Click on a recipe name to view it.  Chef's Favorites Shown in Red

 14 Carat Cake

B.G.'S Two-Bake Coffee-Chocolate Cake

Butterscotch Phyllo Cheesecake

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cobbler

Diana's Strawberry Cheesecake

Diana’s Strawberry Shortcake

Four Seasons Cake

German Apple Cake

Individual Hot Fudge Pudding Cakes

Mother's White Fruit Cake

Orange Flourless Chocolate Cake for the Regan Family

Sicilian Chocolate Cake

Stabilized Whipped Cream

Strawberry Cake

Strawberry Cheesecake

Warm Apple-Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake








Sicilian Chocolate Cake

Serves 8-10


1 box pound cake mix

1 pound ricotta cheese

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons orange liqueur

1 pint strawberries or other fresh fruit or 3 tablespoon chopped mixed candied fruit

2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate bits 


10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate bits

3/4 cup hot water

2 teaspoons instant coffee

1/2 pound unsalted butter cut into ½-inch pieces, thoroughly chilled 


       Bake pound cake in loaf pan.  Refrigerate.  With serrated knife, slice end crusts off cake and level top if rounded.  Cut horizontally into 3 slabs.

       By hand, gently mix ricotta, sugar and orange liqueur.  Fold in chocolate bits and (candied fruit).  Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours to thicken.

       On platter, center bottom slab of cake and spread generously with filling.  Add layer of sliced strawberries on top of filling.  Top with next slab of cake and continue.  Gently press cake together to make compact.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 24 hours. 


       Melt chocolate with coffee and hot water in small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until bits dissolve.  Pour into bowl of food processor.  Beat in butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, until smooth.  Refrigerate to thicken to spreading consistency.  Spread frosting thickly over cake. 



14 Carat Cake


2 cup flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups oil or 3/4 cup oil and 3/4 cup apple sauce

4 eggs

2 cups carrots, grated raw

1-8 3/4 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

sugar to taste


In food processor mix together flour, baking powder, soda, salt and cinnamon.  Add sugar, oil and eggs.  Stir in carrots, pineapple and nuts.  Pour into 2 greased and floured load pans.  Bake 350 for 35 to 40 minutes.  Cool 5 minutes.  Turn cake onto wire racks to cool. Mix cream cheese with sugar to taste. Frost the bottom layer ; place the other layer on top and frost.



Diana’s Strawberry Shortcake

Serves 8


1/2 cups sweet butter, cut up

1 ¾ cups flour + ¼ cup cornmeal

1/4 cup sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

peel of 1 orange, grated

2 egg yolks

½ cup buttermilk

2-3 pints strawberries, sliced (save some whole for top)

sugar and water

1 cup heavy whipping cream

mint leaves


       Heat 1 cup water with 1 ½ cups sugar; cool.  Pour over 1 cup sliced berries and let set overnight.  Butter 8-inch cake pan and line with parchment paper.  Set aside.

       Sift flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.  By hand, cut in butter until mixture looks mealy.  Mix in orange peel. Transfer to large bowl.  In separate bowl, beat egg yokes with milk. Add to flour mixture and stir briefly until just mixed.  Spoon into pan and smooth top with spatula.  Bake 450 for 12 to 15 minutes.  Turn cake on rack to cool.

       Whip cream and add super fine sugar to sweeten.

       To assemble:  Cut cake into wedges.  Cut wedges horizontally.  Place bottom wedge in bowl; top with berries.  Add top wedge and put a few berries on top.  Spoon in some syrup.  Add sweetened whipped cream and garnish with mint leaves.



Mother's White Fruit Cake


1 pound mixed candied fruit, floured

1/2 pound white raisins, floured

1/2 pound candied cherries, floured

1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained

1/2 cup pineapple juice

1/2 cup jelly

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup almonds

1 cup walnuts

5 eggs, beaten

1 cup butter

1 cup sugar 

2 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

       Mix together the first 9 ingredients and let stand.

       In food processor, cream together butter and sugar.  Add in eggs. Add flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla and almond extract.  Mix well.  Pour into lg bowl.  Stir in fruit and nuts gradually.

