Curious Cook: Dreamcycle built for 12 to 14

Thanks for reading Chatham County’s leading news source! Making high quality community journalism isn’t free — please consider supporting our journalism by subscribing to the News + Record today.

Unlimited Digital Access begins at $4.67/month

Print + Digital begins at $6.58/month


“It’s really, really good. And, I’m not even kidding, Debbie.”

Damien, one of the sales managers at the dealership will probably end up a millionaire, if I don’t kill him first.

Because in addition to believing himself a world-class entrepreneur, he also thinks he is the world’s funniest comedian.

One Sunday I took in a batch of chocolate chip cookies. They’re really tasty. Everybody loved them, and our general sales manager ate nine of them. Damien ate one and seemed to like it.

Then one day he brought in a bag from Chick-fil-A. He was very excited to show me what he had.

“They’re chocolate chip cookies! They’re still warm! Try one, they’re way better than yours!”

They weren’t bad, but they had oatmeal in them which, for me, is a cookie dealbreaker.

But thus began his hilarious running joke about how much better Chick-fil-A’s cookies were than mine.

After about the fourth time he shouted across the showroom about how poorly my cookies compared, I just walked over to my desk and got back to work.

Within 45 seconds, he came over to me.

“Are you mad? Don’t be mad, I’m just joking. I’m just teasing you, trying to get a rise out of you.”

So, from now on, when he mentions cookies, I slowly, lazily wave my arms in the air and, in a monotone, say, “Oh no, you think my cookies aren’t good, how will I ever go on?”

I think I took the fun out of it for him.

This week I decided to make my brother’s favorite cake, the one he asks for his birthday cake — an orange dreamcicle cake. But I don’t want a whole cake to be in the kitchen singing its sweet, sweet siren song, beckoning me into a cake-filled shame spiral. So I told the guys I’d bring the cake to work.

Damien asked what kind of cake it was and when I told him it was a Bundt cake; he informed me there was no way it would be better than a Nothing Bundt Cake (a local cakery).

Well, I took in the cake on Friday and he kind of loved it.

After he told me how good it was, he kept walking up to me and saying, “Really, Debbie, I know I tease you a lot, but I like your cake — better than Nothing Bundt’s.”

I didn’t tell him it all started with a cake mix.

Thanks for your time.

Contact me with questions or comments at

Dreamcicle Cake — Orange Cake

Flour and butter for coating pan

1 box extra-moist yellow cake mix

1 cup fresh orange juice

½ cup olive oil

¼ cup sugar + 1 tablespoon

3 tablespoons flour

¼ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350°.

Generously grease and flour a twelve-cup Bundt pan.

Place all the ingredients into the bowl of a mixer. Start on low and mix until combined.

Then turn up mixer and beat for about two minutes until glossy and fully blended.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 45-47 minutes until lightly golden and the cake is just started coming away from the pan.

Rest cake, still in pan on cooling rack for 20 minutes. Then turn out cake from pan and allow to cool on rack until fully cool.

Triple Vanilla Fudge Icing

1/2 cup butter

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup milk

Pinch of salt

1 vanilla bean split, with beans scraped out

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon vanilla paste

Put all ingredients, including empty vanilla pod into a saucepan and heat on medium until it boils. Let it cool slightly and mix in 1 ¾ to 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted until it is thick yet pourable.

Working quickly so that icing doesn’t set up in pan, pour over cake. Cover and keep at room temperature until the icing has set.

Serves 12-14.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here