Snackin Cake: Back to the 70s

Posted by on Sep 6, 2015 in Do-It-Yourself, Frugal For Everyone, Recipes | 41 comments

snackin cakeI don’t know how many of you remember the Snackin Cake Mixes that were so popular during the 70s. All you had to do was mix all the ingredients right in the disposable pan that came with the mix. We loved those mixes and with good reason. They were low-cost, easy to prepare, tasted good and basically no cleanup.

Of course, anytime a commercial product hits the market, someone is smart enough to create a homemade version. That’s what happened here and the homemade Snackin Cake Master Mix soon made the rounds. This homemade version was even better than the original – it cut the cost of the snackin cake in half, tasted just as good or better and provided a lot more variety.

Recently I came across a binder that still contained a large number of my old-time recipes, including this one.

SNACKIN CAKE MASTER MIX:                          

  • 9 cups flour
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 5 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 1 lb (454g) shortening

In large bowl mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Keep mixing until everything is well blended. Cut the shortening into the dry mix with a pastry blender until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Store in airtight container in a cool, dry place for no more than 2 months.  Makes approximately 18 cups mix.

Snackin Cake RECIPES:

The directions for the snackin cakes below are all the same. Mix all the ingredients (except the topping ingredients) in an 8-inch cake pan until well blended. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the pan and to smooth out the top of the batter. If a topping is chosen follow the directions given.

Bake in preheated 350F oven for 30 minutes or until cake tests done.

I used non-stick pans and to prevent damaging them I used a plastic fork to stir the batter and my plastic lettuce knife to cut the cakes.

Basic Cake: 

  • 2 cups mix
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • ½ cup milk

Topping (Optional):

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 Tbsp. butter

Topping: Mix the brown sugar and flour, then using a fork mix in the butter until crumbs form. Spread over top of the cake batter before baking.

snackin cake

The basic cake became a banana-chocolate chip cake by making minor changes. Milk was cut back to 1/4 cup, vanilla extract was replaced by banana extract and 2 mashed bananas and 1/2 cup chocolate chips were added. Yummy.


Spice Cake:

  • 2 cups mix
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup strong coffee
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp.  each ginger, nutmeg and ground cloves

snackin cake


 Chocolate Cake:

  • 2 cups mix
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • ¾ cup ice water
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

snackin cake 


Coffee Cake:

  • 2 cups mix
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Topping (Optional):

  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ Tbs. cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup ground nuts

Topping: Mix topping ingredients together and spread over the cake batter before baking.

snackin cake

I turned this into an almond coffee cake by adding 1/2 cup chopped almonds and 1 tsp. almond extract to the cake batter and used 3/4 cup ground almonds in the topping. It was really good, not overly sweet.

You can be quite creative with these snackin cakes simply by adding different ingredients. For instance, to the basic cake you could add 1 cup finely chopped apple and 1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon or 1 cup grated carrot and ½ Tbsp. cinnamon.  For the coffee cake, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped nuts (the same nuts as used in the topping). You get the idea. Experiment, have fun and make these cakes your very own.

Do you have any snackin cake recipes leftover from that time? Please share, I would love to add them to my collection.

Talk to you again next week,


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  1. I’ve never heard of snackin cake mix before. The cakes that you made looked delicious.

  2. When I saw its title, I thought this post would be about commercially available snack cakes that you once enjoyed but are no longer available, and I was going to weigh in with my fondness for Hostess’ Suzy-Q’s. Segueing to the topic at hand, perhaps the Snackin’ Cake chocolate cake could be used to make a ‘queen-size’ Suzy-Q – I’m sure the many chocoholics in the group would be interested in such a recipe.

    • Andy, I always look forward to Sunday mornings to see your comments. I’m afraid I must plead ignorance about Suzy-Qs. Never heard of them but since they’re a Hostess product I imagine they’re tremendously sweet. So here’s my suggestion – spread the chocolate cake recipe on a cookie sheet and bake. When done, slather with raspberry jam then cover with whipped cream, roll up like a jelly roll. Am I close?

      • Re Suzy Q’s, I was going to provide a link to a photo but then I thought, “Lenie the Researcher needs no link.” So perhaps I should provide a link to a photo. The whipped cream part sounds right; there’s no raspberry in Suzy Q’s but it sounds like an interesting addition!

