Ina Garten’s Quick and Easy Weeknight Bolognese

Ina Garten Weeknight Bolognese plate

This recipe from Ina Garten’s cookbook – How is Easy is That? - gets rave reviews online, but some reason I had yet to make it. I thought that a good Bolognese needed hours to make, but this streamlined version manages to nearly rival the depth and richness of a long-cooked version. It comes together fast, with readily available ingredients, making it an easy at home recipe.

Download Ina Garten’s Quick and Easy Weeknight Bolognese recipe

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound lean ground sirloin (90%)

4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)

1 tablespoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1¼ cups dry red wine, divided

1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound dried pasta, such as orecchiette or small shells

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed

¼ cup heavy cream

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground sirloin and cook, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the meat has lost its pink color and has started to brown. 
  2. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, oregano, and hot red pepper flakes and cook for one minute. Pour the wine into the skillet and stir to scrape up any browned bits. Add the tomatoes, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1½ teaspoons ground pepper, stirring until combined.  Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to a boil, add a tablespoon of salt and the pasta and cook according to the directions on the box.
  4. While the pasta cooks, finish the sauce. Add the nutmeg, chopped basil, cream and add the remaining ¼ cup of wine to the sauce and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. When the pasta is cooked, transfer it with a slotted spoon or sieve to the pan with the sauce, saving the ½ cup of the pasta liquid.  Cook for one minute, adding pasta water, a bit at a time, if necessary to achieve desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with Parmesan on the side.

Ina Garten Weeknight Bolognese Orchiette Pasta
Ina Garten Weeknight Bolognese Orchiette Pasta
Ina Garten Weeknight Bolognese Orchiette Pasta

King Arthur Flour Super Easy Crispy Cheesy Pan Pizza

King Arthur Flour Super Easy Cheesy Pan Pizza

I’ve seen this recipe posted so often recently, with rave reviews, that I decided I’d better make it and see for myself. One bite of this crispy, crunchy, cheesy pizza and you will understand why it is King Arthur Flour’s recipe of the year. It’s similar to a Chicago deep dish, but the crust is so soft and tender, like focaccia, and the mozzarella melts around the edges, forming a deliciously crusty edge. Kristen Miglore from Food 52 posted a great video that shows how easy this recipe is to make at home, you can view it here

Download King Arthur Flour Super Easy Crispy Cheesy Pan Pizza recipe

For the Crust:

2 cups (240g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon instant yeast or active dry yeast

3/4 cup (170g) lukewarm water

1 tablespoon (13g) olive oil + 1 1/2 tablespoons (18g) olive oil for the pan

For the Topping:

6 ounces (170g) mozzarella, grated (about 1 1/4 cups, loosely packed)

1/3 to 1/2 cup (74g to 113g) tomato sauce or pizza sauce, homemade or store-bought (Rao’s or Muir Glen Pizza Sauce are both good options)

*freshly grated parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, and/or fresh herbs for sprinkling on top after baking, optional


