Category Archives: Desserts

elderberry pie

Elderberry Pie

Recipe submitted by Mrs. Roy E. Blosser, Orrville, Ohio

2 1/2 cups elderberries

3/4 cup sugar

2 Tbsp flour

1/8 tsp salt

3 Tbsp lemon juice

Pastry for 2 (9 inch) crusts

Line pan with pastry.

Stem and wash elderberries and fill pie shell.

Mix sugar, salt and flour and sprinkle over berries.

Cover with crust and fasten edges securely.

Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake 30 minutes longer.

Makes 1 (9 inch) pie.

For variation, crumbs may be sprinkled over top of elderberries instead of putting on top crust.

For crumbs, rub together:

4 Tbsp flour

3 Tbsp sugar

2 Tbsp melted butter

Variation submitted by Mrs. Elmer Mack, Souderton, Pa.

Pastry (for a 9-inch double crust pie)

21/4 cups flour

2/3 cup shortening

½ tsp salt

1/3 cup cold water

Combine flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut shortening into flour with pastry blender or 2 knives. Do not over mix; these are sufficiently blended when particles are the size of peas.

Add water gradually, sprinkling 1 Tbsp at a time over mixture. Toss lightly with a fork until all particles of flour have been dampened. Use only enough water to hold mixture together when it is pressed between the fingers. It should not feel wet.

Roll dough into a ball, handling as little as possible.

Divide into 2 equal portions.

Roll out on a lightly floured board until dough is 1/8 inch thick and 1 inch larger then diameter of pie pan. (Or in the case of sausage pie, the dough is slightly larger than the size of your flat baking dish.)

Observations:

Ok, so I followed this recipe quite loosely but it turned out awesome! I was looking for a recipe with red raspberries, and this was the closest one I could find in the cookbook.

When I went to make the pie I realized that I didn’t have quite enough raspberries……I had read somewhere that you can add jam to make a great pie filling, and so I added Strawberry Marmalade (from a few post ago), and it made the pie tangy sweet and really delicious!

Because of the citrus in the marmalade, I cut back on the lemon I used to make the filling.

Also, I used the crumbs instead of the crust and threw some whole oats in to give it a bit more oomph- it worked great!  For the bottom crust, I used some cream cheese instead of all butter…..yum….

Lastly…….yup I did it, I used a food processor to make my pie dough….never thought I would see the day! My pie dough has been coming so-so and I was getting tired of it. Then I saw someone use the food processor method on a cooking show. Wow! It was awesome and I probably won’t be going back…….

Oh , and one last thing- this recipe could be used for any berry/ jam combination, blueberries, blackberries, you name it….it s a keeper!

This pie was put to the test by my boyfriend’s lovely parents, Keith and Lynn. We had it with milk, but everyone thought it would be great with vanilla ice cream or homemade whipped cream. We ended up having it before the meal (because of some poorly timed, although amazingly delicious steaks made by my man), and I think the timing made it even better. It was great conversation and great company…… there is nothing like sitting down together, and talking over good food. It was a fantastic time!

saucepan fudge cake

Saucepan Fudge Cake

Recipe submitted by Ruth Friedt, Medina, Ohio

Mix together:

4 Tbsp cocoa

1/2 cup boiling water

5 Tbsp shortening

Cook together for 2 1/2 minutes.

Set aside to cool.

Then sift together:

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

Add to cooled mixture and mix thoroughly.

Add:

1 cup sugar

1 egg, well beaten

1/4 cup butter milk or sour milk

1 tsp vanilla

Beat until all ingredients are well blended.

Pour into greased loaf or layer pans. If baked in a loaf pan, bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. If baked in layer pans, bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Makes 1 loaf 3 1/2 x 8 inches or 1 (9 inch) layer.

Use a cream cheese frosting.

Observations:

Yum! This was so tasty! With the cream cheese frosting, it was heavenly! ! And I think it could be even better with dark cocoa powder…..next time! I will be making this cake again.

I used butter for my shortening, but I think using part oil might help the cake to stay together a bit better. Mine fell apart but tasted great!

In the first section of the recipe where it instructs to “cook together for 2 1/2 minutes”, I just bought the mixture to a boil turned it down, and stirred it often, seemed to work well.

I used the same cream cheese frosting that I made for the Spice cake.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Recipe submitted by Mrs. C. R. Eby, Hagerstown, Md.

