There are probably thousands of cake recipes. First there are all the cakes made from scratch and nowadays there are the hundreds of cake recipes that start out with a cake mix. I wouldn’t say one kind is better than another – I think they are all good!

Years Ago – back in the 70s – I spent a week in Michigan with my penpal Betsy and her family. I took along my two youngest sons and my sister Susanne. That trip was most memorable, especially a day we went blueberry picking at a berry farm. I took back to my parents home a Styrofoam cooler filled to the top with blueberries and used them every way imaginable. I canned blueberries in a sauce and made strawberry-blueberry jam – and we enjoyed my brother bill’s first wife’s Aunt Mary’s blueberry cake. So, this recipe has always been Aunt Mary’s Blueberry cake:

You will need:
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup shortening, melted
½ cup milk
1 egg
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 cups blueberries (fresh, if available)

½ cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup flour
¼ cup butter

Mix together sugar, shortening, egg and milk. Sift in flour, baking powder, and salt.
Fold in blueberries. Pour batter into a greased and floured 8” square pan. Mix together topping ingredients and sprinkle over the batter. Bake in preheated 375 degree over 25-30 minutes.
While I am on the subject of cakes, here are a few of my other favorites including another for blueberries,

Mary Jaynne’s Blueberry Cake

You will need:
1 pint whipping cream
1 (8 oz) and 1 (3 oz) packages of cream cheese, softened
¾ cup sugar
3 (3 ounces each) packages of lady fingers
1 (20 0z) can blueberry pie filling (I used two)
chopped nuts (I used diced almonds)

Whip cream until stiff and set aside. Next, beat the cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Fold whipping cream into cream cheese mixture. Open lady fingers to separate into single pieces and stand enough up to line inside sides of a 10” springform pan. Line bottom of pan with layer of lady fingers, cutting up some to fill in empty spaces. Add 1/3 of the cream cheese mixture. Cover with half of the blueberry mixture. Top with another layer of the lady fingers, 1/3 of the whipped cream mixture and remaining lady fingers. Cover with remaining whipped cream mixture and sprinkle with nuts (if desired. Not everybody likes nuts, I’ve discovered). Chill at least several hours; overnight is better. Makes 12-15 servings.


You will need:
1 package yellow cake mix
2 eggs
¼ cup water
2 tsp baking soda
1 can (16 oz) pumpkin
2 tsp pumpkin spice mix

Grease and flour a Bundt pan* Blend all ingredients and beat 4 minutes on medium speed with an electric mixer. Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan. Dust with confectioners sugar if desired.

Sandy’s cooknote: This one has been around a long time – maybe since the 1970s also. I have been partial to cake recipes that start out with a cake mix for a very long time.

Sandy’s Cooknotes: You can substitute a tube pan or use loaf pans if you don’t have a Bundt pan. Also, I think this recipe precedes the advent of cake mixes that have pudding in the mix. I would suggest using a Duncan Hines yellow cake mix, which doesn’t have pudding mixed in.


You will need:
3 cups finely grated carrots
2 cups flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
¾ cup crushed pineapple (drained)
½ cup nuts (optional)

Blend sugar and oil with electric mixer; add eggs and blend well. Sift together dry ingredients and add to the egg mixture. Then add carrots, nuts, and well drained pineapple last. Pour into a greased and floured 8×13” pan or 9×13” casserole pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes.

You will need:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tsp vanilla extract
¼ pound (1 stick) butter or margarine*
1 lb box powdered sugar, sifted

Cream together cream cheese and butter; add vanilla extract. Then blend in powdered sugar, a little at a time. Spread over cooled carrot cake. Sprinkle on additional chopped nuts if desired.

Sandy’s cooknote: Be careful using margarine in recipes. Make sure it’s not one of those spreads that are mostly oil. There are several brands that are the regular margarine. I think Imperial is one of the brands you can still safely use in baking. Personally, I use butter almost exclusively–I buy it whenever I can find it on sale and keep it in the freezer.

Sandy’s Cooknotes: This is from a 1971 PTA cookbook that I edited. Back then we were not as conscious of fat grams and too much sugar (obviously). I think one of these days I am going to see if I can reconstruct this cake using less oil and sugar, maybe try using Splenda. But this is the original and it’s a great cake.


