Some people might see using a cake mix as cheating; I see it as a foundation. I take that foundation and build from it, adding the ingredients that make the cake unique.
In this case, I made a cake for my LARP group. We'd picked up a couple of boxes of Manischewitz cake mix cheap after Easter. Since these mixes have wheat in them, my wife can't have them (she's getting a cake of her own made for her). This leaves me free to use spices I don't get to often, as well as other ingredients like eggs and milk.
Set aside in a bowl 1 tsp each of Jell-o White Chocolate pudding mix (3.3 oz box) and Jell-o Butterscotch pudding mix (3.5 oz box).
Preheat oven to 350 F and grease large glass baking dish with canola oil.
In large mixing bowl place cake mix from one 14 oz box Manischewitz extra moist chocolate cake mix (with frosting), 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp Turkish fine mixed medium and dark roast coffee, remainder of butterscotch pudding mix, 1 tbsp Bis-Quick gluten-free baking mix, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp saigon cinnamon, 1/2 tsp allspice, 1/2 tsp chilli powder, 1/2 tsp ground cardamom, and 1 tbsp Hershey's Special Dark cocoa. Mix together, add 3 eggs, 1 tbsp golden rum, 2 tbsp canola oil, and 3/4 cup milk. Use hand mixer to blend together thoroughy for about 4 minutes on medium and pour into dish.
In same mixing bowl place cake mix from one 14 oz box Manischewitz extra moist yellow cake mix (with chocolate frosting), 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp ground mace, 1/8 tsp ground cloves, 2 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp roasted ground ginger, and remainder of white chocolate pudding mix. Stir together, then add 2 eggs, 2 tbsp canola oil, and 3/4 cup milk. Mix again for 4 minutes on medium with hand mixer; this mix will be significantly thicker and less fluid. Pour over chocolate mix evenly, then take a knife and make swirls evenly in cake mix (I got in about 3 by 6 of them). Raise oven heat to 375 and place in oven for 45 minutes.
For the frosting I took the frosting packets from both cakes and added the set-aside teaspons of pudding mix, a small dash each of roasted ground ginger, ground mace, ground cardamom, and saigon cinnamon. Stir in 2 tbsp margarine, 4 tbsp boiling water, a tiny dash of rum, then 1 cup powdered sugar gradually. Frost after cake has been out of oven 10-15 minutes, so it is warm enough that frosting will melt a bit and set neatly into place.
The different consistencies of the batters makes marbling easier; the chocolate portion is more fluid and greater in volume, accomodating the denser vanilla portion as it is swirled in, so that they remain separate but cook together. Each portion has different spices that come together nicely, and there were only a handful of pieces left at the end of the night to come home with me.
Pudding cakes have becoming something of a specialty for me. Early on I had a problem with them, in that they were too thick and would collapse. I solved this by adding baking soda or baking powder, as well as stuff like a bit of Bisquick at times, and often seltzer water, club soda, or other carbonated beverages. It doesn't take much to insure a pudding cake rises properly, and this cake was both fluffy and nicely solid; many ate their slices more like a brownie.
The result had a nice rich flavor to it, very fluffy with a nice strong undertone of spices along with the chocolate and vanilla. There wasn't much butterscotch flavor, but I do feel it added to the overall richness.