2 packages of cream cheese (6 ounces)

2/4 cup confectioners sugar

1 tsp lemon juice

Cream the cheese until soft. Sift sugar and add it gradually. Stir until smooth.

Add lemon juice and blend together.

Spread on cake.

This is especially good on spice cake.

picnic cake

My friend Rob had people over for a BBQ and wanted me to bring a dessert. It was a warmish evening and kinda felt like a picnic, so this cake was in order. Yum!

Picnic Cake

Recipe submitted by Mrs. Mose Hoffman, Goshen, Ind.

1/2 cup shortening

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 1/2 cups cake flour

1/2 tsp salt

3 tsp baking powder

1 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

Cream shortening. Add sugar gradually and beat until fluffy. Add eggs and beat until well blended.

Sift flour; measure and add salt and baking powder. Sift again.

Add dry ingredients alternately with milk and flavoring. Beat thoroughly after each addition.

Pour into greased flat pan 7 x 10 x 1 1/4 inches.

Then make the following frosting:

12 marshmallows cut cross wise and placed on batter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup nuts

Mix sugar and nuts together and sprinkle over marshmallows.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.

Observations:

This cake was fun to make! I think kids would love to eat this cake, and would have fun helping make it. I want to try it with my niece and nephew.

I have been playing around with shortening for cakes, and used lard for this one. I think it helped to keep the cake moist.  I did over bake this cake (40 minutes). It seemed unfinished but I think it was because of the gooey marshmallows….don’t be fooled!

Lastly, I didn’t really follow the recommended pan size, it seems like this should be a flatter, large cake. I just used regular cake pan/glass baking pan. It was still very good but might have baked a bit faster and been more like a texas sheet cake.

Have a picnic! Make this cake!

sour cream cake

Sour Cream Cake

Recipe submitted by Mrs. Samuel Nafziger, Kalona Iowa

1 cup sour cream (thick)

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

2 cups cake flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

Grated rind of 1 lemon

1 tsp of lemon juice

Combine sugar, egg yolks, lemon juice and rind, and sour cream.

Beat until well blended.

Sift flour: measure and add salt and soda. Sift again.

Add sifted dry ingredients gradually and beat thoroughly.

Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45- 50 minutes.

Makes a loaf 4x8x4 inches.

Cool and cover with orange frosting.

Observations:

I changed a bunch of things about this cake; I didn’t have any white sugar so I used brown sugar, and I didn’t have a lemon so I used a lime. I also did not have the ingredients for orange frosting, so I made my own lime icing. All these changes produced a cake that had a bit of a Caribbean feel. It was really good! If you like sweeter cakes, this is not the one for you. Less sweet then some cakes, but really nice with a glass of milk of coffee.  Using more icing and making it into a layer cake would work to up the sweetness, and it would look very pretty!


Lime Icing

Juice of 1 lime

1 1/4 cup confectioner sugar

1 Tbsp soft butter

1 Tbsp sour cream

Cream sugar, butter and lime juice. Beat until well blended and then add sour cream and mix until smooth. Place cake on a rack and pour icing over cake while cake is still warm.  Grate lime peel on top. Place cake in refrigerator to let icing harden.

This would be great on sugar cookies or used as drizzle on a coffee cake.

spice cake

Spice Cake

Recipe submitted by Mrs. Lloyd Eberly, Salem, Ohio; Mrs. E. M. Glick, Parksburg, Pa.; Elizabeth M. Batterman, Hanover, Pa

1/2 cup shortening

2 cups brown sugar

2 eggs

2 1/4 cups cake flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp each of cloves and nutmeg

3/4 cup of sweet milk and

2 tsp baking powder

Or

1 cup buttermilk or sour milk and

1 tsp soda

Cream shortening.

Add sugar gradually and beat until fluffy.

Add eggs and beat until light.

Sift flour: measure and add salt, spices, and baking powder or soda. Sift again.

Add dry ingredients alternately with milk. Beat thoroughly after each addition.

Pour into greased layer pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Makes 2 (9 inch) layers.

Observations:

Ok. So I am having a bit of trouble with these Mennonite cakes! It is starting to be very frustrating…… They always come out dry. Nobody likes a dry cake. ( Well, it could not have been that bad because everyone ate a piece and some folks had two…..) I think it’s because I always use butter for the shortening. Next time, I am going to use oil and see what happens.

This cake had a great flavor and was perfect with cream cheese icing. It’s a combo my Mom would make often and I think I need to talk to her or my sister about how to keep it moist. Other than being dry, this cake was really good!