  1. Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess.
  2. Place the flour, salt, yeast, water, and 1 tablespoon (13g) of the olive oil in medium/large bowl.
  3. Stir everything together with wooden spoon or rubber spatula to make a shaggy, sticky mass of dough with no dry patches of flour. about 1 minute by hand. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to gather the dough into a rough ball; cover the bowl with towel or plastic wrap.
  4. After 5 minutes, uncover the bowl and reach a bowl scraper or your wet hand down between the side of the bowl and the dough, as though you were going to lift the dough out. Instead of lifting, stretch the bottom of the dough up and over its top. Repeat three more times, turning the bowl 90° each time. This process of four stretches, which takes the place of kneading, is called a fold.
  5. Re-cover the bowl, and after 5 minutes do another fold. Wait 5 minutes and repeat; then another 5 minutes and do a fourth and final fold. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest, undisturbed, for 40 minutes. Then refrigerate it for a minimum of 12 hours, or up to 72 hours. It'll rise slowly as it chills, developing flavor; this long rise will also add flexibility to your schedule.
  6. About 3 hours before you want to serve your pizza, prepare your pan. Pour 1 1/2 tablespoons (18g) olive oil into a well-seasoned cast iron skillet that’s 10” to 11” diameter across the top, and about 9” across the bottom. Heavy, dark cast iron will give you a superb crust; but if you don’t have it, use another oven-safe heavy-bottomed skillet of similar size, or a 10” round cake pan or 9” square pan. Tilt the pan to spread the oil across the bottom, and use your fingers or a paper towel to spread some oil up the edges, as well.
  7. Transfer the dough to the pan and turn it once to coat both sides with the oil. After coating the dough in oil, press the dough to the edges of the pan, dimpling it using the tips of your fingers in the process. The dough may start to resist and shrink back; that’s OK, just cover it and let it rest for about 15 minutes, then repeat the dimpling/pressing. At this point the dough should reach the edges of the pan; if it doesn’t, give it one more 15-minute rest before dimpling/pressing a third and final time.
  8. Cover the crust and let it rise for 2 hours at room temperature. The fully risen dough will look soft and pillowy and will jiggle when you gently shake the pan.
  9. About 30 minutes before baking, place one rack at the bottom of the oven and one toward the top (about 4" to 5" from the top heating element). Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  10. When you’re ready to bake the pizza, sprinkle about three-quarters of the mozzarella (a scant 1 cup) evenly over the crust. Cover the entire crust, no bare dough showing; this will yield caramelized edges. Dollop small spoonfuls of the sauce over the cheese; laying the cheese down first like this will prevent the sauce from seeping into the crust and making it soggy. Sprinkle on the remaining mozzarella.
  11. Bake the pizza on the bottom rack of the oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and the bottom and edges of the crust are a rich golden brown (use a spatula to check the bottom). If the bottom is brown but the top still seems pale, transfer the pizza to the top rack and bake for 2 to 4 minutes longer. On the other hand, if the top seems fine but the bottom's not browned to your liking, leave the pizza on the bottom rack for another 2 to 4 minutes. Home ovens can vary a lot, so use the visual cues and your own preferences to gauge when you’ve achieved the perfect bake.
  12. Remove the pizza from the oven and place the pan on a heatproof surface. Carefully run a table knife or spatula between the edge of the pizza and side of the pan to prevent the cheese from sticking as it cools. Let the pizza cool very briefly; as soon as you feel comfortable doing so, carefully transfer it from the pan to a cooling rack or cutting surface. This will prevent the crust from becoming soggy.
  13. Serve the pizza anywhere from medium-hot to warm. Use a large serrated knife to gently cut through pizza, using sawing motion. Sprinkle with optional grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, red pepper flakes, herbs and serve.

King Arthur Flour Super Easy Cheesy Pan Pizza dough ball
King Arthur Flour Super Easy Cheesy Pan Pizza dough ball
King Arthur Flour Super Easy Cheesy Pan Pizza dough ball
King Arthur Flour Super Easy Cheesy Pan Pizza dough ball
King Arthur Flour Super Easy Cheesy Pan Pizza dough ball

Quick Skillet Paella for Two

Quick Skillet Paella for Two final

Some may scoff at the idea of a “shortcut” paella that tastes great, but this recipe really delivers amazing flavor in record time. A few key ingredients lend to the authentic flavor – saffron, smoked paprika, and Spanish chorizo – all add tremendous flavor. Everything is cooked in a 12-inch nonstick skillet, but a well-seasoned 12” cast iron skillet will work too, and either pan will produce the paella’s signature crispy bottom crust called soccarat. If you are cooking Paella for more than 2 or 3 people, you might want to consider a traditional paella pan.  These are wide and shallow dishes that are perfect for cooking and serving paella.  Typically you can get them in carbon steel or enameled steel.  Carbon steel lasts longer but is more work to maintain; enameled steel is easier but won’t withstand heavy use.

Download Quick Skillet Paella Two recipe

6 ounces extra-large shrimp (21 to 25 per pound), peeled, deveined, and tails removed

8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

1 small onion, chopped

½ red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped

¼ cup dry white wine

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 garlic cloves, minced

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

1 bay leaf

¾ cup Valencia or Arborio rice

Salt and pepper

2 ¾ cups chicken broth

3 ounces Spanish dry-cured chorizo sausage, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

Pinch saffron threads (optional)

2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley

¼ cup frozen peas, thawed, optional

Lemon wedges

  1. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towel and season with salt and pepper and refrigerate until needed.
  2. Season chicken thighs with salt and ground pepper, set aside until needed.
  3. Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and red pepper and cook until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in wine, tomato paste, garlic, paprika, and bay leaf and cook until liquid evaporates, and mixture looks oily, 2 to 4 minutes.
  4. Stir in rice and cook until grains are well coated with tomato mixture, about 1 minute. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Stir in broth, Spanish chorizo, saffron, (if using); chicken; and ⅛ teaspoon salt.
  5. Bring to strong simmer and continue to cook, uncovered, over medium heat until liquid level falls just below surface of rice but paella still looks wet, 10 to 14 minutes. (After first 5 minutes of simmering, do not stir or paella will become starchy.)
  6. Add shrimp to pan and nestle halfway into rice. Continue to cook until shrimp are mostly pink, and all liquid has been absorbed, 4 to 7 minutes longer (paella will crackle and pop when liquid is absorbed).
  7. To develop crust (socarrat) on bottom of paella, continue to cook until crackling and popping sounds become more pronounced, while occasionally rotating skillet over the burner for even browning, 3 to 5 minutes. At this point, shrimp should be almost completely pink, and paella should look dry on top.
  8. Discard bay leaf. Sprinkle with peas and parsley, cover, and let warm through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and s.erve with lemon wedges and drizzle with extra oil.

