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.

Glaze:

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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Cherry Chocolate Cake

This recipe is one I remember from when I was growing up in the 1970’s. I think we made this Cherry Chocolate Cake quite often and it was one of my favorites. The recipe was one that, like so many of these recipes that I’ve found, I thought was lost and gone forever. It’s been found in some recipes from one of Grandma’s sisters, and I’m so glad! Luckily, I found this recipe in time to make it for my mom’s birthday cake last week.

By the way – here is a photo of my mom the birthday girl when she was just a little “squirt” – as Grandpa used to say. She was such a cutie!

I just want to know how Grandma ever got those shoes on her! Look at those buckles!

Ok – on to the birthday cake!

After having a piece of this cake, I remember why it was one of my favorites.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Cherry Chocolate Cake

Mix together:

1 chocolate cake mix

1 can cherry pie filling

4 eggs

1/3 cup oil (I used canola oil)

Put into 9″ x 13″ pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Frosting:

1 package instant chocolate pudding

1 1/2 cup milk

Let sit a few minutes before spreading.

Refrigerate.

I used a different chocolate frosting recipe this time, because it was a birthday cake for my chocolate loving mom.

There are very few ingredients in this ridiculously easy recipe, but it sure is good!

You can see all the cherries from the pie filling in the batter.

Adding this more chocolatey frosting just adds more decadence to this cake.

You can see how moist this cake is – it’s just amazing because there are so few ingredients. You wouldn’t think the pie filling would make that much of a difference, but I guess it does. I’m glad this recipe was found – no matter how easy it is, it’s so good with all that cherry goodness in there! This makes a great birthday cake, but it makes a great cake for any occasion.

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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.

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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.

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

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Now this – is a thing of beauty.

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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!

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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!

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So pretty! Another festive and holiday appropriate treat!

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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!

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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.

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Just look at it. Oh boy.

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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!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Spice Cake

Here we go again – more leaves, more spices, and more deliciousness from the tiny book found at my sister’s house. There are a lot of great, delicious recipes in that little book! This photo of a leaf covered in dewdrops was one I took on a day trip to a Minnesota state park a few years ago. I love fall and I love leaves, so I’m usually overdoing it on the leaf photos. This particular one wasn’t all that colorful, but I love the dewdrops on it.

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I knew I wanted to try this Spice Cake at some point this fall, and one day when I was out walking, I found some leaves that had already fallen off the tree and had a sudden revelation. Why couldn’t I use them as a stencil for the top of the cake? What could I sprinkle on top to make the leaf shape stand out? Cocoa? Nope – I don’t think that would show up very well and I’m not sure how chocolate would go with the spicy cake. I know – powdered sugar! It showed up very well on the cake and I think it turned out pretty cute.

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This is a very delicious cake!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Spice Cake

Mix in order given:

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup sour milk (1-2 teaspoons vinegar or lemon juice in a cup of milk)

1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in the sour milk (careful – this makes it foam up a bit)

1 cup of dates, chopped

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cloves

Add:

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (of course there is not time or temp again here).

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Before and after baking – it puffs up a bit but drops back down after a few minutes.

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I pressed the leaves flat before using them on the cake. It helps make for a nice, crisp leaf design. No – I didn’t wash them or anything. They barely touch the top of the cake and you take them right off of it after you’re done using the powdered sugar. I invoked the 5 second rule for this one!

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I just think this turned out so cute – it’s a shame to cut it! Maybe I should have incorporated the crack in the top of the cake into the design – maybe a stem or something? Naw. It’s perfect just the way it is!

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This is another very quick and easy cake that’s great for afternoon coffee or after coming in from an afternoon of leaf raking or leaf peeping. Go ahead and make this delicious and beautiful cake – you’ve probably earned it! If you haven’t earned it, just do it because it’s Saturday.

 

 

 

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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!!

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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.

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This is a very tasty cake.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Combine:

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.

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

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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.