I doubled the amount of spices and think it was a good amount. If you are going to use the cream cheese icing recipe, you should double it so there is enough for the layers.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Recipe submitted by Mrs. C. R. Eby, Hagerstown, Md.

2 packages of cream cheese (6 ounces)

2/4 cup confectioners sugar

1 tsp lemon juice

Cream the cheese until soft. Sift sugar and add it gradually. Stir until smooth.

Add lemon juice and blend together.

Spread on cake.

This is especially good on spice cake.

And again, no finished product. I was very excited about eating…….but trust me, you should make this one….it would be awesome on carrot cake!

burnt sugar cake

Burnt Sugar Cake

Recipe submitted by Mrs. John Martin, Hutchinson, Kan.: Katie Rutt, New Holland, Pa.

1 3/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup boiling water

3/4 cup shortening

3 eggs separated

2 3/4 cups cake flour

1/2 tsp salt

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

Melt 1/2 cup sugar in heavy pan. Add boiling water and stir well. Set aside to cool.

Cream shortening and add remaining sugar gradually (1 1/4 cups). Add beaten egg yolks and mix thoroughly.

Sift flour; measure and sift again with salt and baking powder. Add sifted ingredients alternately with milk. Beat thoroughly after each addition.

Add vanilla and burnt sugar mixture. Blend well.

Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Pour into greased layer pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.

Makes 2 (9 inch) layers.

Caramel Frosting

Recipe submitted by Mrs. Tom Miller, Walnut Creek, Ohio; Mrs. Ida M. Gable, York, Pa.

3 cups brown sugar

1 cup top milk or thin cream

2 Tbsp butter

1 tsp vanilla

Mix ingredients together in a saucepan. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Cook syrup until it forms a soft ball when dropped in cold water (238 degrees).

Cool until you can hold your hand on the bottom of the pan.

Beat until creamy and spread on cake.

Sprinkle with chopped nuts.

marble cake

Marble Cake

Submitted by Mrs. John A. Rhodes, Dayton, Va.

White part:

!/2 cup shortening

1 cup sugar

2 1/2 cups cake flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup sweet milk

4 egg whites

1 tsp vanilla

Cream shortening. Add sugar gradually add sugar and beat until fluffy.

Sift flour; measure and add salt and baking powder. Sift again.

Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with milk and flavoring

Beat thoroughly after each addition. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites.

Dark part:

1/2 cup shortening

1 cup brown sugar

4 egg yokes

1/2 cup molasses

2 cups cake flour

1 tsp soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp salt

1 tsp each of cinnamon and cloves

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 cup sour milk

Cream shortening. Add sugar gradually and beat until fluffy. Add molasses and egg yolks. Beat until thoroughly blended.

Sift flour: measure and add soda, salt and spices. Sift again. Add dry ingredients alternately with sour milk. Beat thoroughly after each addition.

Drop alternate spoonfuls of each batter into large, greased tube pan so as to make a marbled effect.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Makes a very large cake.

This cake will not keep unless it is under lock and key!

Observations:

This cake was a bit time consuming. Make sure you read through everything, and have enough time to complete it……I was a bit time crunched on the cooling and frosting end of things. This cake was a tad dry, don’t over bake.  A great cake for a crowd of people… it served at least 15 happy celebrating friends. I think it would be better as a layer cake with some frosting in the middle; two 9 inch pans would be perfect. Lastly, I think it would be great with milk or coffee……we had ours with beer and that seemed to work out just fine!

This is where tragedy strikes and I need to admit I have no pictures of the finished cake! Sometimes I totally forget because I am excited about whatever event is going on! I mean it was my guys birthday after all………

Creamy Cocoa Frosting

Submitted by Sarah M. Gehman, Bally, Pa.

1/4 cup vegetable shortening

3 Tbsp cocoa

3 cups powdered sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1tsp vanilla

1/4 cup strong coffee

Blend shortening, salt and vanilla together.

Sift cocoa and powdered sugar and add to mixture alternately with coffee.

Stir until creamy and spread on cake.

Rich and delicious!!!!

molasses crinkles

Molasses Crinkles

Recipe submitted by Mrs. J. Irvin Lehman, Chambersburg, Pa; Mrs. Schertz, Falfurrias, Tex.

