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Hoda Kotb's Ritz Cracker Cake Only Requires 2 Simple Ingredients

Hoda Kotb in gold dress
Hoda Kotb in gold dress - John Nacion/Getty Images

Even for experienced dessert chefs, boxed cake mix is a delicious and easy alternative to making a cake from scratch. Plus, there are infinite ingredients you can add to boxed cake mix to give it a personal, homemade touch. One recipe, requiring just two ingredients, was revealed on "Today" when host Hoda Kotb's co-workers presented her with a yellow box birthday cake embellished with Ritz crackers.

Ritz crackers aren't just visually appealing cake decorations, but they also offer the perfect complementary flavors and textures to upgrade a simple yellow-boxed cake. Just as we add salt to dessert recipes to enhance their sweetness and underlying seasonings, the Ritz crackers will add both a salty and buttery element to highlight the vanilla and sugar in a yellow cake mix.

You can break up a few sleeves of Ritz crackers with the back of a rolling pin before adding them to the cake mix's wet batter. The crackers will melt into the batter as it bakes, providing an underlying richness to the final result. If you want a nice crunchy complement to the tender cake crumb, you can crumble Ritz crackers over the top of the cake, or lightly press whole crackers into the icing-coated sides.

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Read more: 30 Types Of Cake, Explained

Ritz Cracker, Box Cake, And Store-Bought Icing Combinations

Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush with Ritz birthday cake
Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush with Ritz birthday cake - Today/Instagram

As a buttery, salty flavor agent, Ritz crackers will upgrade any cake mix and frosting combination you have in mind. If you go with a classic vanilla cake, yellow cake mix will be a tastier choice than white cake mix because yellow cake's additional egg yolks will optimize the Ritz cracker's buttery complement.

Bursts of buttery, salty Ritz crackers would also work well in a milk-chocolate devil's food cake with vanilla or chocolate buttercream frosting. The salt will temper the sweetness while also enhancing the notes of cocoa. You could even dip Ritz crackers in melted chocolate for perfectly crunchy yet decadent chocolate cake toppers.

Judging by the popularity of Ritz Bitz cheese and peanut butter sandwiches, you could likewise incorporate Ritz crackers into a box cake with peanut butter or cream cheese frosting. Another idea would be to swirl melted peanut butter into Ritz cracker-saturated yellow cake batter. The same swirl method would work with melted cream cheese and powdered sugar into a Ritz cracker and red velvet cake batter. For that matter, you could use Ritz crackers instead of graham crackers as the base of a classic New York cheesecake.

You could also draw inspiration from Tasting Table's numerous box cake mix hacks to employ the buttery, salty, crunchiness of Ritz crackers. For example, you could blend box cake batter with broken Ritz crackers to top a seasonal fruit cobbler.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.