Dash of Class: Three cakes for Recipe Roundup

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Food column by Nora Sweat

By Nora Sweat

Here we are at the end of another month. My, how time flies.

I have had a couple recipe requests I will share with you. One was requested by former “One of Hardin County’s Finest Cooks,” Suzanne Shircliff, which was a White Chocolate Almond Cake. I hope it resembles the one her family lost.

The second is a Slow Cooker Chocolate Lava Cake. This dessert has become very popular because it is served in many restaurants. The dessert is not that new, but marketing would have you think that. My mom used to make a Hot Fudge Cake which is very similar to the Lava Cake.

Last month, I gave you the Peanut Butter Éclair Cake and promised you the Strawberry version. I have it along with some healthy substitutions.

Remember you always can submit a recipe to share or ask for help in locating a recipe you have lost. Also, if you know a deserving cook, nominate them for “One of Hardin County’s Finest Cooks.”

Nora Sweat, author of “Mama and Me,” is a native of Hardin County and a retired home economics/family and consumer science teacher. She can be reached atnorasweat@thenewsenterprise.comor by mail at 408 W. Dixie Ave., Elizabethtown, KY 42701.

White Chocolate Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups butter
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 4-ounce bar white chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour, divided
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted (can substitute almonds)
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Combine butter and water in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil, over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add white chocolate, stirring until chocolate melts. Stir in buttermilk, eggs and vanilla; set aside. Combine ½ cup flour and 1 cup nuts, stirring to coat. Set aside.

Combine remaining 3 cups flour, sugar and soda in large bowl; gradually stir in white chocolate mixture. Fold in nut mixture. Batter will be thin. Pour into 3 greased and floured 9-inch cake pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pan and let cool completely on wire racks.

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4-ounce bar white chocolate
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup (1 stick) margarine, softened
  • 6½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla

Melt chocolate in a heavy sauce pan over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; cool 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add chocolate, beating constantly until blended. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until smooth. Stir in vanilla.

Spread frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Store cake in refrigerator. Garnish with additional nuts.

Slow Cooker Chocolate Lava Cake

  • 1 devil’s food cake mix
  • 1 2/3 cups water
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups cold 2 percent milk
  • 3.9-ounce package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, water, eggs and oil; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Transfer to a greased 4-quart slow cooker.

In another bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft set. Spoon over cake batter; sprinkle the chocolate chips. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or until a toothpick inserted in cake portion comes out with moist crumbs. Serve warm.

Source: Taste of Home Magazine, January 2013

Nora’s Note: Because you are splurging with the chocolate, why not add a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream?

Strawberry Éclair Cake

  • 1 box (14.4 ounces) low-fat honey graham crackers
  • 2 packages (1ounce each) sugar-free cheesecake pudding mix
  • 2 1/2 cups skim milk
  • 12 ounces fat-free whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced


  • 2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, melted
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Mix pudding mix with milk using a whisk. Beat for about 2 minutes, by hand. Fold in whipped topping; set aside. Layer a 13-by-9 baking dish with one layer of graham crackers. Top with half the pudding mix. Place half the sliced strawberries on top of the pudding. Repeat the layers with grahams, remaining pudding and remaining strawberries. Top with one more layer of grahams.

For the frosting, mix melted baking chocolate with corn syrup. Add vanilla, butter, powdered sugar and milk and whisk thoroughly until smooth. Spread over top.

Source: www.shugarysweets.com

Nora’s note: The owner of this recipe chose to use low-calorie, low-fat options, but regular ingredients should turn out fine. For the frosting, I always use a can of syrup and it works fine and is less trouble.