       Grease and flour tube pan with false bottom.  Add cake batter.  Bake 250 for 2 1/2 hours with a pan of water on oven floor.








B.G.'S Two-Bake Coffee-Chocolate Cake

Serves 12-15


Chocolate graham cracker crust

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup butter, melted 

6 ounce  semisweet chocolate chips

3 tablespoon strong coffee


Chocolate filling

1 cup butter, room temp

2 cups light brown sugar

4 eggs, separated, room temp

1-16 ounce can chocolate syrup

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 cup pecans, finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 cup whipping cream 

powdered sugar

whipped cream

       For crust:  Grease 10" springform pan.  Freeze 5 minutes.

       Combine crumbs, sugar, pecans, cocoa and butter in sm bowl.  Press into bottom of prepared pan.  Bake 350-degrees for 8 to 10 minutes, until firm.  Cool completely.  Retain oven at 350-degrees.

       Melt chocolate chips with coffee until smooth.  Spread evenly over crust.  Refrigerate.

        For filling:  Cream butter with brown sugar.  Beat in yolks one at a time.  Mix in syrup, cocoa and vanilla.  Slowly mix in flour and pecans.  Beat whites with cream of tartar in another bowl until stiff but not dry.  Gently fold into filling.  Whip 1 cup cream to soft peaks.  Fold into filling.

       Pour mixture into crust.  Bake 350-degrees until tester inserted 2-inches from edge comes out clean, about 1 to 1 1/4 hours; DO NOT OVERCOOK.  Cool completely in pan on rack.  (Can be prepared 1 day ahead.  Cover and refrigerate.)  Run sharp knife between cake and pan; remove sides.  Invert onto platter, removing pan bottom.  Dust cake with powdered sugar.  Serve at room temp with whipped cream separately.

Diana’s Strawberry Cheese Cake

9x13-inch pan (8x8)


1 (3/4) package graham cracker crumbs

1/3 (1/4) cup butter, melted 


5 (3) eggs, at room temp, well beaten

2 pounds (1 ½) cream cheese, room temp

1 (3/4) cup sugar

2 ½ (1 ½) teaspoons vanilla or 3 teaspoons lemon juice

½ (1/4) teaspoon salt

Optional: 2 tablespoons flour for more cake-like texture 


1pint strawberries, sliced

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

pinch salt

1 cup water

2 tablespoons corn syrup

2 tablespoons strawberry Jell-O


       Crust:  Mix crust ingredients.  Press into greased 13x9-inch glass dish.  Bake 375-degrees for 8 minutes.  Thoroughly chill.

       Filling:  Mix for 5 minutes all filling ingredients.  Pour into crust.  Bake 350 –degrees for 20-25 minutes, between 160 and 165-degrees.  Chill.

       Topping: Top with strawberries.  Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt.  Add water and corn syrup.  Cook until clear.  Remove from heat; stir in Jell-O.  Cool.

Strawberry Cheesecake

Serves 12-16                                                                          Cook’s Illustrated, 9/95

Note: Use ½ recipe for a 7-inch spring form pan (serves 6)


10 ounces graham crackers, broken

1 ½ sticks chilled, unsalted butter, diced

½ cup light brown sugar 


2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup sugar

4 large eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon lemon zest

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

¼ cup heavy cream

¼ cup sour cream 


1 box strawberries

red current jelly, melted


Crust: Preheat oven to 350-degrees.Using a 10-inch spring form pan, wrap foil around inside bottom section and up outer sides. Butter the insides. Combine crackers, butter and sugar in processor until crumbs begin to stick together. Press crumbs onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Bake crust 10 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool.  

Filling: Preheat oven to 500-degrees. Beat cream cheese in bowl of electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add sugar and beat on medium speed until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just incorporated and scraping down after each addition. Add zest and vanilla and beat until just incorporated. Remove bowl from mixer. Whisk together the heavy cream and sour cream; stir into the cream cheese mixture.  Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake cheesecake at 500 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees, leaving oven door ajar until oven temperature reduces. Bake until perimeter of cake is set, but center jiggles like Jell-O when pan is tapped, about 1 hour longer (160 to 165-degrees). Cool for 15 minutes on wire rack; remove spring form pan. Continue to cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours. (Can be refrigerated up to 4 days.) 