Quick Skillet Paella arborio rice
Quick Skillet Paella arborio rice 

Quick Skillet Paella shrimp layer
Quick Skillet Paella shrimp layer

Blue Ribbon Banana Cream Pie

Blue Ribbon Banana Cream Pie 

If you love banana cream pie, this is the only recipe you will ever need - luxurious pastry cream surrounds sliced bananas and lathered in freshly whipped cream. The filling’s banana flavor in heightened by infusing the pastry cream with sautéed bananas. I prefer the taste of a homemade flaky butter crust, but you can use a ready-made pie crust, or graham cracker crust. Cook’s Country developed this recipe back in 2012 and I’ve yet to find one that beats it. They included some helpful notes with the original recipe: Use all-yellow to lightly spotted, not green-topped or all-brown bananas for this recipe. Peel and slice the bananas just before using to help prevent browning. When straining the half-and-half in step 2, do not press on the bananas or the custard will turn gray as it sits. The pie can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Because the mixture in step 3 is very thick, the temperature varies a bit from place to place in the pot; be sure to check the temperature in various locations before removing the pot from heat.

Download Blue-Ribbon Banana Cream Pie recipe

5 ripe bananas (see note above)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter (divided)

2 ½ cups half-and-half

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

6 large egg yolks

¼ teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1 9” prebaked pie shell, or graham cracker crust

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

  1. Peel 2 bananas and slice into ½-inch-thick pieces. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add sliced bananas and cook until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add half-and-half, bring to boil, and boil for 30 seconds. Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 40 minutes.
  2. Whisk granulated sugar, egg yolks, and salt together in large bowl until smooth. Whisk in cornstarch. Strain cooled half-and-half mixture through fine-mesh strainer into yolk mixture—do not press on bananas—and whisk until incorporated; discard cooked bananas.
  3. Transfer mixture to clean medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and registering 180 to 185 degrees, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove pan from heat; whisk in remaining 3 tablespoons butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Transfer pastry cream to bowl, press greased parchment paper directly against surface, and let cool for about 1 hour.
  4. Peel and slice remaining 3 bananas ¼ inch thick and toss with orange juice. Whisk pastry cream briefly, then spread half over bottom of cooled pie shell. Arrange sliced bananas on pastry cream. Top with remaining pastry cream.
  5. Using stand mixer fitted with whisk, whip cream, confectioners’ sugar, and remaining ½ teaspoon vanilla on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to high and whip until stiff peaks form, 1 to 3 minutes. Spread whipped cream evenly over top of pie. Refrigerate until set, at least 5 hours and up to 24 hours. Serve.

Blue Ribbon Banana Cream Pie bananas
Blue Ribbon Banana Cream Pie bananas
Blue Ribbon Banana Cream Pie bananas

Thin Crispy Salted Oatmeal Cookies 

Salted Thin Crispy Oatmeal Cookies Jar

Most people love big chewy oatmeal cookies, but I’m partial to this thin, crispy, buttery version from America’s Test Kitchen’s The Perfect Cookie -  They stay crisp for days in a sealed container, or you can freeze them and enjoy whenever you’re in the mood for one. I prefer them frozen, extra crunchy – they’re addictive!  

Download Thin Crispy Salted Oatmeal Cookies recipe

Makes 24 cookies

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (5 ounces)

¾ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon table salt

14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks), softened but still cool, about 65 degrees

1 cup granulated sugar (7 ounces)

¼ cup packed light brown sugar (1 3/4 ounces)

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats (see note)

½ teaspoon flaked sea salt


To ensure that the cookies bake evenly and are crisp throughout, bake them 1 tray at a time. Place them on the baking sheet in 3 rows, with 3 cookies in the outer rows and 2 cookies in the center row. If you reuse a baking sheet, allow the cookies on it to cool at least 15 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack, then reline the sheet with fresh parchment before baking more cookies.

