Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Easter Bundt Cake

As promised – here is the Bundt Cake for Easter – or – the Easter Bundt Cake. On my quest this year to show how the Bundt Cake recipe can be so easily switched up for holidays (or personal preference), I’ve made one that’s perfect for an Easter dessert.

First, here is a typical Easter photo from when I was about 3 years old. You can see the brand new dress, white patent leather shoes with white anklets, and my purse. My dad used to tease me relentlessly about always having to have a “purse”. But it is essential to every girl’s Easter outfit – every little OR big girl. I was standing on the little wall that was between my other grandma and gramp’s house and the house where we lived in the upstairs apartment.

Obviously, we had beautiful weather on Easter Sunday that year, because I didn’t have on a sweater, jacket, or coat.

Ok – on to the Easter Bundt Cake. I do love that this is such an easy recipe and you can make it last-minute. Kids would love to help make this because decorating it is so much fun. You can – and MUST – make it very colorful and festive. Well, you don’t HAVE to. You CAN keep it simple. But where’s the fun in that?!!

I’m telling you – this recipe is so easily adaptable for each and every holiday or special occasion!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Bundt Cake

Mix together:

1 cake mix (I used lemon here)

1 instant pudding (I used lemon here)

4 eggs

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup oil (I used canola)

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

Let cool in pan 25 minutes.

Turn out onto cooling rack to cool completely.


Mix together:

2 cups powdered sugar

2 Tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Juice of half of a lemon, or enough to make glaze the consistency you want

Spoon or pipe glaze onto top of cake.

Decorate with sprinkles and/or colored sugar (do this before the glaze dries – it happens fast).

This particular bundt cake was made with a lemon cake mix and lemon instant pudding. I think a white cake mix with a vanilla or coconut instant pudding and 1/2 to 1 cup of coconut would also be tasty for this time of year.

I get all my decorations ready ahead of time and then make the glaze. The glaze dries quickly, so if you have everything ready, put on the glaze and then immediately decorate. You can use a spoon to drizzle on the glaze, but I used a disposable piping bag for drizzling.

I went with white glaze and pastel colored sprinkles for this one. The lemony glaze goes so well with the lemon cake and the lemon pudding in the cake.

Here’s the overhead view – can you tell what I put on top?

You got it! Bunnies! They’re so cute!

I put the bunnies on toothpicks and then stuck them into the top of the cake. If I had used a cake plate or pedestal, I might have had room to stick the bunnies into the glaze around the outside of the cake, but this cake is going with my husband to work, so it’s just on a paper plate and that doesn’t leave a lot of room on the outside. It makes more sense to put it on something that doesn’t have to get back home with my husband. All he has to bring back with him is the big container he’s taking the whole cake in.

People ask me all the time if we actually eat ALL the things I make for this blog. Oh yes – we do eat our fair share, but I do also try to share some of it with family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Everyone has to do their part and take some of it. Funny – nobody has seemed to mind too much. Yet. Get your kids involved and make an Easter Bundt Cake for your family or friends this year – it’ll be a lot of fun and they’ll love it!










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St. Patrick’s Day Bundt Cake

I have decided to make this Bundt Cake for every holiday throughout this year – just to show you how easy it is to switch it up and make this cake holiday appropriate. Today we’re going to make a St. Patrick’s Day Bundt Cake. Because it’s so quick and easy, you can decorate to your heart’s content – depending on the holiday or special occasion.


This is just so ridiculously easy.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Bundt Cake

Mix all together:

4 eggs

1 cake mix (I used a white cake mix for this one)

1 instant pudding (I used pistachio for this one)

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup oil (I used canola)

Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.

Pour into buttered bundt pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

Cool in pan on a rack for 25 minutes.

Turn out onto cooling rack unto cool.


Using a white cake mix and pistachio pudding makes this a pretty green color. Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day!


Now this – is a thing of beauty.


I think I’ve finally found the perfect way to bake and remove a bundt cake from the pan. Cooling 25 minutes in the pan after baking – perfect. I do have a non-stick pan, but I turned it over and it popped right out – no sticking!


Now for the fun part – the decorating! I used the same Powdered Sugar Glaze with a disposable piping bag like the one I used on the Valentine’s Day Bundt Cake. If you don’t have disposable piping bags, you can use a zip top bag with a corner cut off. I use gel food coloring to tint the frosting and get a nice bright color. Remember to get the sprinkles on quick – the frosting dries fast!