Topping: Slice strawberries. Spread some melted jelly over the top of the cheesecake. Layer strawberries around rim. Continue layering in the opposite direction. Add a large strawberry to the middle. Brush strawberries with melded jelly. Refrigerate until set.



Butterscotch Phyllo Cheesecake

Serves 10-12

10-inch spring form pan (6 ½”)


1/2 cup raisins, soaked overnight

3 tablespoons dark rum 


1/2 cup butter

1/3 cup sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 cups flour

6 phyllo pastry sheets

1/4 cup clarified butter, melted 


4-8oz package cream cheese, room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

4 eggs, room temperature

1 egg yolk, room temperature

1/2 cup whipping cream 

Butterscotch Sauce:

10 tablespoons butter

2 cups light brown sugar

2/3 cup whipping cream

4 tablespoons dark corn syrup

2 teaspoons vanilla


Serves 4-6

6 1/2” spring form pan  

2 ½ tablespoons cup raisins, soaked overnight

1 tablespoon dark rum 


2 ½ tablespoons butter at room temp

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon cream

1/2 cup flour

4 phyllo pastry sheets

1 1/3 tablespoons clarified butter, melted


1 1/3-8oz package cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoon flour

1 eggs, room temperature

1 egg yolk, room temperature

2 ½ tablespoons cup whipping cream 

Butterscotch Sauce:

3 tablespoons butter

2/3 cup light brown sugar

4 tablespoons whipping cream

4 teaspoons dark corn syrup

2/3 teaspoon vanilla


Crust:  Cream butter with sugar until light.  Beat in egg.  Gradually mix in flour.  Cover dough and chill 2 hours.  Grease and flour bottom and sides of 10-inch spring form pan.  Roll dough out on lightly floured surface to 1/8 to ¼-inch thickness.  Cut out 10 ¼-inch (6 ½-inch) circle.  Fit dough into bottom of prepared pan.  Brush each phyllo sheet with butter. Cut each sheet in half lengthwise to allow for easier placement.  Arrange half-sheets buttered side up over dough in pan, covering bottom and sides allowing overhang to drape over sides enough to form crown on top.  Drain raisins; sprinkle over phyllo. 

       Filling:  Beat cream cheese with sugar until smooth.  Add flour and mix.  Beat in eggs and yolk 1 at a time.  Add cream and stir just to incorporate.  Pour into crust.  Fold overhanging phyllo over filling, separating ends and pulling upward to form rough, jagged "crown."  Bake 325-degrees for 70 (60) minutes, until firm, between 160-165-degrees.  Cool cake completely. 

       Sauce:  Melt butter in heavy sm saucepan.  Stir in brown sugar, cream and corn syrup.  Increase heat and bring to boil.  Remove from heat.  Blend in vanilla. 

       Place cake on large platter.  Drizzle sauce over top of cake and allow to pool around bottom.  To serve, cut cake into wedges.  Pass any remaining sauce separately.



Four Seasons Cake

Serves 12


1 package angle food cake mix

3 cups fruit, well drained (strawberries)

1 envelope gelatin

1/4 cup cold water

6 eggs, separated

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon or orange peel

1/2 cup lemon, lime or orange juice

1 cup heavy cream whipped

3/4 cup fruit, well drained, for garnish

fresh mint (optional)


       Bake cake using 10-inch tube pan.  Invert to cool.  Refrigerate cake and wash pan.  Prepare fruit and drain on paper towels.  Soften gelatin in water.  In double boiler, beat together yolks, salt, 1/2 cup sugar, peel and juice.  Cook stirring constantly until mixture coats a spoon.  Add gelatin and stir until dissolved.  Set custard aside to cool, stirring occasionally.  Beat egg whites until soft peaks; gradually add remaining 1/2 cup sugar and beat until glossy.  Fold slightly cooled custard into whites.

       Slice cake into 4 horizontal slices of equal width.  Return bottom layer to tube pan; spoon 1/3 custard over it and arrange 1 cup fruit on filling.  Repeat using other slices of cake.  Add top cake slice, cover pan with foil and refrigerate overnight.

       Loosen cake from pan and invert on serving plate.  Frost with whipped cream and garnish with fruit and mint.  To serve, slice cake with sharp knife.



