Let Us Eat Cake

Some of my cherished childhood memories are based in the kitchen, helping my mother mix up myriad flavors of cakes for any number of occasions. Of course, my main role was to lick the beaters and the mixing bowl, so I wasn’t really helping. They’re marvelous memories, nonetheless.

Cakes are the favored dessert of many people, and they are the chosen sweet for celebrations of all kinds. In our house, birthdays signaled the time to make a special request for cake (mine was always chocolate, and my dad changed the rules to ask for lemon pie). Mom always obliged, and our birthdays were sweeter – both from the dessert and the love that went into the baking.

Some of the cakes we’ve included in this issue are a little unusual. They all sound delicious, though, and I’m taking home a few for my recipe collection. Be sure to check out the question included in the Mincemeat Bundt Cake section – we’d like to hear your opinion on this recipe and others, as well as your experiences in and memories of the kitchen. Write Recipe Box, c/o Grit, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609, or email us at RecipeBox@Grit.com.

Bundt and mincemeat

Kathy Moore, of Paris, Texas, requests a recipe for a mincemeat Bundt cake – a recipe she had 30 years ago that called for a portion of mincemeat placed in the Bundt pan along with sugar, butter and pecans. The remaining mincemeat was mixed with the batter.

While none of these recipes specifically indicated that mincemeat was placed in the cake pan before the batter was poured in, it seems to make sense that the mincemeat could be divided, with a small portion placed in the pan and the remainder mixed with the batter. Several recipes used the mincemeat solely in the bottom of the pan, for an upside down cake, but none of these were in Bundt pans. What do you think, readers?

Donna Berberick, of Edwardsville, Kansas, sends this version, found at CanadianLiving.com.

Mincemeat Bundt Cake

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups mincemeat
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
2 tablespoons orange juice

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 10-inch Bundt pan; set aside.

In bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time; add vanilla. Stir in mincemeat. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to butter mixture alternately with milk, making 3 additions of flour mixture and 2 of milk. Scrape into prepared pan, smoothing top.

Bake in center of oven until cake tester inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool in pan on rack. Turn out onto cake plate.

FOR TOPPING, stir together sugar, orange rind and orange juice until smooth; drizzle over cake. Yields 12 servings.

This version was found on the Web site www.Cooks.com.

Mincemeat Fruit Cake

2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 jar (28 ounces) mincemeat
1 can (1 1/3 cups) sweetened condensed milk
1 jar (1 pound) mixed candied fruit (about 2 cups)
1 cup chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 300°F. Butter 9-inch tube pan or springform pan. Line with wax paper; butter again. Set aside.

Sift flour and baking soda. Combine eggs, mincemeat, milk, fruit and nuts. Fold in dry ingredients. Pour into pan. Bake 2 hours. Cool, turn out on plate.

Chocolate, rum and yum!

Sylvia Bruce, of Billings, Montana, is looking for a rum cake recipe. She says it is a moist, dark chocolate cake.

Gerald MacDonald, of Fort Mill, South Carolina, sends this recipe. And remember, rum extract can be substituted for the alcohol. For every tablespoon of dark rum, use 2 tablespoons of rum extract. For every 5 tablespoons of light rum, use 1 tablespoon rum extract.

MacDonald’s Special Cake

1 box (18.25 ounces) yellow or chocolate cake mix
1 bottle (8 ounces) applesauce
1/2 cup sherry, rum or whiskey
1 small box (1 ounce, four 1/2-cup servings) instant vanilla pudding
4 eggs
1/2 cup oil (Gerald cuts this back to 1/4 cup)
2 handfuls chocolate chips

1/2 cup sugar (Gerald uses 1/4 cup)
1/2 stick margarine (Gerald uses only 2 tablespoons)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sherry, rum or whiskey

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour tube or Bundt pan; set aside.

In large bowl, blend together cake mix, applesauce, sherry, dry pudding, eggs, oil and chocolate chips. Fold into prepared pan; bake for 45 minutes, then test. Bake until done.

FOR ICING, heat sugar, margarine and water, then add sherry. Mix well.

Pour over hot cake in pan. Let stand 10 minutes, then remove cake from pan; otherwise it will stick.

Gerald adds chocolate chips, poppy seeds or cherries for variations.

Helen Lamison, of Carnegie, Pennsylvania, sends this version.

A Man’s Rum Chocolate Cake

1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
3 eggs
1 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup dark rum

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup dark rum
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened

Heat oven to 350°F. Line two 9-inch round cake pans with greased waxed paper; set aside.

Melt chocolate in water over very low heat, stirring constantly. Cool. Cream butter until fluffy, gradually beat in sugar. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

Sift flour with baking power, salt and baking soda. Add flour and chocolate alternately to egg mixture, beating until smooth. Stir in rum.

Distribute batter equally between prepared pans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until tester comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in pans; turn out onto racks and peel off waxed paper. When cool, fill and frost.

FOR FROSTING, melt chocolate with rum over low heat. Stir in vanilla. Add confectioner’s sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each cup. Beat in butter. Add a little more rum if necessary to make frosting of spreading consistency.

Cake rations

Raquel Alwran, of Charlotte, North Carolina, is looking for a recipe for a war cake baked in the 1940s. Her mother made the cake for her brother during his leave from military service.

Ronnie Lappe, of Brownwood, Texas, sends a version from Better Homes and Gardens Heritage Cook Book.

Eggless, Milkless, and Butterless Cake

3/4 cup raisins
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Cider Sauce:
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash ground cloves
Dash salt
1 1/3 cups apple cider or apple juice

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 9-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan; set aside.

Combine raisins and hot water; let stand 15 to 20 minutes.

