Last week, I had come home from a busy morning and was practically unconscious. I crashed, sleeping for more than two hours. When I woke up, I had a message that our small group was getting together for an early New Year’s dessert night, which was to commence two and a half hours later.

This was the first holiday season that I’ve worked at a job outside of the home in more than ten years, and it threw me for a bit of a loop. Whereas in times past, I was the one who showed up at family gatherings and parties with beautiful, amazing, time-consuming offerings; this year, I, too, was hitting the grocery store on the way to whatever event was next. I didn’t like it.

That particular afternoon, I was determined to make something worthwhile but I had only two hours to do it, and I had to be able to use whatever it is that I had on hand.

There are a lot of websites now wherein you can type the ingredients you have and it will suggest recipes. Google does it, but my favorite is AllRecipes, probably just because I’ve used it forever, and I really like their reviews. The first thing I searched for was a plain white cake.

I settled on this White Texas Sheet Cake. (I have no idea what makes it Texas, but I believe them.) I didn’t have butter, so I monkeyed with that a little bit, but it turned out okay.

Since I didn’t want it to be just a white cake, I looked through my cabinets and found something delicious that my parents gave me for Christmas to jazz it up.


After making a melty mess in the microwave, I swirled the fruit into the top of the cake.



It baked up beautifully. I needed icing, though, and I didn’t have any confectioner’s sugar, so I did an AllRecipes search for “sugar,” “cocoa” but NOT “confectioner’s” with the keyword “frosting.” It didn’t find anything, so I omitted “cocoa” and it came up with this Creamy Frosting Recipe.

I added my own cocoa, so it had a hint of chocolate. The whole thing was still warm and gooey when we took it, and it’s just a sheet cake so I didn’t get a picture of it, but it was delicious.

Just because you are short on time and ingredients doesn’t mean you can’t make something fabulous! Try! Experiment! And let me know what surprises you’ve come upon.