I should mention that this happens to me a lot these days. Everyone buys certain packaged foods at the grocery store that maybe they've been buying for their whole life, without giving it a lot of thought. They seem familiar, they seem like food, and they seem like something that could've been made in their own kitchen. Well, I strongly suggest that everyone take the time to read not just the fat and calories on the label, but the actual ingredients. I can guarantee you that you will be surprised, and maybe even shocked, at the crazy things that food processors use and then tell us it's food. (Milk protein concentrate? What on earth is that anyway? Really, Velveeta? I mean, really?!!)
Back to the cake, I wasn't really intentionally reading the ingredients list, I was just opening the clamshell package. The ingredients label was over the opening, like a piece of tape, so I had to look at it to open it. Then I realized the ingredients list started on the top of the package, ran down the front, and then wrapped down to the bottom of the package. In a tiny 6 point font, the ingredients list is almost 2 1/2 inches long and 2 inches wide of solid print. And what are "propylene glycol mono and diesters of fats and fatty acids" anyway? Do you have that in your kitchen? Would you want that in your kitchen? Most boxed cake mixes aren't any better, and don't even get me started on the trans fat bonanza that is canned frosting.
So I'm here to ask you to please, make your own cake and frosting. From scratch. Without a box. I can't subscribe to the belief that it's okay for a food ingredients list to read like a science experiment. We already have food that can be turned into a very nice cake without a test tube anywhere in sight. I promise you, to make a nice, simple cake that your family will enjoy from scratch is not any harder or even more time consuming than using a box. And you will know and control exactly what is in it. And your ingredient list, even in a 12 point font still probably won't be 2 1/2 inches long and 2 inches wide!
To see just one example of an incredibly easy, low fat cake that takes about 5 minutes to make, and delicious frosting that also only takes a few minutes, using only these ingredients:
Step 7: Place the pan on a cooling rack and let the cake completely cool.
Now, a note about the flour. I switched to using almost exclusively whole grain flours quite a long time ago, and it was a steep learning curve to figure out the best way to do that. If you're not ready to make the switch, you can use half regular all purpose flour and half whole wheat pastry flour, or even just all purpose. If you really want to go crazy and up the healthy quotient, substitute up to 25% of the wheat flour for a different whole grain flour, like oat flour, brown rice flour, millet flour, etc. I think it's great to have your cake, and eat its good nutrition too! If you're making a cake that doesn't have a strong flavoring though, like a vanilla cake, or an angel food cake, you're probably going to want to stick to refined white flours. Even I admit that there are times when whole grain isn't a viable option.
Step 2: Increase the heat to about medium or slightly above medium. Allow the mixture to cook, without stirring, for about 5 minutes. It should bubble up from the center and turn a bit (not a lot) darker brown. It's okay to swirl the pan a bit, but don't stir.
Step 4: When the caramel sauce is cooled, beat in the powdered sugar with a fork until it becomes frosting.