Chocolate Fudge Zucchini Cake

This past holiday weekend we had two pot-luck cookouts to go to.  Since I haven’t been baking for Mr. D. and me, I took this as the perfect opportunity to make a baked dessert, and have just one piece.   When I chose this recipe I didn’t foresee  how difficult it would be to have just one piece.   Holy Moly!  Every word in the name of this cake is so true;  it’s definitely chocolate, very fudgey, and there is zucchini (and chocolate chips) in it.  I thought,  I’ll just whip up this easy cake in no time, bake it in a bundt pan, and it will travel well, which it did.

Putting all the ingredients together and making the batter was no problem.  Where I got into difficulty was when I licked some of the batter off my finger.  Ok, Ok, I went a little further and licked the beaters, what can I say, I do that sometimes!  This batter was so thick and creamy,  like chocolate pudding, that I wanted to eat it with a spoon.   I forced myself to scrape it all into the pan, and put it the oven, and was rewarded with a high, beautiful cake.  The recipe suggests an oven temperature of 325 degrees for 40-50 minutes.  My cake took the full 50 minutes before it tested done.   I just know that if you make this cake you will love it.  Besides, it uses up some of that zucchini.



  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix with Pudding in the mix.
  • 1 medium zucchini, shredded  ( about 1 & 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped nuts, optional


1.  Grease and flour a 12 cup bundt pan or 10-inch tube pan.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  ( 350 degrees for light colored pan ).

2  In large mixer bowl, beat butter till light and fluffy, beat in eggs one at a time, then flavorings.  Beat in sour cream and cinnamon, then slowly beat in cake mix.  Remove from mixer.

3.  Stir in zucchini, chocolate chips, and nuts if using.

Ready for the oven.

4.  Spoon into prepared pan.  Bake for 40 – 50 minutes, until tester comes out clean.  Cool on cooling rack for about 15 minutes.  Invert onto serving plate to cool completely.***  Frost or dust with confectionery sugar.

Just out of the oven.

***This cake is likely to break if you try to remove it from the pan while it is still warm.  Ask me how I know!    I made a simple frosting of cream cheese, confectionery  sugar and milk, in a thin consistency to drizzle over the top.  I first used some to glue the cake together where it broke, and then poured the rest over the top and let it run down the sides.

SOURCE:   Duncan Hines website:  Cakes


Raspberry Cream Cheese Brownies

This recipe was developed out of boredom with plain ole brownies.  Not that there’s anything wrong with a good brownie!  I’ll never turn away from one especially if served with a dab of ice cream.  But on this particular day I needed to bake something to bring to a pot-luck get-together, and since brownies are always a popular choice, I decided to dress these up  with the addition of a cheesecake swirl using cream cheese and some raspberry jam.  They turned out to be very moist and chewy, and somewhat decadent .


Servings;   16 brownie squares


  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 0z. 1/3 -less- fat cream cheese, softened
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg


  • cooking spray
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons raspberry preserves
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray bottom only of an 8 inch square baking pan.
  2. To prepare filling, place filling ingredients in a medium mixer bowl; beat at medium speed until well blended.  Set aside.
  3. To prepare brownies,  combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and whisk together lightly.  Combine sugar, cocoa, melted butter, water, vanilla, and eggs, and stir well with a whisk.  Add the flour mixture, stirring just until moist.
  4. Pour/spread two-thirds of batter into prepared pan.  Pour filling over batter, spreading evenly.  Carefully drop the remaining batter and preserves by spoonfuls over filling;  swirl together using the tip of a knife to marble.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean.  Cool on a wire rack.
 SOURCE:    This is the fusion of two recipes from Better Homes and Gardens The Complete Book of Baking

No-Bake Fresh Strawberry Pie

In the area where I live many of the farms are still picking  strawberries, since the days have been very warm and sunny.  I didn’t want to miss out on having some native strawberries, but I also didn’t want to use my oven unless really necessary.  This recipe for a no-bake version of strawberry pie caught my attention for those reasons.  The combination of juicy spring berries piled atop a layer of creamy filling in a chocolate crust.  What’s not to like here?


  • 1 ready-made chocolate crumb  9 inch pie crust (such as Oreo)
  • 6 ounces 1/3 less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed  (I used fat-free)
  • 2 Tablespoons seedless strawberry jam
  • 1 Tablespoon raspberry-flavored liqueur (I use my own homemade liqueur, but Chambord is one you can purchase)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and cut in half, or pieces


  1. Place pie crust in the freezer to chill while you make the filling.
  2. Place cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl;  beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth.
  3. Fold in whipped topping.  Carefully spread over bottom of crust.
  4. Place strawberry jam in a large microwave safe bowl;  microwave at HIGH 10 seconds or until softened .  Add liqueur and lemon juice;  stir with a whisk until smooth.  Add the berries; toss to coat the berries with the jam mixture.
  5. Arrange berries over the filling.  Chill for 30 minutes before serving.  Cut into wedges;  serves  8

SOURCE:   slightly adapted from  Cooking Light Magazine,  May, 2012

Better than Sex Cake

This cake was my other contribution to the dessert table at my granddaughter’s graduation party.  You may have seen it around, called “Better than Sex Cake”.  However, for a new high school graduate I thought it was more appropriate to name it Better Than Homework Cake.  No matter what name it gets,  I call it wonderful.  Everyone will want to know what makes it so moist and what IS that flavor I taste?

I got the recipe from, where you can find many variations.  Since the graduate loves chocolate and so do I there had to be a chocolate something on that table.   S0 this is it:


  • 1 boxed cake mix:  Devils Food
  • ingredients called for on the box:  eggs, vegetable  oil, water
  • 1/2 can condensed milk
  • 6 0z  (3/4 cup)  caramel topping
  • 1 bag chocolate-toffee chips such as Skor or Heath (or crush candy bars, if you can’t find the chips)
  • 8 0z container Cool Whip


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease well a 13″ x 9″ baking pan.

2.  Prepare cake mix as directed on the box.  Bake in prepared pan as box suggests.  Remove from oven when it tests done with a toothpick.  Allow to cool about 5 minutes.

3.   With the handle of a wooden spoon poke holes all over the top of the cake, taking care not to go all the way to the bottom. (Alternately, you can cut lines all over the cake top, again do not go too deep to the bottom).

4.  While cake is finished baking and cooling, mix together the condensed milk and caramel topping in a glass measuring cup and heat in the microwave; it does not need to get real hot.   Stir well to combine.  After cake has slightly cooled, pour slowly over the cake letting it soak in.  Sprinkle with about half  the toffee chips.

5.  At serving time,  top the cake with the Cool Whip, sprinkle with more chocolate-toffee chips, and drizzle with caramel syrup.   This is one ooey, gooey, scrumptiousdessert—-to die for!