Take This Cake

Nancy Loughin offers her most requested cake recipes to take to your next potluck.

Have you ever been invited over to someone's house for dinner and volunteered to take a dessert? Or do you need a very special birthday or anniversary cake? Are you planning on going to a potluck dinner? 

Without a doubt, Joy Hayden’s Éclair Cake is our family’s most popular cake, because it makes a 9 x 13 cake that you take to the potluck, but you also have a spare 8-inch cake to feed the family when they get back home—and find out that the family didn’t get any at the potluck because it was all gone!

Here are some of my most requested recipes.

1 cup water
1 stick margarine
3 Tbsp. cocoa
1/2 cup Crisco
2 cups Wondra flour
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. vanilla

Bring water, margarine, cocoa and Crisco to a boil in a saucepan. Pour over the flour and sugar, and mix well. Beat in eggs, and add buttermilk, soda, and vanilla. Pour into a greased and floured cake pan and bake at 350-400 degrees for 20 minutes. Prepare the icing while the cake is baking, because you put it on while the cake is hot. 

1 stick margarine
6 Tbsp. milk
3 Tbsp. cocoa
1 box confectioner’s sugar
1 cup chopped nuts
1 tsp. vanilla

Bring the margarine, milk and cocoa to a boil for a short time. Remove from heat and mix with 1 box confectioner’s sugar. Add nuts and vanilla, and pour over cake as it comes from the oven. Serve this cake warm with vanilla ice cream, or chilled. Store covered in the refrigerator.


1 cup boiling water
1 cup flour
1 stick margarine
4 eggs

Melt the butter in boiling water. Remove from heat and stir in flour. Let stand for five minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time. Spread batter in a greased 9 x 13 baking dish, and an 8-inch square dish. (Yes, you use both pans!) Bake 35 minutes at 350 degrees. 

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 small pkgs. instant vanilla pudding
5 cups milk
1 large Cool Whip container
Small can Hershey’s syrup

Beat 1 cup milk and softened cream cheese for two minutes. Add pudding mix, and the rest of the milk. Beat on low for 2 minutes. Pour over cold pastry. Spread Cool Whip over top of the filling. Drizzle chocolate sauce over the top. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.


1 box any chocolate cake mix
1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 (8-oz.) pkg. chocolate chips

Prepare the cake mix batter as directed on the package, and pour into two 9-inch cake pans greased and floured. Cream the cream cheese, sugar and egg together until smooth, and drop by teaspoonfuls into the batter in the pans. Then sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the two pans of batter.  Do not stir batter. Bake as directed on cake mix box. Cool and frost with your favorite chocolate frosting. (The chocolate chips make a layer of fudge across the cake that your guests will ask about!) 


1 pkg. chocolate cake mix
1 large pkg. instant chocolate pudding
1 cup sour cream
4 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup water
12 oz. chocolate mint chips (Wegman’s has them; one 10 oz. bag plus 2 more oz.)

Mix all ingredients with an electric mixer, except the mint chips. These chips can be hard to find. (You can substitute 12 oz. of Andes mints if you cannot find them.) Add chips by hand at the end. Pour into a greased and floured bundt or angel food cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes, until done. Allow to cool completely before taking out of the pan. Dust with powdered sugar and serve chilled. 


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