You will need:
1/2 CUP shortening
¾ tsp baking soda
1 ½ cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour (sifted)
2 tsp baking powder
¼ cup sour milk*
½ tsp salt
3-4 ripe bananas
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Cream sugar and shortening. Beat eggs and add to mix. Add flour and other dry ingredients. Add sour milk and mashed banana. Add nuts. Pour into prepared greased and floured loaf pans. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Sandy’s Cooknote: This is another recipe from our 1971 PTA cookbook and Rosalia made this cake many, many times over the years. And if you don’t happen to have some sour milk laying around the house, all you need to do is add a small amount of vinegar or lemon juice to regular milk and voila! Sour milk!


You will need:
1 ¼ cups boiling water
1 stick butter
1 cup (dry) oatmeal
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/3 cups flour (all purpose)
1 cup chopped walnuts

Pour boiling water of oats. Add butter and let stand, covered, 20 minutes. Then add sugars and eggs, mixing well. Sift together dry ingredients and add, stirring in nuts last. Pour into a greased 9×13” pan. Bake at 350 degrees 35 minutes.


You will need:
1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 small can (5 oz) evaporated milk
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts

Mix topping ingredients in a saucepan; bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Pour over
Hot baked cake. Place cake under broiled for 1 minute but watch carefully as it burns easily. Cool on wire rack.

Sandy’s Cooknote: Grandma Glass was my girlfriend Connie’s mother. I think the first time I tasted this cake was at a Tupperware party at Connie’s house, when her mother was living with her. I had to have the recipe! This has been a tried and true favorite for decades. Try not to think of all the calories and fat grams. Eat a very small piece!


These are so yummy! Good to make when pistachio nuts are in season.

• One 18.25-ounce box Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Classic Yellow Cake mix
• 1 tablespoon cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
• 1/2 teaspoon pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
• 4 large eggs
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil
• 1/2 cup milk
• 1 large zucchini (about 10 ounces), shredded
• 1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
• Grated peel and juice of 1/2 lime
• 1/2 cup roasted, salted pistachio nuts (about 4 ounces), chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with baking liners. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, cinnamon, cardamom, pepper and cloves. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil and milk. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until smooth; stir in the zucchini.
2. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pans, filling each cup two-thirds full. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool.
3. Sift the confectioners’ sugar into a medium bowl. Whisk in the lime peel, lime juice and 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon water until smooth. Cover each cupcake with the glaze and sprinkle with the pistachios.



1 pkg (18.25 – 18.5-oz.) chocolate cake mix
1 can (14 oz.) Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 pkg (14 oz.) caramels, unwrapped
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans


Heat oven to 350° F

Prepare cake mix as pkg directs. Pour 2 cups batter into greased
13×9″ baking pan, and bake 15 minutes. In heavy saucepan over low
heat, melt caramels and butter. Remove from heat, add condensed
milk, mix well. Spread caramel mixture evenly over cake, spread
remaining cake batter over caramel mixture. Top with nuts. Return
to oven; bake 25 minutes longer or until cake springs back when
lightly touched. Cool. Garnish as desired. Store leftovers covered
at room temperature

Miss Grace Lemon Cake Copycat Version

I love making this recipe in mini-bundt pans to give as gifts when I meet girlfriends for a luncheon.

1 (18.2) oz package lemon cake mix
1 (3 oz) pkg lemon-flavored gelatin
3 eggs
¾ cup cooking oil
¾ cup water (I used half lemon juice)
lemon glaze*
shredded lemon peel from 2 lemons**

IN bowl of electric mixer, combine cake mix and dry gelatin powder. Add eggs, oil and water/lemon juice. Beat at low speed to combine ingredients, then increase speed to medium & continue beating for another 2 minutes. Divide batter into 6 greased and floured mini-bundt pans (or 1 regular size Bundt pan). Bake in preheated 350 degree oven 45-50 minutes for 1 cake (or until done using the mini-Bundt pans***) (until toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean) . Cool cake in pan 10 minutes, then invert cake onto serving plate. While cake is still warm, use thin skewer to poke holes over surface of cake. Spoon warm lemon glaze over cake until all of it is absorbed. Cool.

*Lemon Glaze: combine 2 tbsp melted butter with 1 ½ cups sifted powdered sugar and 3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice. Mix until smooth.
**Shred the peel from 2 lemons; cook in a little butter for a few minutes, then stir in a few tablespoons of sugar, – continue cooking until the peel is candied but not brown. Sprinkle over the cake(s) after adding the glaze.
***Using the mini-bundt pans, I baked the cakes for 15 minutes (on a cookie sheet), then turned them around & continued baking; I think they were done in about 30 minutes. I used the toothpick test and also watched to see if the cake pulled away a bit from the sides of the pan.

Happy Cooking!


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