I really love this recipe! I had to try it, after tasting it at a friend's child's birthday party. With so many of our friends' children having egg allergies and having some vegan friends, too, this recipe is perfect. Even my egg-loving dad says the cakes come out tasting very good.
After reading other reviews, I've made the following adjustments:
Chocolate (original) version: I subbed cooled coffee for the water, which gave it a richer flavor.
Vanilla GF version: I replaced the amounts of the AP flour and cocoa powder in the recipe with GF flour, and doubled the amount of vanilla extract. My hubby actually preferred this over the original, with and without frosting.
Orange version: For the recipe halved (9 servings), I replaced 2/3 of water with OJ and, added the zest of 1 large orange, and subbed orange extract for the vanilla. I baked it in a Wilton giant cupcake pan for closer to 50 min. My mom thought it was too sweet, but my dad and 3yo chocoholic son loved it. I might have to reduce the amount of OJ, or do only fresh-squeezed next time. It doesn't even need frosting.
I usually do one small cake for my children to blow out the candles, and the rest are cupcakes. The cupcakes usually take as long as the box mix versions do.
I will be making the original and vanilla versions for my daughter's first birthday party next week. I'm so glad my friend referred this recipe!
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I really love this recipe! I had to try it, after tasting it at a friend's child's birthday...