German Apple Cake


1 cup sugar

1 cup flour

4 tablespoons butter, cut into 4 pieces

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

5 large apples, Granny Smith and Braeburn



3 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons melted butter

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 egg


       Add all cake ingredients to food processor except apples.  Process until mixture resembles cornmeal.  Spread mixture in bottom of a well-buttered 9-inch spring form pan.

       Peel, quarter, seed and slice apples thinly.  Arrange apples in layers on top of crumb mixture. Fill center with jam or apple butter.  Bake 350-degrees for 45 minutes.

       Add all topping ingredients to food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Spoon mixture over apples and bake 25-30 minutes more or until top is firm.



Warm Apple-Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake


Serves 8                                                                                 Bon Appetit, Feb. 03

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

½ cup + ¾ cup sugar

4 medium Braeburn apples, peeled, cored and cut into 8 wedge. 

¾ cup all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1/3 cup yellow cornmeal

½ cup boiling water

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup whole milk

vanilla ice cream


      Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Generously butter 9-inch diameter cake pan; line pan with 10-inch parchment paper. Butter parchment. Melt 2 tablespoon butter in large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add ½ cup sugar and cook until sugar dissolves and mixture turn deep golden brown (you may have to add 1-2T water), stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Add apple wedges and gently shake skillet (don’t stir) to distribute caramel evenly. Cover and cook 5 minutes. Uncover and cook until apples are tender and caramel thickens and coats apples, stirring occasionally, about 13 minutes. Transfer apples and caramel syrup to prepared cake pan, spreading evenly.

      Whisk flower, baking powder and salt in small bowl to blend. Place cornmeal in mixer bowl; pour ½ cup boiling water over and stir to blend. Add 6 tablespoon butter and ¾ cup sugar to cornmeal mixture. Using electric mixer, beat until well blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Beat in flour mixture alternately with milk in 2 additions each. Pour batter over apples in pan; shake lightly to distribute batter evenly.

      Bake cake until golden, about 35-40 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Run knife between cake and pan to loosen. Carefully invert cake onto ovenproof platter and peel off parchment. Cool 15 minutes. (Cake can be made up to 6 hours ahead. Rewarm in 350-degree oven about 10 minutes.)

      Cut cake into wedges and serve warm with scoop of vanilla ice cream.








Strawberry Cake


1 1/2 cups white sugar

1 (3 ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin

1 cup butter, softened

4 eggs, separated (room temperature), separated

2 3/4 cups sifted cake flour (sifted then measure

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup whole milk, room temperature

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup strawberry puree made from frozen sweetened strawberries



Optional: (stabilized) sweetened whipped cream decorated with strawberries

8 ounces cream cheese
1 stick of butter
3 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
3/4 cup mashed strawberries (drained)

1 pint strawberries for decoration     

Cake: Preheat the oven to 350-degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.

        Whisk together by hand the egg yolks until very light and creamy; set aside. In a standing mixer, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks; set aside. Whisk to cream together the butter, sugar and dry strawberry gelatin until light and fluffy. Whisk in egg yolks. Change to the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and baking powder; stir into the batter alternately with the milk until just blended. Stir in vanilla and strawberry puree. Remove bowl from mixer and fold egg whites into batter. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.

        Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a small knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool in their pans over a wire rack for at least 10 minutes, before tapping out to cool completely.  Frost room-temperature cake just before serving. 

Frosting: Optional: Frost cake with (stabilized) sweetened whipped cream and decorate with strawberries.

        Combine cream cheese, and butter and mix on low speed for a minute. Add sugar and strawberries. Blend frosting on low until sugar is incorporated.

To assemble: place one cake layer on plate and spread top with frosting, add another cake layer and frost the top, add last cake layer and frost the top. Use remaining frosting for the sides of the cake. Place fresh strawberries on top of frosting for decoration.



Stabilized Whipped Cream

Method #1:

1 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon stabilizing powder

2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Method #2:

1 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon Knox gelatin

1 tablespoon cold water

2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract


        Soften gelatin in cold water in a saucepan for 5 minutes. Heat gently until gelatin melts. Add to cream, beating only to combine, not whip.  Chill in refrigerator at least one hour. Whip cream and add confectioner’s sugar and vanilla. Whip until cream holds its shape.  The cream will stiffen further upon refrigeration.  This cream works well on cream topped or filled desserts.



