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The perfect ending to a meal

When I think back on my Mother’s delicious meals, her cakes always come to mind. Her milk cake was the perfect ending to any meal. A simple, old-fashioned recipe, it tasted so good I think you will be pleasantly surprised with it and the others.

HOT MILK CAKE

• 4 large eggs

• 2 cups white sugar

• 1 tsp. vanilla extract

• 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

• 2-1/4 tsp. baking powder

• 1-1/4 cups whole white milk

• 10 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed

In a large bowl, beat eggs on high speed for 5-8 minutes until thick and lemon-colored. Gradually add sugar, beating until mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder; gradually add to batter; beat on low speed until smooth and creamy. In a small saucepan, heat milk and butter just until butter is melted. Gradually add to batter; beat until fully combined. Pour into a greased and floured 13×9-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. You may frost, but it is delicious as is. Makes 12-16 servings.

BLACKBERRY CAKE

• 1 cup fresh blackberries

• 1 cup white sugar

• 2 cups all-purpose flour, divided

• 1/2 cup butter, softened

• 2 large eggs

• 1 tsp. baking soda

• 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

• 1 tsp. nutmeg

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 1/4 tsp. ground cloves

• 1/4 tsp. all spice

• 3/4 cup whole buttermilk

Toss the blackberries with 2 Tbsp. of flour; set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Combine the baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, cloves, allspice and remaining flour; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Fold in blackberries. Pour into a well-greased and floured 9-inch square baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Serve with whipped cream if desired. Makes 10 servings.

COKE CAKE

• 2 cups all-purpose flour

• 2 cups white sugar        

• 1 tsp. baking soda

• 1 cup butter, cubed

• 3 Tbsp. baking cocoa

• 1 cup Coca-Cola

• 1/2 cup buttermilk

• 2 eggs, beaten

• 1 tsp. vanilla extract

• 1 cup miniature marshmallows

ICING:

• 1/2 cup butter, cubed

• 3 Tbsp. baking cocoa

• 6 Tbsp. Coca-Cola

• 3-1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar

• 1 cup coarsely chopped nuts

In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar and baking soda; set aside. In a saucepan, bring the butter, cocoa and cola to a boil; stir into dry ingredients. Stir in buttermilk, eggs, vanilla and the marshmallows; mix well. Pour into a greased 13×9-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. For the icing, combine the butter, cocoa and cola in a saucepan; bring to a boil and stir until smooth. Remove from the heat; stir in confectioner’s sugar; mix well. Spread over hot cake. Sprinkle with nuts. Cool before cutting. Makes 8-10 servings.

HINT OF THE WEEK: Make a yummy pancake and waffle topping in your favorite fruit flavor! Combine a small box of fruit-flavored gelatin, one cup water, 1/2 cup sugar and 2 Tbsp. of cornstarch in a saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil, pour into a syrup pitcher and let cool slightly before serving.

Patti Howerton is a retired accountant and caterer and can be reached at phowerton@ gmail.com