Homemade Deep'N Delicious Cake
We’re less than a week away from Thanksgiving, and it’s a bit of a weird one. Even aside from the whole ~situation~ going on right now, there’s... well, everything else.
2 weeks ago, “Moving Day!!” is marked on our calendar. It was our originally scheduled moving date - supposed to be after my husband would (per the initial plan!) finish his degree in the US, and we’d move to Canada.
2016 changed those plans, for obvious reasons. I’d never been happy in the USA, and had spent a decade warning friends and family about what was coming. Well, trying to, anyway - my observations were usually written off as being “dramatic”, at best.
2016 was the start of people finally seeing what I was seeing, but it also escalated the things that made living in the USA stressful for me. So, we stepped up our plans and got out in 2018.
Somehow, I’d managed to miss the fact that we’d had the original moving date on the calendar, so it remained this whole time, just popping up as a random reminder last month.
It’s kind of breathtaking. I can’t imagine having been in Minneapolis this past 7 months. I can’t imagine trying to pack and sell a house during the unrest and pandemic, and I honestly don’t even know what the immigration situation would have been.
Would we have sold the house, packed up the RV, and seen my husband turned back at the border? I don’t know. It’s a sobering thought, especially going into the Thanksgiving long weekend.
Last night was the season premiere of both This Hour Has 22 Minutes, and Baroness Von Sketch. After a LONG summer, both were straight up medicinal - and got me thinking about how thankful I am to be home. I really, REALLY missed the CBC while I was away.
Anyway, when I woke up this morning, my thoughts were with Canadians still living in the US. While I’m super thankful to be home, I worry for those still in the US.
Some are in the same situation I was - Married to an American and in the process of moving home - while many others are considering that possibility. For some, moving home is a logistical impossibility, and they’ll be remaining in the USA.
I just look at how life has been since moving home - especially what with the move literally saving my life at this point - and ... I can’t even imagine.
Not to get super dark here, just letting my empathy run wild a bit. Anyway.
I woke up this morning and decided to wrote this post as a Thanksgiving gift to Canadians living in the US right now.
Canadian Comfort Food
As you may remember, I wrote “More Than Poutine: Favourite Foods from My Home and Native Land” when I was still living in the USA, and my experience living in the US was a HUGE contributor to its themes, and very existence.
Many of the recipes in the book are recipes I created years before ever considering writing cookbooks at all, much less *that* cookbook.
They were recipes that I had created - sometimes wholly from memory, sometimes with the source material right on hand, after a trip home - as a comfort thing. Survival skills! I was very homesick, very stressed out... so comfort food from home was *needed* - even when not readily available.
More Than Poutine was not only a love letter to my homeland on its birthday, it partially a record of around 10 years of my culinary coping methods, AND a gift to Canadians still living in the US.
Deep’N Delicious Cake was one of those comfort foods that I craved, and I wasn’t alone in that - it was a HUGELY popular request from expat Canadians, as I was developing More Than Poutine.
It was a weird craving, for me - it’s not a particularly good cake, even though it’s AMAZING as a comfort food.
As a former professional cake artist - known specifically for great tasting cakes! - and someone who’d literally written a book about making fabulous cakes - Evil Cake Overlord - Deep’N Delicious Cake is just an odd thing for ME to crave, you know?
Deep’N Delicious Cake
For those not “in the know”, Deep’N Delicious Cake is an iconic Canadian convenience food that’s been around FOREVER. Definitely since I was a kid - so at least 30 years.
The format hasn’t changed in that time, either: It’s a small, single layer cake, baked right into the foil pan its sold in. The top is piped with stars of a SUPER smooth and creamy frosting, with sprinkles on top. There’s a clear plastic cover, and you buy it in the freezer section.
Yes, Deep’N Delicious is a FROZEN cake - and you usually serve it right out of the freezer.
It’s actually edible right from the freezer, and goes against every bit of cake advice I’ve ever given. In particular, “cold cake is dry cake”, and that you should always let cake come to room temp before serving it.
I’m usually referring to refrigerated cake there, BTW - frozen usually isn’t even on my mental radar when talking about “cold cake”.
Homemade Deep’N Delicious Cake
The fun in trying to make an ACCURATE homemade version of Deep N’Delicious cake came from trying to replicate a cake and frosting that doesn't really attain a "frozen" texture when frozen.
It's actually kind of horrifying when you start really thinking about it, the crimes against cake that may have been committed to make the source material work!
I promised to not include anything TOO weird, hoping I wouldn't have to resort to creating a complete Frankencake.
In the end, the cake required swapping oil in for butter (butter tastes better, but affects the frozen texture!), and the decision to use something other than frosting as the frosting.
I’ll be honest, trying to figure out the “frosting” was a tough one, because I was focused on thinking of it as frosting. It wasn’t an American Buttercream, it wasn’t a Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
Based on the texture, there definitely wasn’t much/any butter at all, but it also didn’t seem to be shortening based.
My "eureka" moment came as I was sorting through recipes to post to the blog, coming across my Earl Grey Pie as a possibility. While it’s a custard recipe, it made me think - it was originally going to be based on a French Silk pie.
And that was the key - Deep N’ Delicious frosting wasn’t a frosting! It was French Silk Pie filling!
Some Tips for Making Deep’N Delicious “Frosting”
When making the Deep N’ Delicious Cake "frosting", it's best to keep everything as cold as possible.
If you can chill the bowl and whisk attachment for your stand mixer before making this, it works better.
I like to put the eggs in the freezer for a few minutes before using, also.
Be sure to use pasteurized eggs, as they are not cooked in this recipe!
Gluten-Free Deep’N Delicious Cake
Looking for a Gluten-Free version of Homemade Deep N Delicious Cake? I’ve got you!
Mix together 1 ¼ cup light buckwheat flour, ¼ cup sorghum flour, ¼ cup coconut flour, and ¾ tsp xanthan gum. Use this mixture in place of cake flour.
This recipe is one of many fantastic Canadian recipes in my cookbook, "More Than Poutine: Favourite Foods from my Home and Native Land”. "More than Poutine" is a Canadian cookbook like no other - written by a Canadian living away, it includes both traditional home cooking recipes, as well as accurate homemade versions of many of the snacks, sauces, convenience foods, and other food items that are hard to come by outside of Canada!
More Canadian Comfort Food!
Whether you’re a Canadian in the US or not, we could all use some comfort food these days. Here are some Canadian Favourites!
Dill Pickle Dip
French Canadian Pea Soup
Gluten-Free Imperial Cookies
Gluten-Free Pirate Cookies
Halifax Meat Paste Egg Rolls
How to Make Peameal Bacon and Back Bacon
Maple Butter Tarts
Poutine, My Way!
Puffed Wheat Squares
Tiger Tail Ice Cream
Looking for even more Canadian recipes? Check out our full Canadian Recipes list!
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Now, on to that Homemade Deep'N Delicious Cake Recipe!