Orange Flourless Chocolate Cake for the Reagan Family

Makes 10 to 12 servings



1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

zest of one large orange

4 eggs plus 2 egg yolks

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

confectioners' sugar, for dusting

vanilla ice cream 

Orange Sauce:

2 large navel oranges

1 cup orange juice

½ cup sugar


Cake: Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Butter and flour a 10-inch (25-cm) round cake pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, then butter and flour the parchment paper. Gently melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Stir the butter into the chocolate to melt, and stir until smooth. Remove from the double boiler and whisk the sugar and orange zest into the chocolate mixture. Add the eggs and egg yolks and whisk well. Sift the cocoa powder over the chocolate mixture and whisk the batter until totally smooth. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for approximately 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top has formed a good crust. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Invert the cake onto a serving platter. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve with candied orange peel and vanilla ice cream.

     Orange Sauce: Remove zest from 2 oranges and trim any white pith from zest. Cut zest into enough very thin strips to measure 1/4 cup. Cook sugar in a dry heavy saucepan over moderate heat, undisturbed, until it begins to melt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a fork, until sugar is melted into a deep golden caramel. Add zest and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Tilt pan and carefully pour in juice (caramel will harden and steam vigorously). Cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until caramel is dissolved, then cool sauce.

     To Serve: Spoon sauce on plate; top with slice of cake; small scoop of ice cream to the side.



Individual Hot Fudge Pudding Cakes

Serves 6-8                                                                                   Cook’s Illustrated


1 teaspoon instant coffee

1 ½ cups hot water

2/3 cup Dutch cocoa

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 cup sugar

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped

¾ cup flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup whole milk

¼ teaspoon salt

1 large egg yolk 

vanilla ice cream


     Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 400-degrees. Lightly spray 6 to 8 coffee mugs set on rimmed baking sheet.

1)     Stir 1 teaspoon instant coffee into 1 ½ cups hot water; set aside.

2)     Stir together 1/3 cup cocoa, 1/3 cup brown sugar and 1/3 cup sugar in small bowl; set aside.

3)     Melt 5 tablespoons butter, 1/3 cup cocoa and 2 ounces chopped chocolate. Whisk until smooth; set aside.

4)     Whisk ¾ cup flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder; set aside.

5)     In medium bowl, whisk 2/3 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/3 cup milk and ¼ teaspoon salt.

Can be prepared ahead to this point. 

     Whisk melted chocolate (3) into milk mixture (5). Add flour mixture (4), whisking briefly until just combined. Pour into prepared mugs. Sprinkle cocoa-brown sugar mixture (2) evenly over batter. Gently pour coffee (1) over cocoa.

     Bake until cake is puffed and just beginning to pull away from sides of mugs, about 20 minutes. Do not over bake. Cool 15 minutes before serving.












Chocolate Peanut Butter Cobbler 

¾ + 2 tablespoons brown sugar

¼ cup + 2 tablespoon unsweetened coco powder divided

¼ cup chopped bittersweet chocolate, about 1 ½-ounces

2 ½ cups flower

1 ¾ cups white sugar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

¾ cups while milk

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

12 ounces milk chocolate chips

1 cup fresh peanut butter

1 cup brewed coffee.

vanilla ice cream 

           Preheat oven to 350-degrees.

Lightly spray 8 by 11 baking dish with Pam.

           In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder and chopped chocolate. Set aside.

           In a large bowl sift together flower, sugar, cinnamon and remaining 2 tablespoon cocoa powder, salt and baking powder. Add the milk, melted butter and vanilla and stir until well combined and smooth. Mixture will be very thick, almost like biscuit dough.

           Spread milk chocolate chips in baking dish. Spread peanut butter. Spread the dough with damp fingers. Top with streusel mixture. Pour coffee over the top and place on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet on the middle rack of the preheated oven. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the cobbler is bubbly around the edges, firm and nicely puffed in the center. Let Cool for 15 minutes before serving. If not serving immediately, spoon servings into a baking dish and microwave about 1 minute. Serve with vanilla ice cream.