Using electric mixer, thoroughly cream together brown sugar and shortening, about 5 minutes. Stir together flour, baking powder, allspice, salt, cloves, cinnamon and baking soda. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture alternately with raisin mixture, beating after each addition. Fold in nuts. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until done. Serve with warm Cider Sauce.

For Cider Sauce: In saucepan, combine cornstarch, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Gradually blend apple cider into mixture; cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.

Dorothy Lipskey, of Portland, Oregon, sends this version.

Depression Cake

2 cups sugar
2 cups coffee
2 cups raisins
1/2 cup shortening
1 apple, peeled and grated
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cloves
1 cup chopped nuts

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray Bundt pan with cooking spray; set aside.

Combine sugar, coffee, raisins, shortening and apple; cook for 10 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 30 minutes or until done.

Angelic dessert

Edith Breker, of Fort Myers, Florida, asks if anyone has a recipe for an angel food cake with strawberries and whipped cream. The cake was split, then filled and iced with the strawberry mixture.

Alice Miller, of Winfield, Kansas, sends this recipe, writing, “I received this recipe in 1959. Sometimes I had some frosting left over and coated the sides. You can wrap this to freeze.”

Angel Food Bavarian


2 tablespoons plain gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup boiling water
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries, not thawed
1 1/2 cups whipped cream
Angel food cake

Stir gelatin into cold water to dissolve. Add boiling water, sugar and frozen strawberries. After mixture thickens, whip until light and fold in whipped cream.

Cut cake into 3 layers. Coat layers and top with strawberry mixture. Freeze.

Cake with Hawaiian twist

Nancy Settlemires, of Walnut, Mississippi, would like a recipe for a Hawaiian Pineapple Poke Cake, which includes cake mix, vanilla pudding mix and pineapple.

Yvonne Leiphart, of York, Pennsylvania, was among those to send this recipe.

Cake That’s Better Than …

1 package (18.25 ounces) plain yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup whole milk
3 large eggs

1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple packed in juice, undrained
1 cup sugar
1 package (5.1 ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix
3 cups whole milk
1 container (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1 package (6 ounces) frozen unsweetened grated coconut, thawed

Place rack in center of oven; heat to 350°F. Lightly mist 13-by-9-inch baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.

In large bowl, combine cake mix, butter, milk and eggs; blend with electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping sides if needed. Batter should look thick and well-blended.

Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing top.

Bake 28 to 32 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly pressed and just starts to pull away from sides of pan.

To prepare topping, place pineapple and juice and sugar in medium saucepan; cook over medium heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves and mixture comes just to a boil, about 2 minutes. Set pan aside.

Remove cake from oven and immediately poke holes in top with drinking straw, chopstick or handle of wooden spoon. Spoon pineapple mixture evenly over top of cake.

In another large bowl, place pudding mix and cold milk; blend according to package directions. Spread pudding over pineapple layer. Place pan in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

In large bowl, place whipped topping, pecans and coconut; stir gently until pecans and coconut are well distributed. Spread whipped topping mixture over pudding layer; return cake to refrigerator. Chill until topping sets, about 30 minutes more. Slice into squares and serve. Yields 20 servings.

NOTE: Store this cake, covered in waxed paper, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. It tastes best if made a day ahead of serving.

Dais Richardson, of Crawfordville, Florida, sends a slightly simpler version.

Hawaiian Pineapple Poke Cake

1 package (2 layer) yellow cake mix
1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 package (4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix
1 cup cold milk
2 cups whipped topping

Prepare and bake cake mix according to package directions for 9-by-13-inch cake pan.

Punch large holes in cake. Spread with pineapple. In large bowl, combine cream cheese, pudding mix and milk; beat until smooth and thick. Spread over pineapple. Top with whipped topping and coconut. Chill for 1 hour. Yields 16 servings.

‘Tis the season

Donnie Burch, of Matthews, Missouri, is searching for a lost recipe for a flu remedy that included warm water and a couple tablespoons of whiskey.
Stephen Fiske Sr., of Shinglehouse, Pennsylvania, sends this version.

Hot Toddy

1 ounce honey
1/3 ounce lemon juice
3 ounces hot water
1 1/2 ounces whiskey

Stir honey and lemon juice into extremely hot water, allow it to cool slightly, then add whiskey.

Or, warm honey and lemon juice for 30 seconds in microwave. Add hot water and whiskey.


  • Ernestine Edwards, of Greensburg, Kentucky, would like to know if anyone has heard of grape pie, and if there is a recipe.
  • Virginia Weaver, of Weirton, West Virginia, hopes someone will send a recipe for horseradish pickles.
  • Joyce Woods, of Guthrie, Oklahoma, is looking for a recipe for “gravy train,” or hamburger in gravy served over mashed potatoes. It was prepared at a high school in Streator, Illinois.
  • Joyce Todd, of Manhattan, Kansas, hopes to find a recipe that was published in Grit about 10 years ago. It is for Down Home Chowder, and includes potatoes, evaporated milk and two cans of clams.
  • Vera Sherbert, of Ellis Grove, Illinois, is searching for a recipe for a white fruit cake.
  • Ann Gubler, of LaVerkin, Utah, has a good neighbor who would like her to make Salt Rising Bread. She has been unable to locate it, though she remembers seeing the recipe in years past.

If you’ve been looking for a long lost recipe, or can provide one, please write to Recipe Box, c/o Grit, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609 or email us at RecipeBox@Grit.com. Please include your name, address and daytime phone.

Recipes cannot be returned as they are eventually sent to the person requesting the recipe. Recipe requests and responses will be printed at our discretion and as space allows. Addresses are not printed to allow Grit the opportunity to publish recipes before sending them on to the requesting party.

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