        • Andy, I checked out the link and you have to admit, I was pretty close. I do think the raspberry would be an improvement – maybe you can let Hostess people know. Have a great week and even slip out to enjoy a SusyQ a few times.

  3. Hi, Lena
    Never heard of it before. But I was impressed by many cakes can be made from it. It is useful particularly for party.
    Thanks for introduce to us.
    – Stella

    • The snackin cakes were very popular when I was a young wife and mother. They were just so easy to make but the really big appeal was ‘no mess to clean up’.

  4. Thanks for sharing this simple and yummy treats. I told my husband that he needs to buy me a good oven so I can bake for him. Well, he did buy me an oven but I haven’t bake any yet. I guess I could start now with your yummy recipes.
    I will definitely start with the coffee cake.

  5. I have never even heard of snackin cake mixes but it sure sounds and looks delicious, especially the coffee cake. Autumn is round the corner, so time for me to start baking again. I will definitely try the spice cake recipe and get back to you. Thanks for sharing Lenie x


  6. I’ve never heard of Snackin’ Cakes, but the idea if great, minus the disposable pan. I’d mostly like try the spice cake recipe you included in this post.

  7. Like the others Lenie I have no memory of these Snackin Cake mixes but then that is not a big surprise as baking then, and now, has never been my forte. In NZ we had Instant Pudding 🙂

  8. These sound delicious, especially the coffee cake, which has always been one of my favourites. Interesting that there’s not any actual coffee in it – I guess you’re meant to have it with a cup of coffee, LOL. And I love that it’s so easy and inexpensive to make! Now that it’s getting cooler, maybe it’s time to do some baking : ))

    • Hi Krystyna – That is one of the really great things about the cooler weather isn’t it? Having the house filled with those great baking smells, something summer cooking doesn’t really give you. I love that coffee cake and it does go really well with coffee. I think I’ll try another one soon with apple and cinnamon.

  9. Already posted this to Facebook, Lenie. I happen to be visiting my Seester in Montana and I said: hey, remember those snackin’ cake mixes with the little pan? Yep, you sure took us back. I had no idea you could create your own mix, though. I will be sharing this with her for sure!

    • Hi Rose – thanks for the share. It is nice to take a walk down memory lane ever once in a while isn’t it? I love mixes and usually try to have half a dozen or so on hand of different kinds – this one, another one similar to Bisquik (much, much cheaper). Makes life so much easier.

  10. I remember Snackin Cakes. There were so easy to make. I like the idea of a homemade version without all the artificial ingredients so often found in commercial mixes. I bet your version tastes great. I am pinning this for the future.

    • Hi Donna – Now we have Pinterest which is so much easier than the binders and notebooks I used to keep favourite recipes in. I have quite a few of those but I think it’s time to sort and throw out many of them such as the recipe for making potato salad for 50 LOL.

  11. Hi Lenie, you stumped me there for a moment too. I finally had to google 1970s snackin cake, and wa-la there it was and my memory was refreshed. You gotta love the Internet. Yes those were quick and easy but I’m sure your version being homemade is much tastier. Makes me think of my assistants Dump Cake recipe that she posted on my blog. That’s a one-panner too. Love the lack of mess and dishes.

    • Hi Susan, can’t believe I stumped you but glad Mr. Google was able to help. Funny thing, I was thinking about Kristi’s dump cake recipe when I finished this post because they are very similar, aren’t they? They are so easy to do and cleanup is a cinch.

  12. Snacking cakes are new to me but sounds great and so do your recipes Lenie! I’m all for anything that makes cooking easier and this seems like a wonderful idea especially for those last minute invites to a potluck. Thanks!

    • Marquita, if you have the master mix on hand you’re prepared for just about anything. They’re so quick to put together and you even carry it in the pan it was baked in – can’t get much easier than that.

  13. I vaguely remember Snackin Cakes. I’m pinning this to my Pinterest Recipe board, but the truth is, I don’t ever bake cakes I don’t want cake in the house—-or I’ll eat it! I save it as a special treat if we go out for dinner or if I absolutely NEED an almond croissant at the cafe across the street from our apartment.

    • Suzanne, I can totally understand your need for that almond croissant – I love anything almond too. As a matter of fact, I bought organic ground almond for one of my lavender products and ended up eating most of it – in and on cake, on yogurt, on oatmeal, etc. No willpower at all but since I’m a bit underweight I don’t have to worry.