So pretty! Another festive and holiday appropriate treat!


This is the perfect last-minute dessert for St. Patrick’s Day!


This cake is delicious and so easy to make. Let’s see . . . what’s the next holiday? Check in a few weeks back for an Easter Bundt Cake!!



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Bundt Cake and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Today I’m sharing a photo of one of Grandma’s valentines that she received when she was a girl. The main colors in Grandma and Grandpa’s house were blue and yellow, so years ago, when I saw this valentine of Grandma’s, I made it into a hanging glass piece for her (we may have to explore making some glass ornaments at a later time). I love the little cupid sitting in the middle of that yellow rose.


She’s so cute, and the sentiment is so sweet!


It’s so special that Grandma kept her old cards – they meant a lot to her.

Today’s recipe is one that’s quick and easy and great for a last-minute treat. This Bundt Cake recipe can be changed to anyone’s preferences or any holiday flavor. You can use any kind of cake mix and any kind of instant pudding to make your own flavor combinations. I have made this with chocolate cake mix and chocolate instant pudding – for my mom and her chocolate habit – and I’ve made it with a yellow cake mix and butterscotch instant pudding – for my butterscotch loving son. Pick some interesting flavors and make it your own – you can’t go wrong with this one.


This cake is ridiculously quick and easy.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Bundt Cake

Mix together:

1 box of cake mix (I used strawberry)

1 box of instant pudding (I used white chocolate)

4 eggs

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup oil (I used canola)

Blend on medium speed for 3 minutes or as directed on cake mix box.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

Cool in pan on a cooling rack for 25 minutes.

Turn out onto cooling rack to cool completely.

Drizzle with glaze of your choice.

I used this glaze –

Powdered Sugar Glaze:

2 cups powdered sugar

2 Tablespoons milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Juice of half a lemon or enough to be able to drizzle the glaze over cake.

Drizzle glaze over top of cake.

Sprinkle with decorations, if desired.


DON’T FORGET to butter your bundt pan – only if you want the cake to come out of the pan. Then pour the batter in.


It comes out of the oven so puffed and pretty. After waiting the 25 minutes, it popped right out of the pan! Yay!


I put the glaze into a disposable piping bag and didn’t even use a tip. Just a cut across the bottom of the bag, squeeze out the glaze, and just toss the bag. Easy clean up!


Once you get the glaze on, be quick about putting on the sprinkles or the glaze could already be drying and you’ll end up with sprinkles rolling all over the kitchen floor. Not that I really know anything about that. Maybe.


Just look at it. Oh boy.


The flavor combination of strawberry and white chocolate was absolutely delicious! This recipe is one to have in your permanent collection. I love that you can tweak it for any holiday or anyone’s taste – any flavors, any colors, any decorations. It’s so easy, so good, and can be made to your specific taste. Your valentine is going to be very, very happy!!!!








Pumpkin Bundt Cake

I can’t believe it’s October. That means it’s time for colored leaves, apples, wool scarves, and pumpkins. Speaking of colored leaves, this is a photo of the colored leaves of New Hampshire from last October. My husband and I were on the way home from our trip to Massachusetts. I actually stuck the camera out of the sunroof of the car with occasional warm ups back inside. It was a cool, wet day in the mountains. We had the heat cranked in the car until my husband finally said, “how about enjoying the color without looking through the lens?” It was – and I don’t use this word lightly – AMAZING!!! The leaves were so colorful, they looked photo-shopped! I swear – I haven’t touched this photo! I know! It was unbelievable!!


If seeing the fall color in New England isn’t on your Bucket List, it should be. I highly recommend it!

Cooked or carved, pumpkins ARE October. The recipe for today comes from my mom. She can’t remember where she got it, but man, I’m glad she got it. It’s a good one. Oh my gosh – the smell of this cake baking in the oven – heaven! It made the perfect fall scent that totally filled the house – a great air-freshener. This Pumpkin Bundt Cake is ideal for this time of year and all of the special occasions coming up from September through November. It’s very moist, is absolutely delicious, and smells so spicy and pumpkin-y and butterscotch-y.

pumpkin bundt cake

This is a very tasty cake.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Pumpkin Bundt Cake


1 package (18 1/2 oz) yellow cake mix

1 package (3.4 oz) Instant butterscotch pudding

4 eggs

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup oil (I used canola)

1 cup canned pumpkin

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Beat on low speed for 30 seconds.

