No, really! Completely free cake! Read on.

Certain things are frequently free with triple coupons, and most of the time I manage to resist them, because even if they’re free, what am I going to do with 15 boxes of Luigi’s Italian Ice? (Don’t get me wrong, I get as much free Italian ice as I can store, but more than that is madness.) But sometimes I succumb.

I succumbed recently to the twin succubi of mandarin oranges and Betty Crocker white cake frosting. I had no real plans for either of these things, but THEY WERE FREE. Unfortunately, when I got home I realized that mandarin oranges had been free not too long before, and now we had a lot of mandarin oranges.

So I made Orange Cake.

I forgot where I got this recipe — I copied it into my recipe book months ago and then lost the source. But I modified it anyway, so that’s all right. Here’s what you do.


2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 c sugar
1/2 c milk
1/2 c orange juice (you can use the syrup that the mandarin oranges are canned in)
1/2 vegetable oil
3 eggs, beaten


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two eight-inch round cake pans. In a measuring cup, combine the milk, the orange juice, the oil, the beaten eggs and 1 1/2 tsp orange zest if you have it (I didn’t); set aside. In a large bowl, stir salt, flour, and baking powder; mix in sugar. Make a well in the center, pour in the milk mixture, and stir until thoroughly combined. Divide batter into two cake pans; bake 35 minutes, cool, and frost with the frosting of your choice. Cover with mandarin oranges.

Granted, this cake is only free if you already had flour, sugar, baking powder, eggs, and oil at your house. But if you did, and you scored some free mandarin oranges and frosting? Recession dessert at your house tonight!