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 3 large (18- by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl
  2. In standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars at medium-low speed until just combined, about 20 seconds. Increase speed to medium and continue to beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute longer. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula. Add egg and vanilla and beat on medium-low until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl again. With mixer running at low speed, add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated and smooth, 10 seconds. With mixer still running on low, gradually add oats and mix until well incorporated, 20 seconds. Give dough final stir with rubber spatula to ensure that no flour pockets remain, and ingredients are evenly distributed.
  3. Divide dough into 24 equal portions, each about 2 tablespoons (or use #30 cookie scoop), then roll between palms into balls. Place cookies on prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2-1/2 inches apart, 8 dough balls per sheet. Using fingertips, gently press each dough ball to 3/4-inch thickness. Sprinkle each cookie with a pinch of sea salt.
  4. Bake 1 sheet at a time until cookies are deep golden brown, edges are crisp, and centers yield to slight pressure when pressed, 13 to 16 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack, cool cookies completely on sheet.

Salted Thin Crispy Oatmeal Cookies sheet
Salted Thin Crispy Oatmeal Cookies sheet

Classic Beef Pot Pie

Classic Beef Pot Pie Serving

Comfort food at its best, this recipe comes from a 2014 fall issue of Cook’s Country magazine. The beef comes out tender and the meaty filling is rich and delicious, perfect for a weekend supper.

Download Beef Pot Pie

Serves 6

1 (2 1/4-pound) boneless beef chuck-eye roast, trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces

Salt and pepper as needed

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 ounces cremini mushrooms, trimmed and roughly chopped

1 onion, chopped fine

2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 tablespoons tomato paste

4 garlic cloves, minced

½ cup dry red wine

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 ¾ cups beef broth

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 bay leaf

1 cup frozen peas

1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 (9-inch) store-bought pie dough round (Wholly Wholesome Bake At Home Organic Pie Dough or Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust)

*BEFORE YOU BEGIN :You should have about 1 3/4 pounds of meat after trimming. Note that only half of the meat is browned. You can use button mushrooms instead of the cremini.

  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Pat beef dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add half of beef and cook until well browned all over, 7 to 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer beef to bowl with remaining uncooked beef.
  1. Add remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil to now-empty pot and reduce heat to medium. Add mushrooms, onion, and carrots and cook until vegetables are lightly browned, about 5 minutes, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in tomato paste and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  1. Stir in wine and cook until evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in flour until vegetables are well coated and cook for 1 minute. Stir in broth, soy sauce, Worcestershire, and bay leaf until combined. Add beef and bring to simmer. Cover and transfer to oven. Cook until beef is tender, about 1 1/4 hours.
  1. Remove filling from oven and increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Transfer filling to 9-inch deep-dish pie plate; discard bay leaf. Let filling cool, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Stir in peas and 1 teaspoon chopped thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  1. Brush rim and interior lip of pie plate with egg. Top filling with pie dough so dough overhangs edges of pie plate slightly. Fold overhanging pie dough inward so folded edge is flush with inner edge of pie plate. Crimp dough evenly around edge of pie using your fingers.
  1. Using paring knife, cut 1/2-inch hole in center of pie. Cut six 1/2-inch slits around hole, halfway between center and edge of pie. Brush dough with remaining egg, then season with salt, pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme. Transfer pie to rimmed baking sheet and bake until crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Transfer pie to cooling rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Serve.

Classic Beef Pot Pie

Salted Peanut Butter Oatmeal Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Salted Peanut Butter–Oatmeal-Pretzel–Chocolate Chip Cookies 

From the brilliant folks at America’s Test Kitchen, they describe these cookies as “chewy, crunchy, salty, and sweet. The addition of crushed pretzel sticks and crunchy peanut butter give the cookies a unique and satisfying texture, and if you are a fan of salty and sweet, you love the balance derived from a sprinkling of flake sea salt and sweetness of dark chocolate. You can find this recipe and many more in their cookbook The Perfect Cookie

Download Salted Peanut Butter–Oatmeal-Pretzel–Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe


1 ¼ cups (6 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour

1 cup (3 ounces) quick oats

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 ¼ cups packed (8 3/4 ounces) light brown sugar

⅔ cup Skippy crunchy peanut butter

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

1 ½ ounces pretzel sticks, coarsely crushed (2/3 cup)

Flake sea salt

  1. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, and salt in bowl. Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add peanut butter, egg, and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed.
  2. Reduce speed to low and slowly add flour mixture; continue to mix until just combined. Add chocolate chips and pretzels and mix until just incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  3. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Working with 2 tablespoons chilled dough at a time, roll into 1 1/2-inch balls and space them evenly on prepared sheets, 12 per sheet. Press each ball to 3/4-inch thickness using bottom of greased dry measuring cup.