Beat on medium speed for 4 minutes.

Pour into greased and floured bundt pan (I used butter and sugar instead of flour).

Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes.

Cool in pan 15 minutes.


I used butter to grease the pan and dusted it with sugar instead of flour.


Bundt pans are just the best! They’re festive and pretty and so great for baking. Plus they’re made in Minnesota! Check out Nordic Ware here.


The cake came out perfectly with a nice light sugary crust on the outside from dusting it with the sugar!


This is a perfect fall cake, especially with a bit of whipped cream. It would also be great with a drizzle of icing. Bake a couple of these and put one in the freezer for last-minute guests. Better yet, bake it when your guests come and take advantage of the built-in air-freshener! They may never leave.


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Rum Cake

My mom used to make Rum Cake a lot in the 1970’s and it was delicious. Unfortunately, the recipe had basically disappeared, and when I was stuck at my sister’s house in the blizzard in January, I found this recipe that she had. While we don’t know if this is the recipe mom used, this is a good one. Some parts of this recipe were missing when I went to make it, and my sister is an elementary Phy. Ed. teacher and was in class, so I couldn’t just call her and ask her what to do. The batter is easy to mix up, it was the baking part that was tricky. You’ll see as we go along.


This cake is so good – one of my favorites!!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Rum Cake

For cake:

Mix all together on medium speed for 3 minutes:

1 box of yellow cake mix (the kind without pudding included)

1 small box vanilla instant pudding

4 eggs

1/2 cup cold water

1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)

1/2 cup dark rum (I didn’t have any dark rum, so I used light)

For glaze (make this about 10 minutes before cake is to be done and set aside in something easier to pour, like a measuring cup):

Bring to a boil:

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup water

1 cup sugar

Remove from heat and add:

1/2 cup rum

Grease Bundt cake pan, coat with sugar (it doesn’t say to do this on the above recipe, but I found out the hard way – as you’ll see later – that this is a good idea), and place 1 cup chopped nuts in bottom of pan (I used pecans).

Pour batter over nuts.

Bake at 325 degrees for amount of time for Bundt pans on cake mix package (I found a recipe that said to bake it at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, so that’s what I did the second time).

Use a skewer or toothpick to poke holes in cake (while still warm and in pan).

Pour half of glaze over cake and into holes.

Turn cake out onto plate, poke holes in top with skewer or toothpick, and pour rest of glaze over top and into holes.

There will be some glaze running over sides of cake and  it will puddle onto cake plate and sometimes over the edge.


I sprayed the pan with non-stick spray, but put no nuts in. The batter was very smooth by the time it went in the pan.


It puffed up beautiful and golden. I used a skewer to poke holes in the cake.


On went the first half of the glaze. All ready to turn it out onto the cake plate and . . .


DISASTER!!!!! It totally stuck and broke apart. I could NOT believe it! This wasn’t bad news to my boys, who proceeded to enjoy the cake by the handful. I WILL make another one and figure this out – I love this cake too much not to. Back to the drawing board, research, and the internet. I found a recipe from Food Network that was almost exactly like this recipe, and that recipe is almost exactly like an original Bacardi recipe from 30 years ago (according to some of the comments on this recipe). It really could be the same Rum Cake recipe my mom used.


The first thing some of the recipes online said to do is grease with soft butter, not non-stick spray, and coat the butter in the pan with sugar.


With a few tweaks to the recipe (shown above), the cake came out of the oven, once again, beautiful and golden. I poked the holes in the cake and poured on the first half of glaze, held my breath and . . .


SUCCESS!!!!! It’s a beauty!


I’m not sure if the nuts had anything to do with it coming out better the second time – I didn’t use nuts the first time.


I poked the holes in the top and on went the second half of the glaze. I have to say, this really is an amazingly moist and delicious cake. Nobody seemed to mind that I had to make a second cake. I haven’t had Rum Cake for years, and this just brought it all back, my love of this cake. My sister said she has used this for gift giving at Christmas time, and I can see why. I’d LOVE to get this as a gift. I sure wish we didn’t live 1000 miles apart!




Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin Cake

This isn’t a cake made with pumpkin, it’s a cake SHAPED like a pumpkin! I made this cake for years to celebrate my oldest daughter’s birthday. Her birthday is actually the first week of November, but her parties seemed to end up being birthday/Halloween parties during the elementary and middle school years.  She’s all grown up now, but since we can’t get together to celebrate during the first week of November, we celebrated on Halloween and she requested a nostalgic traditional Halloween dinner birthday celebration with our traditional Halloween Lasagna and Spider Bread. This Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin Cake was her birthday cake. I don’t have an actual recipe for making this pumpkin (because I saw it somewhere years ago and just tried to make one from a photo), so I’ll just type it out here.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin Cake

Use 2 boxes of cake mix to bake 2 cakes, baked in a bundt pan according to the box directions. Use enough of the cake mix batter to make 1 cupcake to use as the stem. I use chocolate (this daughter is a chocolate girl) but you could use any flavor of cake mix.

Use 2 containers of Vanilla Frosting (I know, I know – I usually don’t use store-bought, but when I started making this cake years ago, I had 3 children under the age of 10) to make the green or chocolate frosting for the ribs, tendrils and/or leaves, and stem, and the orange pumpkin frosting. For the chocolate or green stem frosting, I add a couple of tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder or a bit of green food coloring. For the pumpkin frosting, I used orange food coloring.

Use 2-3 Hershey Chocolate Bars, cut into triangles, for the jack-o-lantern face. I usually get at least 2 because sometimes it won’t cut exactly the way you want it to. If you have 2-3 bars, then you have back-up (and I’m sure you can think of something to do with the extra).

This is also a great cake for Thanksgiving instead of, or in addition to your pies. It serves a lot of people since it’s two cakes in one – just leave off the face!


I greased and floured the bundt pan – we want no sticking! In this case, it doesn’t matter if the flour shows since the whole cake will be frosted. Don’t forget to make one cupcake for the stem.


Before frosting the cake, I use strips of waxed paper around underneath so you can pull them out later and keep your cake plate clean. You can see how to make this cake plate here. Put the first cake upside down on your cake plate and put some frosting on top of that to stick the top cake on.


Put the top cake on and line up the lines of the cake. Then get started with the frosting. You can see the lines of the cake here. I follow them with the green frosting to make the ribs. I also had to put some frosting around the top hole so the cupcake stem wouldn’t fall into the middle. You could also use a couple of toothpicks to hold the stem on as long as you remember to take them out before serving. Then I used a piping bag and put the frosting on the stem, ribs, and vines.


You could also use candy corn for the face and to make some decoration around the bottom. I used the last of the green frosting to make some vines around the bottom edge of the cake. Use a very sharp knife when cutting the face pieces. For some reason, I had a hard time with the candy bar I used. It kept cracking.


This is also a great cake for Thanksgiving instead of, or in addition to your pies. It serves a lot of people since it’s two cakes in one. Just leave off the face! Decorate it with candy corn or pumpkins.


This particular cake used two bundt cakes, but I think you could do the same with just one bundt cake.

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We’ve had fun with this Halloween/birthday cake over the years. Try this pumpkin cake for your next fall or thanksgiving gathering. It’s fun and festive!





Sour Cream Coffee Bread

This recipe for Sour Cream Coffee Bread is one of Grandma’s that I’ve had for, oh, I don’t know how many years. A lot. It’s so old, I don’t even have the original card anymore. This isn’t really a bread, I’d say it’s more like a coffee cake. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made this. I’ve taken it to weekends at our mothers’ houses, I’ve taken it to friends, and I’ve used it as a gift. It works great to bake it, wrap it in plastic wrap and foil, and pop it in the freezer so you can just grab it and go when you need it. I’ll just type the recipe out for you here.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Sour Cream Coffee Bread

Pecan Mixture:

Combine and mix well:

4 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup pecans, chopped

Set aside.

For Cake:

1 cup butter

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream butter and sugar.

Beat in eggs one at a time.

Beat in sour cream and vanilla.

Fold in flour with baking powder and salt.

Spoon about 1/3 of the batter into a well-greased 9″ tube pan or angel food cake pan (I used a bundt pan).

Sprinkle about 3/4 of the pecan mixture.

Spoon in remaining batter and sprinkle with remaining pecan mixture.

