice the pudding was leaking out of the springform pan.
I wrapped the bottom of the pan in foil, placed the whole thing on a cookie sheet and shoved it in the fridge in hopes it would solidify over the course of a few hours. Thank goodness I had no plans of sharing this cake with company because the cake was not going to unmold. It was too loose and turned out like more of a pudding trifle than a cake. Not willing to admit defeat, I served myself a “sip” of cake with a generous scoop of whipped topping.
It was edible alright! The flavors of the soggy cookies blended well with the runny French vanilla pudding and canned pineapple. I realize that description I just wrote is entirely unappetizing and you might be thinking I’m being sarcastic, but I’m not. Look how much Chris and I ate.
I thoroughly enjoyed this little cake disaster and would like to try it again, following directions of course.
Now if you’ve got the Charles in Charge theme song stuck in your head, I’m not sorry.