3/4 cup shortening

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg

4 Tbsp molasses

2 1/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp cloves

Cream shortening and sugar together. Add egg and molasses and beat until well blended.

Sift flour. Measure and add salt, soda and spices. Sift again.

Add sifted ingredients to creamed mixture and mix thoroughly. Chill dough in refrigerator.

Shape the chilled dough in balls 1 inch in diameter.

Roll balls in granulated sugar and place 2 inches apart on greased baking sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Makes 4 dozen cookies.

Observations:

So the reason these cookies are called molasses crinkles, is because they are supposed to “crinkle” and form ridges on the top as they cool. Obviously mine did not. They cracked and were a bit thicker than they should have been…….but they were still soooo good! Chewy on the inside with a slight buttery crunch around the edges. Eat them warm with milk or coffee.

I used butter for my shortening. For my molasses, I used half mild, and half full flavor……Brer Rabbit is my favorite brand.

The recipe said it would yield 4 dozen. I got about 3 dozen using a 1 inch cookie dipper.

Work quickly, or the dough will become sticky.

These smelled wonderful while they were baking!

Try to just eat one…..

devil’s food cake

Devil’s Food Cake

Submitted by Mrs. Perry Hochstetler, Millersburg, Ohio

1/2 cup shortening

1 3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup cocoa

2 1/4 cups cake flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/4 tsp soda

1/2 cup sour milk or butter milk

1 cup boiling water

1 tsp vanilla

Cream shortening and add sugar gradually. Beat until fluffy. Add eggs and continue to beat. Add vanilla.

Sift flour; measure and sift again with cocoa and salt. Add alternately with sour milk.

Add soda to boiling water, when dissolved add all at once to mixture. Stir only enough to blend ingredients. This makes a very thin batter.

Pour immediately into greased layer pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Makes 2 (8 inch) layers.

A very moist and fine-textured cake.

Observations:

This cake was so good! I think the frosting I chose gave it that extra oomph that made it way above average. With a glass of milk, it was heaven.

I didn’t have round 8 inch cake pans, so I used some sweet heart shaped pans that I inherited from Joel’s grandmother. It would actually be a great Valentine’s Day cake.

For the shortening I used butter and I think the texture of the cake was really nice. I should have placed parchment on the bottom of the pans because although I thoroughly greased the bottoms, the cakes were slightly stuck. I need to run a knife around the edges to get them out.

This was fun to make and delicious. Make it for your sweetie….. Or with your kids. Try not to eat it all in one setting.

And we ate it before I got to take a picture of the finished product. I am so sorry…..kinda.

Chocolate Fluff Frosting

Submitted by Stella Huber Stauffer, Tofield, Atla., Can.

Blend together:

4 Tbsp butter

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Add:

3 squares chocolate, melted (3 ounces)

1/4 tsp salt

Beat 2 egg whites until stiff but not dry.

Add 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, 2 Tbsp at a time.

Combine the 2 mixtures and fold only until blended.

Spread on cake.

Observations:

This was like marshmallow fluff but chocolate and without the weird artificial taste. Sweet and light. I did it all in the kitchen aid with the beater attachment and it worked great. I tried to fold the two mixtures together as instructed, but it remained clumpy. So I put it all back in the mixer and beat it for 15 seconds and presto, fluffy and perfect.

Only thing I would change was to double the batch of frosting. With the amount I had, I iced between the cake layers and on top, but I couldn’t ice the sides of the cake. Plus, if you had extra you could just eat it with a spoon……

apple goodie

Apple Goodie

Recipe submitted by Mary Hostetler, Iowa City, Iowa

3/4 cup sugar

1 Tbsp flour

!/8 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 cups sliced apples

For topping:

1/2 cup oatmeal

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup butter

1/8 tsp soda

1/8 tsp baking powder

Shift sugar, flour and cinnamon together and combine with sliced apples. Mix together well and place in the bottom of a greased casserole.

To make topping, combine dry ingredients and rub in butter to make crumbs.

Put crumbs on top of apple mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Serve hot or cold with rich milk.

Makes 6 servings.

Observations:

Goodie goodie gumdrops. This dish was like apple crisp on crack. Super sweet, super yummy.  If you have a sweet tooth, this buds for you. I doubled the recipe and used an 8×13 inch pan and it seemed to be perfect. We had some milk available to pour on the top, but most people opted to eat it straight up. Except the guy who wanted to pour chocolate milk on top. You know who you are.

My musings on the pond hockey ordeal…..