When using a bundt pan, I sprinkle and spoon the opposite, staring with the pecan mixture in the bottom of the pan since it will be upside down. A tube pan comes out right side up, but it’s tricky to get the cake out of it as you have to get the cake off of the “tube” part without breaking it.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Remove from pan and cool on rack.


When using a bundt pan for this, I do put a little of the topping mixture in the bottom of the pan. When using a tube pan, save it for the top.


Make sure to butter the bundt pan really well, put in 1/4 of the topping mixture, and 1/3 of the batter.


Next add the last 3/4 of the pecan or topping mixture and the rest of the batter. I spoon it in and then smooth it out a bit with the spatula.


This was the first time I’ve made this coffee cake with my new bundt pan, and I think it got a bit darker than usual, yet at the same time it make a sort of caramel-y crust on the outside of the cake.


You could serve this coffee cake with butter or jam, but it really doesn’t need it. It’s not too sweet, and it’s surprisingly tasty.


You can see the ribbon of pecans and cinnamon running through the middle of the cake. This is another easy recipe that’s so good. Everyone will love it!






Coffee Ring

The neighborhood where I grew up was so great. We had 5 houses in our little area on the lake where the families were all so close. We were one big family, really, and we all grew up together. All of us, kids and adults alike, would be back and forth and in and out of all of the houses, visiting, playing, swimming, eating, and talking. Those years hold very special memories of great friends and such fun times. Memories of picnics on the pontoon, jumping (or getting throw off) the raft, the smelt fry, learning to water and snow ski, fishing for bullheads, swamping the canoe. I could go on and on. The recipe for today comes from one of those neighbors. This Coffee Ring is a great afternoon snack to have with coffee, dripping with caramel and cinnamon goodness.

Coffee Ring

We made this in the 70’s and it’s still as good as I remember it!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Coffee Ring

Combine and put into bottom of a greased bundt pan:

1/4 cup softened butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons cream

1/4 cup chopped nuts (I didn’t use nuts)


1/4 cup butter

Then mix together:

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup white sugar

Take 2 cans of buttermilk refrigerator biscuits and dip them, one at a time, into the butter and then the cinnamon and sugar mixture.

Stand them on end in the bundt pan.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

Unmold right away and serve warm.


If you line everything up, you can get an assembly line going.


There is just enough butter and cinnamon and sugar to cover all the biscuits.



This could also be called “pull apart” or “monkey bread”.


The caramel on top is almost like a candy.


So good.

So easy.

Just like I remember.

Thanks to all of those neighbors for all the great memories!




Miracle Whip Cake with Chocolate Chip Glaze

Today is throwback to the ’70s day. This picture from the ’70s is of me and my sister giving our dog, Champ, a bath. Every time we gave her a bath, she’d go right down to the lakeshore, find a dead fish, and roll on it. Needless to say, we didn’t give her a bath very often. More than likely I just thought she needed one! SHE obviously didn’t think she needed one. So funny. Check out my groovy striped pants!


The recipe for today is also a throwback to the ’70s. Miracle Whip Cake is just so GOOD! It always seemed so funny to make a cake with Miracle Whip. I’m not sure where my mom got this recipe, but I love it. It brings me back to the ’70s when I even say the name of this cake. This is one of those recipes I’m glad I found again in my mom’s recipe box. I thought it was gone forever!

Miracle Whip Cake

It’s so easy and really is good.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Miracle Whip Cake

1 cup salad dressing

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup white sugar

4 Tablespoons cocoa

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 cup cold water

2 teaspoons vanilla

Mix all together.

It doesn’t say what kind of pan to bake this in, so I used a bundt pan – I feel like that’s what we used in the ’70s.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Chocolate Chip Glaze (from my good old Betty Crocker cookbook)

1/2 cup chocolate chips

2 Tablespoons butter

1 Tablespoon light corn syrup

Melt over low heat stirring constantly until completely melted.

Cool slightly before pouring over cake.

You can find the bundt pan and instructional videos on the Nordic Ware website here.


I dusted the bundt pan with cocoa before pouring batter into pan.


I had a few spots that stuck to the pan, but they were covered up by the Chocolate Chip Glaze.


This makes a dense, dark, very moist cake.


Try out this throwback to the 70s!

It’s delicious!




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