  14. I’ve never heard of snackin cakes mixes. I did really want an Easy Bake Oven as a kid, but never got one. I think it was a similar type concept where you put the ready made cake into the little toy oven and watch it bake. I’m not positive though since I never did get one. Those recipes do look easy and I can see how they reflect the desire for convenience of the 70s.

    • Erica, I was just wondering if an Easy Bake Oven would be a good thing for seniors to have. You could bake small size cakes in it, right. I kind of like that idea. Gotta ponder that one. Sorry you never got yours (I wanted a horse which I didn’t get either).

  15. I wasn’t old enough to use the oven in the seventies, but I just saw something like this (pan included) at the store today and I thought, what a great idea! Of course I’d rather have the homemade version, so I can’t wait to give this a try. We could have a different flavor of cake every night!

    • Oh How young you are LOL. Interesting that you saw something similar at the store, didn’t realize they were still around although I can’t see why not. I know that they were popular when I was your age. Having the master mix on hand – I love all kinds of master mixes – does make it easy to whip up different cakes and it is so easy to change the ingredients to make totally different kinds that, as you said, you can have a different dessert every night.

  16. Snackin cakes – I wonder if this was a hit in the UK.

    Home made cakes are far nicer than shop bought cakes.

    • Ho Phoenicia – you’re right about homemade cakes tasting better and that’s what makes this master mix such a hit. You can add what you want and what your family likes. Couldn’t be better.

  17. I do remember them and they were good. I’m not sure I ever made them but my friends did and they were very popular little desserts for bridge games and such. Fun nostalgia.

    • Hi Beth, during the 70sI had young kids so I made these quite often and they always devoured them. They were always a big hit at any get together. You’re right about the nostalgia – when I come across some of the things I saved from early one I just get flooded with good memories.

  18. I don’t remember Snackin’ Cakes as a brand either. I do remember getting mixes for coffee cake and for corn bread that you mixed in a plastic bag and then poured into the pan that was provided.

    • Ken, the brands I remember are Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker but what you described is very similar to what we had, except we didn’t mix it in the bag but in the pad. I’ll bet the corn bread one was really good.

  19. These pictures make my mouth water Lenie. But they also make my teeth hurt. I have reduced my sugar intake. I wonder how this would work using either Xylitol or Stevia natural sweeteners? Have you ever tried a sugar natural supplement?

    • Patricia, I really haven’t tried it with a natural sugar replacement. I did grow stevia one year and got the book on how to process it but somehow or other I never did. I may try to make a small amount of mix, replacing the sugar with stevia and see how that works. The funny thing is that the cakes really aren’t overly sweet.

  20. I don’t remember snackin cakes. But, I’ve seen housewarming and Christmas gifts of something similar; a jar full of the ingredients to make brownies, attached to a brownie pan. I always thought they’d make great gifts. But I get so paranoid that some “food bug” would enter my jar. Then the person I gave the gift to would hate me the rest of their life. : ) Ahhh the joys of coming fun a dysfunctional Italian family!

    • Pamela, I don’t think you need to worry to much about any food bugs. I have two books about Gifts from the kitchen but because I am basically lazy I never seem to get around making any. But neither of the books warn about food bugs so I’m pretty sure you would be quite safe. 🙂

  21. Have to admit I have never even heard of snackin cake mixes. Most likely because we didn’t have them in Sweden. But your versions sound yummy. Just add cardamon to the spicy cake. That kind of cakes originate from Sweden and cardamon is probably the most important ingredient:-)

    • Catarina, thanks for the tip. You’re right, cardamon would add a lot to the spice cake and I’m thinking it would go pretty well with the almond coffee cake too. Great suggestion.

  22. Well, I’m certain I didn’t sleep through the 70’s but I must not have been much interested in baking back then because I have no memory of snackin’ cakes! Ha! But these homemade versions sound wonderful! My first thought is how economical, and the second thought is what a wonderful thing to have on hand for guests or an impromptu dinner party! Thanks!

    • Jacquie, when I made these cakes my oven wasn’t working so I went to my son’s place and used his oven. It took no time at all to make the 4 cakes – I left three with him and brought the almond coffee cake home (it was sooo good). But we tasted all four to make sure they were good enough to post. That was fun.


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