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

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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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Chocolate Cake (Cupcakes) with Fluffly White Frosting

This recipe says Chocolate Cake, but I decided to make cupcakes with it. I also found a card that has Fluffy White Frosting on it. Let’s put the two together and call them Chocolate Cake (Cupcakes) with Fluffy White Frosting. The writing looks old, but I don’t know if this recipe for Chocolate Cake came from one of Grandma’s sisters or from her mother. I love how it says “never a failure” and “has been tested” at the bottom of the card! So funny – and “oh, the vanilla”! It’s almost like whomever was writing out the recipe was just talking to Grandma. I have to say, about the Fluffy White Frosting, that this was a staple during my childhood. My mom almost always made my birthday cake and put this frosting on it! This recipe is a particularly easy one.

Chocolate Cake #2

Fluffy White Frosting

Is there really anything better than chocolate cake and fluffy white frosting! That just screams “party”, birthday or otherwise!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Chocolate Cake

1 cup sugar

1 cup sour cream

2 eggs

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda in hot water (it doesn’t say how much water, of course, so I used 1/4 cup)

2 squares chocolate (I used unsweetened), melted but not hot

Dump all together and beat for about 7 minutes.

Oh – the vanilla (I used 1 teaspoon)! Ha!

Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes (for cupcakes). I would say about 30-35 minutes for a cake. There isn’t a time or temp on this one again! Ugh! We’re just supposed to know these things!

Fluffy White Frosting

1 egg white

3/4 cup sugar

salt

3 Tablespoons water

1 teaspoon syrup (I assumed they meant white corn syrup here, so that’s what I used)

Beat at 7 or 8 speed on mixer for 1 minute.

Then over boiling water, beat 4 minutes more.

Add vanilla (I used 1 teaspoon) and beat 1 more minute.

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This recipe makes a nice, thick batter.

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I love that the cupcakes came out of the oven so pretty and perfectly rounded on top! I think next time I would cut back a couple of minutes on the beating time – there were some tunnels and holes in the cupcakes and maybe the newer mixers are more powerful than they used to be.

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Here is my lovely double boiler – I use a glass bowl over about an inch of boiling water in a saucepan. The mixture seemed a bit runny at first, but came together perfectly in the end.

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This frosting is so smooth and wonderfully creamy.

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Yes – chocolate cake with fluffy white frosting. One if my all-time favorites. It definitely feels like my birthday – only my birthday is in December! These were so easy to do and fast to make! Your family and friends will love them! But you don’t need to wait for a party to make these – birthday or otherwise! On second thought, make up a batch of these and go ahead and have a party. Why not?

 

 

 

 

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Citrus Cake

I just have to share this summertime photo of my mom and my uncle from one of their childhood trips to Big Pine Lake. I love this one – it’s so perfectly a summer shot!! They have their fishing poles and it looks like they’ve caught a lunker! The looks on their faces is just priceless!!! “I’m not so sure – were we supposed to catch this thing?”

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They’re so cute! I love my mom’s pigtails and my uncles little coveralls and the fact that they’re still right there next to the lake! I just love it!

The recipe for Citrus Cake is one I found at my sister’s house last January, and it looks like it originally came from my mom – it has her initials on it. This is another delicious cake perfect for this time of year. You could even get one baked and have it in the freezer for those last-minute picnics or potlucks or drop in guests. Just don’t put on the glaze until you’re ready.

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This cake is just plain good.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Citrus Cake

Combine:

1 box yellow cake mix

1 small package of lemon instant pudding

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)

4 eggs, beaten

Beat 10 minutes.

Pour into greased and floured tube pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

Cool in pan.

For Glaze:

Combine and heat to boiling:

2 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup orange juice

Top cake with glaze (I poked the cake with a toothpick before drizzling the glaze over the cake so the glaze could get down in there a bit).

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Take the time to grease (I used butter) and flour the tube pan so the cake will come out nicely when done.

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This is pretty easy to mix up and get into the pan, all ready for the oven.

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It’s a beautiful cake when it comes out!

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I’m glad I put it on something when putting on the glaze.

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It does make a lot of glaze and of course, I had to put it all on! Ha! Well, some of it got on the cake! I think the glaze could be cut in half.

