Box of magic: Bisquick desserts are a real treat

News-DemocratApril 22, 2013 

Unless you were taught to make them from scratch, biscuits came out of a box labeled Bisquick. So did pancakes, shortcake and maybe your mom's coffeecake -- the one she threw together on a Saturday morning while you were watching cartoons.

Kind of hard to imagine life without a box of go-to Bisquick tucked away on a kitchen shelf. If you cooked in the 1960s and '70s, you might have made those "impossible" dinner pies that made their own crust using Bisquick. The Pillsbury website (pillsbury.com) still includes enough recipes to work your way from breakfast to dinner using a baking mix that started in 1931 as a combination of shortening, flour, baking powder and salt.

But one menu category that is slim pickin's is dessert. Gathered here are a handful of perhaps new-to-you recipes (not found on the side of the box), plus a classic upside down cake -- this one made with raspberries instead of pineapple. Three are different in that two are made for single or double portions only, and the third is created in a slow cooker.

All recipes use the original Bisquick mix unless otherwise noted.

How Bisquick came to be

In 1930, a General Mills sales executive got on a train too late to order dinner. Yet he was served a plate of delicious, oven-hot biscuits only moments after he sat down. When he asked the chef how he'd made them in such a short time, the chef told him he had blended lard, flour, baking powder and salt and stored the mixture in an ice chest. From this batter, he had quickly made the biscuits to order.

The secret was out of the bag and ended up in the box we now know as Bisquick.

The exec took the idea to his company and after a year of experimenting to make the biscuits as good as -- or better than --homemade, the famous baking mix was the first of its kind on store shelves.

Some of the technologies used in the development of Bisquick were later used to create cake mixes, and in the late 1960s, a new formula was created, adding more shortening, a new leavening system and buttermilk.

Bisquick Lemon Pound Cake

Cake:

2 1/2 cups Bisquick

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

3 eggs

3/4 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 tablespoons grated lemon peel

Glaze:

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Spray bottom only of 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with baking spray with flour. (Or, spray with nonstick spray, then dust with flour and tap out any residue.)

To make cake: In a large bowl, beat all cake ingredients except lemon peel with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in lemon peel. Pour into pan.

Bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of cake from pan with metal spatula. Remove cake from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

To make glaze: In a small bowl, mix powdered sugar and lemon juice with spoon until smooth. Drizzle glaze over cake.

Serves 12, each slice with 230 calories, 9 grams fat, 65 mg cholesterol, 360 mg sodium, 34 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams protein. Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 1/2 other carbohydrate, 1 1/2 fat. Carbohydrate choices: 2.

For Glazed Lime Pound Cake: Substitute 3 tablespoons grated lime peel and 1 tablespoon lime juice for the lemon.

Blueberry Bisquick Mug Cake

5 1/2 tablespoons Bisquick

4 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons oil

3 1/2 tablespoons milk

1 medium egg

Tiny splash of vanilla extract

8 blueberries

Add all ingredients except blueberries into an oversized mug. Stir with a whisk and mix until most of lumps are gone and only very tiny Bisquick lumps remain. Drop in blueberries.

Cook in microwave 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Cake may still have a wet outside, but this is normal. If inside of cake is done (insert a knife to check), then cake is done and will continue to cook as it cools. Let cake cool in cup before eating.

Bisquick Toaster Corn Cakes (Or Corn Sticks)

1 cup Bisquick

1 cup yellow cornmeal

1 1/2 cups buttermilk*

2 tablespoons melted butter (best for flavor)

2 eggs

Heat oven to 450 degrees.

Grease two 9-by-5 inch loaf pans. Muffin and muffin-top pans also can be used.

Stir by hand Bisquick, cornmeal, buttermilk, oil and eggs until blended. Pour into pans.

Bake about 15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Remove from pans. Cut each loaf crosswise into 8 sticks.

*Make your own buttermilk: For each cup of milk used, pour 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar into a measuring cup, add enough milk to make 1 cup. Let sit 5 minutes and you've got buttermilk. (You can also used the powdered version of buttermilk .)

-- Food.com

A diet-friendly recipe perfect for two.

4 Ingredient Banana Cake for Two

1/2 cup Bisquick

1/3 cup mashed banana

1 egg white

2 tablespoons Splenda sugar substitute or sugar to taste

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Blend all ingredients together.

Add more or less sugar to your own personal liking. Pour into medium-sized ovenproof bowl.

Bake 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Add a glaze of milk or water and powdered sugar, if desired.

-- Food.com

Crockpot Hot Fudge Cake

1 cup Bisquick

1 cup sugar (divided)

1/3 cup, plus 3 tablespoons baking cocoa, divided

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 2/3 cups hot tap water

Mix Bisquick, 1/2 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons cocoa, milk and vanilla. Pour into greased crockpot (3.5 quart).

Mix remaining 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup cocoa and hot water and pour over batter in crockpot. Do not stir together.

Cook on high for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Makes 4 servings.

Note: When it's done, the cake will have risen to the top, floating on the hot fudge sauce.

-- Food.com

Raspberry Upside Down Cake

1/4 cup margarine or butter

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups raspberries

2 tablespoons sliced almonds (I measured these out and forgot to put them on!)

1 1/2 cups Bisquick

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup milk or water

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 egg

Sweetened whipped cream or ice cream, if desired

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In oven, heat margarine in 9-inch round pan or 8-inch square pan until melted.

2. Sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar evenly over melted margarine. Arrange raspberries with open ends facing up on sugar mixture; sprinkle with almonds.

3. Beat remaining ingredients, except whipped cream, in medium bowl on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on medium speed 4 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour batter over raspberries.

3. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately turn pan upside down onto heatproof serving plate; leave pan over cake a few minutes. Remove pan. Let cake stand at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm with whipped cream.

-- Amandascooking.com

Cream Cheese Bisquick Pound Cake

2 cups Bisquick

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese

5 oz good dark chocolate, chopped

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-5 inch loaf pan.

Beat all ingredients except chocolate in a bowl for 30 seconds, scraping bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed for 4 minutes.

Melt chocolate either by melting in microwave or heating on stove at low heat. Slowly incorporate half of the batter into the chocolate

Pour remaining batter into loaf.

Top with chocolate batter and swirl with butter knife.

Bake for 50 minutes or until cake springs back.

Try to wait patiently for cake to cool before cutting a slice.

-- Adapted from Betty Crocker by Bananawonder.com

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