4. Bake until puffed and cracks just form on top, 11 to 13 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes. Sprinkle cookies with sea salt, then transfer to wire rack. Let cookies cool completely before serving.

Easy and Light Chicken and Dumplings for Two

Easy Chicken and Dumplings

Scaled down recipes can be very handy, especially for dishes that taste best the day they are made. If you’re looking for something easy, comforting and delicious, this chicken and dumplings recipe is one of the best. *Note: Make the dumplings just before adding them to the stew.

Download Easy and Light Chicken and Dumplings for Two


2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick

1 small onion, chopped fine

1 garlic clove, minced

½ teaspoon minced fresh thyme

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

¼ cup dry sherry (or dry white wine)

2 cups chicken broth

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

½ cup frozen peas


½ cup (2 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ cup chicken broth

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted



  1. Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add carrots and onion and cook until lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in sherry, scraping up any browned bits, and cook until nearly dry, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in broth and bring to boil. Add chicken, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until chicken is cooked through and tender, about 15 minutes.



  1. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in bowl. Stir in broth and melted butter until just incorporated.
  2. Season stew with salt and pepper to taste. Increase heat to medium. Using 2 spoons, drop eight 1-inch dumplings into stew about 1 inch apart. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Sprinkle peas around dumplings, cover, and cook 5 minutes longer. Remove from heat and let cool slightly, uncovered, about 10 minutes. Serve.

Duncan Hines Retro Sock-It-to-Me Cake

Duncan Hines Retro Sock-It-to-Me Cake

This retro recipe from the 70’s was regularly printed on the back of a Duncan Hines yellow cake mix box. You can still make it with a yellow cake mix, but it’s important to add a few extra ingredients to give it a more “from scratch” taste. Sour cream, toasted pecans, and vanilla give the cake mix a needed flavor boost. The cake is fine on its own, or you can drizzle a little cream cheese glaze to make it even more decadent.


2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

¼ cup packed light brown sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

¾ cup pecans, toasted


1 Duncan Hines Yellow Cake Mix (15.25 ounces)

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup granulated sugar

4 large eggs, room temperature

1 cup sour cream, room temperature

1/3 cup vegetable oil

¼ cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1 ½ cups Confectioners' sugar (6 ounces)

3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened

3 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Pinch table salt

  1. Make Streusel: Process flour, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans in food processor until finely ground. Set aside
  2. Make batter: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour (or use baking spray) a 12-cup nonstick Bundt pan or tube pan. In bowl of stand mixer combine cake mix, flour, sugar, sour cream, oil, water, eggs, and vanilla. Mix on low speed for 1 minute to combine ingredients. Increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes.
  3. Layer and bake: Pour half of batter into prepared pan and top with streusel mixture. Cover with remaining batter, using rubber spatula to smooth surface. Bake until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool cake in pan 20 minutes. Turn cake out onto wire rack to cool.
  4. Glaze: While cake is cooling, Mix all the ingredients together until smooth, then let sit until thickened, about 25 minutes. Pour the glaze over the top of the cake after it has completely cooled, allowing the glaze to drip down the sides. Let the glaze set for about 10 minutes before serving.

Grandma Moore’s Easy Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Grandma Moores Easy Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

I posted this vintage recipe 9 years ago, and thought it was worth re-posting in case you are running low on eggs, or just trying to conserve. This moist chocolate cake was popular during the Great Depression, when people had limited access to eggs and oil. Brands like Hellman’s (Best Foods on the west coast) made it famous when they added the recipe to the jar label. This was my grandmother’s recipe, so it’s well tested and was a family staple in our house. Enjoy with a dusting of powdered sugar, a dollop of whipped cream, or frost with your favorite buttercream.

Download Grandma-moores-easy-chocolate-mayonnaise-cake-recipe

1/3 cup Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa

1 cup boiling water

11/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup mayonnaise

2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and adjust racks to middle position. Grease and flour 9x9” square or use baking spray.
  2. Whisk together cocoa and boiling water in a medium bowl until smooth and cool to room temperature. When cool, whisk in vanilla and mayonnaise.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, soda and salt. Add chocolate mixture and beat on low speed for 30 seconds to combine. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 1 minute until smooth.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 23-26 minutes or until tooth pick inserted comes out clean and cake springs back when lightly pressed.
  5. Let cake cool in pan on wire rack, 1 to 2 hours. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, cut into squares, and serve straight from the pan; or turn cake out onto serving platter and dust with confectioners’ sugar or frost with favorite vanilla buttercream or cream cheese frosting.