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Category Archives: Family

My Mother’s Mayo Cake

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With Cream Cheese Frosting.


And this time it really is MY mother’s recipe.  Well, surely she got it from some magazine or the back of the Hellman’s jar a million years ago.


It starts out very basically:  sugar, mayo, and cocoa powder.  My mother insists that you can only use Hellman’s.


Isn’t that a beautiful color?  That’s what six heaping tablespoons of cocoa powder will do.  Don’t tell my mom, but I actually used special dark this time.  She doesn’t like change.   See the above Hellman’s remark.


Add the remaining ingredients and bake away.


I actually let this cool overnight and made my frosting the next morning.  Let me tell you about this frosting:  It’s your basic cream cheese frosting, or so I thought.  I didn’t have a measurement for the vanilla.  I assumed it would be one teaspoon, but I did a little googling.  It turns out most of the recipes I found had a cup or maybe two of powdered sugar.  Well, my mom doesn’t mess around and this version has four cups.

Get your glass of milk ready.


For the cake:

1.5 cups granulated sugar

6 heaping TB cocoa powder

1.5 cups mayonnaise

3 cups AP flour

3 tsp baking soda

3 tsp vanilla

1.5 cups water

Combine sugar, mayo, and cocoa powder.  Add flour, baking soda, vanilla, and water.  Grease and flour a 9×13 pan and bake for 30 minutes at 350.

For the frosting:

4 cups powdered sugar

8 ounces softened cream cheese

1 stick of butter

1 tsp vanilla

Mix together and frost.

This cake tastes amazing at room temperature.  However, I am a huge fan of the refrigerated version.  Not to mention there’s that big debate about keeping cream cheese cold and all.

I should mention that we had this for Jake’s birthday!  Sorry I didn’t get a picture with all of the candles.

Eat Well and Savor.


Seven Layer Cookies

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I thought I would jump from my cake failure to a tried-and-true success.

Some of you may know these as magic bars, but I’ve been eating seven layer cookies every Christmas of my life.  They are so easy, yet every Christmas I have to call my mom to get the recipe.  A couple of years ago I did manage to write it down, but I still had to call for some clarification.  Don’t worry.  I’ve worked out the kinks.


Heat the oven to 350.  While it’s warming put a stick of butter in a 9×13 pan to melt.  My mom swears that the 2 cups of graham cracker crumbs are to just be layered on top.  But I challenged the cookie gods and actually mixed them in this year.  Shockingly, the world did not end.


Add two cups of coconut.


And then 12 ounces of chocolate chips.


Then my favorite part:  12 ounces of butterscotch chips.  I have had these once with peanut butter chips; someone else made them.  I am not one to discriminate against peanut butter, but I am a firm believer in sticking to the original.


No.  I didn’t get confused and put a picture of chowder in there.  That is none other than manna from said cookie gods:  Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk.  Not one can, not two cups, but two whole cans.

Lastly, two cups of walnuts.  Although I think I bought the package that was 2-1/2 or 2-2/3 cups and used the whole thing.  No need to toast ahead of time.  Bake for 30 minutes.


Heaven on a plate.


I can only make these once a year.  Dec-a-dent.


Isn’t that the cutest little reindeer?  This is actually an apron that my mother made for me years ago.


Of course there’s a matching oven mitt and a dish towel to hang on the oven door.

1/2 cup butter

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

2 cups coconut

12 ounces chocolate chips

12 ounces butterscotch chips

2 cans of sweetened condensed milk

2 to 2-1/2 cups of chopped walnuts

Layer in this order in a 9×13 pan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Cool completely before cutting.

btw – I used Nestle chips and couldn’t help but notice that over the years, much like other products, they have decreased in size from the original 12.  The downfall of America, I say.  If they go down any lower I may have to buy two bags next year.

Eat Well and Savor.