Introduction: Illinois State University Bundt Cake

Here is a delicious recipe for a fun and festive cake themed for Illinois State University. This cake can be a recipe for any kind of theme with your choice of colors to be added, so feel free to get creative!

Step 1: Gather Ingredients

You Will Need to get the following supplies and ingredients before beginning to make the cake:

  • Pillsbury Supreme Moist® Classic White Premium Cake Mix
  • Light colored pudding mix (banana, lemon, strawberry, or pistachio work well)
  • 1 Cup water
  • ⅓ Cup oil
  • 3 Eggs
  • Cooking spray or Crisco oil
  • Bundt pan
  • Large bowl for mixing
  • 2 small bowls
  • Electric mixer or large spoon
  • Package of food dye
  • Confectioners sugar

Step 2: Prepare for Baking

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly coat bundt pan with cooking spray or crisco oil, being sure to coat the entire pan. This is a very important step for baking a cake, especially a bundt cake because if you do not coat the pan, the cake will stick and it will crumble and lose its shape.

Step 3: Mixing Ingredients

Mix water, oil, eggs, pudding mix, and cake mix in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed for two minutes or with a large spoon until the batter is smooth and mostly free from lumps. For our cake, we chose to use greek yogurt pudding. Adding pudding would be beneficial for any type of cake as it adds a little extra flavor and makes the finished product more moist.

Step 4: Prepare for Color

Pour the cake batter into the two smaller bowls with about half the batter in each. If you would like one color to be more dominate, add more batter to one of the bowls. Pick out the food dye colors of your choice. For Illinois State University’s colors, use the red and yellow dyes. Even though the cake mix is yellow, the pudding is likely to change the color of the cake, so the yellow dye is necessary. You can also choose any variation of colors for a cake of a different theme.

Step 5: Adding Color

In one of the bowls of cake batter, add around 60 drops of red food dye. Be careful adding the drops of dye as they can change the color of whatever surface you are preparing the cake on. Putting paper towels under the bowls during this step can prevent this. Not adding enough will result in a pink color, so be generous. Thoroughly mix until the food coloring has spread throughout the batter and entirely red. In the second bowl, add about 2- drops of the yellow food dye. Stir until the cake is solidly yellow. If you aren’t using yellow cake mix, you will want to add more so that when you stir the batter appears to be solidly yellow. Adding more dye will strengthen your color, if your cake is not the color you want just keep adding a few drops at a time.

Step 6: Layering the Cake

Take the newly red batter and pour half of it into the bundt pan, covering the entire bottom. Set the other half of the red batter aside. Pour half of the yellow batter over the top of the red batter in the bundt pan and set the other half aside as well. The second layer of yellow doesn’t have to have to completely cover the bottom layer, look at the pictures above as a reference. Once there is one layer of red batter and one layer of yellow batter in the bundt pan, pour the second half of the red batter evenly over the top of the two layers. Top the bundt pan off with the second half of the yellow batter to create four layers of red and yellow batter.

Step 7: Bake the Cake

After the oven is heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, place the cake in the oven and set a timer for 39 minutes. While the cake is in the oven, you can take this opportunity to clean out the bowls of batter. The dye can stain the bowls if left sitting for too long. Let the cake bake for 39 to 43 minutes. Starting when the timer goes off, open the oven and poke the cake with a fork or toothpick. Once the fork or toothpick comes out clean of crumbs, the cake is ready to come out of the oven.

Step 8: Cake Removal

Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for 10 to 15 minutes before removing it from the pan. Once the cake feels cool, place a large, flat plate upside down over the top of the bundt pan, and flip it all upside down, so that the plate is right-side up and on the bottom. The cake should come out smoothly onto the plate. If the cake does not seem like it is coming out, you may need to loosen the edges with a butter knife carefully and use more cooking spray next time.

Step 9: Making the Icing

Because Illinois State University’s colors are red and white, with a secondary color of yellow, we decided to leave our icing as plain white. To make the icing, add MEASUREMENT of confectioners sugar to MEASUREMENT of water in a small dish. Stir this mixture thoroughly until it develops into a paste. If a paste does not seem to be taking, keep adding confectioners sugar until it does. If you want your icing to be an exciting color, add whatever food dye you wish to the mixture.

Step 10: Applying the Icing

Take your icing mixing spoon and drizzle the fresh icing over the cake. Don’t worry about covering the whole thing--this icing works best as a drizzled glaze. We also added powdered sugar to give it extra sweetness and color.

Step 11: Cake Time!

Cut your cake and enjoy!