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The cake is so moist and the glaze is a bit sugary when it dries, making it absolutely delicious. This cake is the perfect summertime cake. The lemon and orange flavors are so refreshing and the cake is just beautiful. Make this, wrap it well, get it immediately into the freezer, and be ready for when you need a last-minute dessert!

 

 

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Orange Crunch Cake

The recipe for today is a delicious cake that’s great for spring. My son loves this cake, and he requested it for his birthday cake for years. He’s recently expanded his horizons a bit and tried some new and different birthday cakes, so it was fun to make this one again. Our whole family loves this Orange Crunch Cake (we sometimes also call it Sunshine Cake because it tastes like sunshine after a long Minnesota winter) and this year we had it for a family gathering on Easter Sunday, additionally celebrating what would have been my father-in-law’s 100th birthday. I did a Google Search to see if the recipe was still out there anywhere and I found that it’s still on the Betty Crocker website, but it’s just a little different. You can find that recipe here. It’s a great cake for a celebration, but seriously, it’s great anytime. It’s unbelievably good!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Orange Crunch Cake

Crunch Layer:

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup margarine or butter, melted (I used butter)

Cake:

1 package yellow cake mix

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup orange juice

1/3 cup oil (I used canola)

3 eggs

2 Tablespoons grated orange peel

Frosting:

1 can vanilla ready-made frosting

1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed

3 Tablespoons grated orange peel

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel (I use a bit more than that – about the same as the orange peel)

11 ounce can mandarin oranges, drained, or 1 orange, sectioned

Mint leaves, if desired

Grease and flour two 9″ or 8″ round cake pans.

In a small bowl, combine crunch layer ingredients until crumbly.

Press half of the crunch mixture into each prepared pan.

In a large bowl, blend cake ingredients at low speed until moistened; beat 2 minutes at highest speed.

Pour batter evenly over crunch layer.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans.

Cool completely.

In a small bowl, beat frosting until fluffy; add whipped topping and beat until light and fluffy.

Fold in grated orange and lemon peel.

Place 1 layer crunch side up on serving plate; spread with 1/4 of frosting.

Top with remaining layer crunch side up.

Spread top and sides with remaining frosting.

Arrange orange sections on top.

Garnish with mint leaves.

Store in refrigerator.

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The crunch layer: graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, butter, and nuts. How can that be bad?

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You can see the flecks of orange peel in the cake batter. I never get the two layers exactly even – one’s always bigger than the other.

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The round pans that I have are from years ago and have a flat bar on the bottom that you can run around the pan and it makes the cake come out with no sticking (you can kind of see it in the pic above), but I still spray the pans with non-stick spray. I hope that makes sense, but you should grease and flour the pans.

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This is why we also call it Sunshine Cake – the orange and lemon peel – sunshine!!

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These two crunch layers are SO good. Don’t forget to put a few narrow strips of waxed paper around the bottom of the cake so when you’re done, you can pull them out and keep the cake plate clean.

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Ha – you can decorate with more oranges than this, but this cake had to travel and I didn’t want them to move. More around the bottom would be nice, and more mint leaves around the bottom would also be nice.

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I did put just a little piece of mint on top – so pretty!

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Excuse the cell phone pic of the cut piece, but I didn’t have my big camera with me at the time we cut into the cake. You can see the delicious crunch layers on the inside of the cake. It’s so good. It’s just the most delicious cake that tastes like a bite of sunshine in your mouth. I highly recommend that you try this cake. It seems like a lot of steps, but it’s really not difficult. You and your family will love it! I’m pretty sure someone in your family will request this one for their birthday and you’ll be making it for years. You’ve been warned.

 

 

 

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Easter Treats

Here are some past posts for Easter Treats that I think you’ll enjoy! Try them all!

Hopping Bunny Rolls

Hopping Bunny Rolls

Easter Bark

Easter Bark

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Hot Crossed Buns

Iowa Ham Balls

Iowa Ham Balls

 

 

 

 

 

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