Friday, January 11, 2013

Granny's Old Fashioned Pudding Cake Vigilante

I couldn't resist doing this cake as soon as I saw it on Rachel vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off! I had no idea how amazingly crafty some celebs are in the kitchen...especially when that celebrity is Coolio!! (double exclamation). I guess I just think of them as being busy with other things and having personal chefs do a majority of their cooking. I definitely would not have pegged Coolio as the cooking type, but as he has dubbed himself, he truly is the 'Ghetto Gourmet', and was a final competitor against Lou Diamond Phillips , a.k.a LDP, in the Season 1 finale.

Coolio got a lot of flack during the program from esteemed chefs Guy Fieri, Rachel Ray, Alex Guarnaschelli (newest Iron Chef - Congrats), Scott Conant, and Marcus Samuelson. However, they all had to admit that no matter what Coolio's crazy approach and technique to the food was, it always tasted great and they were left surprised and had to admit," it worked".

This delicious looking cake recipe is passed down from Coolio's grandmother who used to make this while he was growing up and taught it to him. In honoring her, he brought it to the show to share with others. It was so sweet you had to love him for doing it. Sentiment aside, the cake held its look at it and I knew, I was making that! Luckily Food Network posted it online and here it is for your enjoyment! 

I don't normally (if ever) make box cakes but I wanted to do it his way and I have to admit, I really have missed the smell a boxed cake mix can put out when the cake is in the oven. I read the instructions for the whole recipe and said " That's it"? Easiest cake recipe I have had to do in a long time. There are additions of other ingredients that truly elevate the box cake to have a more complex flavor...add in the glaze on top and you are ready for a dessert that has some bright notes with creamy textures and plenty of sweet to satisfy. Well balanced. Coolio's grandmother had good taste and seems to have passed it on. Although it was LDP, FTW, Coolio rocked it out, literally, and it was an enormous amount of fun and laughs to watch him in action. All of the celebrities were amazing and it was fun to see them in a more personal way and how they interact with each other. Very entertaining and at times, very funny. If you haven't ever watched the show, I recommend it.


1 box vanilla cake mix
1 box vanilla pudding mix
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lime

2 cups powdered sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
1/4 cup buttermilk
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1/2 lemon


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mix, buttermilk, oil, eggs, lemon zest, and lemon and lime juices. Whisk well, or beat with a hand mixer, until the batter is combined and smooth.

Pour the batter into a 9 x 13 inch nonstick baking pan, or use a regular pan coated with cooking spray. Bake until the cake is baked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven.

Combine the powdered sugar, butter, buttermilk, lemon and lime zests and lemon juice in a saucepan and whisk well to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer over low heat. Remove from the heat.

Slice the cake into even pieces and drizzle the glaze on top.


  • I used ramekins for the cake since one large cake is too much for us in this household of 2. With the smaller portions we can freeze the rest or give it to neighbors or work associates.
  • I garnished with some zest as it appears they did on the show...although this is not reflected in Food Network's instructions. As always...modify to your liking and creative ideas.
  • In addition to glazing the top, I have pooled the glaze around the bottom of the cake, as was done on the show. The amount of glaze just on top may not be enough to compliment each bite of cake but like other things, this is a personal preference.
  • If there is no thick frosting on a cake, then I need whip cream! So I whipped up a batch to further garnish and compliment this cake.
  • For more of Coolio's recipes, such as the famous Soul Rolls or Heavenly Ghetallian bread, go to: Recipes



  1. YUM! Looks and sounds fantastic! I saw the celebrity cook off season 1 when it originally aired and I do remember this! You can't go wrong with some zest and a little whipped cream on top. I would like to pluck one of those out of my freezer right about now. Thanks for sharing mama!

    P.S. For some reason your post didn't go to my email.

  2. how long do you cook them if using ramekins? Is the pudding mix, the instant one?

    1. I don't recall, usually when I use smaller baking dishes then what is called for in the large recipe, I will halve the time and eyeball it through the oven glass and re-set my time based on what I am looking at. Once I see the tops starting to lightly brown, I will then check it with a toothpick and then every 5 minutes with a toothpick, until the toothpick comes out clean, and they are baked to my liking.
      The pudding mix is the instant pudding in a box.