Janet's Notebook
Cake Mix, My Secret Time Saver

Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies

I love making desserts from scratch, but sometimes I just don't have the time. I'm sure you can all relate to that! So what do I do when I need to prepare a last minute dessert? I open my pantry and sort through my assortment of cake mixes. You can jazz-up a basic box to make some amazing desserts!

Where have Kimi Gaines Almond Joy Cake Mix Cookies been all my life? "I took a basic cake mix cookie recipe and made this one," explains Kimi. "It's so good and easy!" Kimi does a wonderful job combining classic flavors into a wholly unique cookie. The coconut flavor from the cake mix, pina colada drink mix and then cut up pieces of Almond Joys pack a punch of flavor in each bite. I just love this cookie!

"I wanted a quick and easy coffee cake as I was sick of the ones sold in the stores," shares Donna Woodford. "So I decided to make this Easy Cinnamon Brown Sugar Coffee Cake myself and was very pleased with the results." Honorary Kitchen Crew member Jamie Burris tasted this treat, and she couldn't stop raving! "This is so good and so much better than the store bought cake," said Jamie. "It looks like a crumb cake when done, but when you cut a piece out you see how the swirling of the topping carries all that brown sugar goodness all the way through the cake." An added bonus? Your kitchen will smell like cinnamon rolls while this is baking.

Nutty, fresh and fruity is how I would describe Pat DiMercurio's Pat's Easy Cassata Cake recipe. This delicate cake is almost as delightful to look at as it is to eat. "Unless you're ready to make your own ricotta cheese and cake, try this on for size," says Pat. "I think your guests will be impressed." With ricotta cheese, almonds, chocolate and maraschino cherries the filling is scrumptious. The amaretto and cherry juice added to the cake mix, give the cake wonderful flavor. Your guests will definitely think you spent hours preparing this cake. It can be our secret how easy it was!

"These are always a big hit with family and friends," shares Lisa Cox. Her Mini Chocolate Raspberry Rum Cakes were a hit around the Test Kitchen too! This recipe is BIG on chocolate! The raspberry and rum flavors compliment the chocolate beautifully, with neither being overwhelming. I highly recommended these lovely cakes.

Any carrot cake fans in the house? If not, you will be you try Pattie Turner's easy Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies. These wonderfully moist and creamy whoopie pies sure do that carrot cake flavor justice... and they're portable! Make these bite-sized beauties to suit your taste buds. "You can add 1/2 cup raisins if you like, [or] use walnuts instead of pecans," says Patti. "If you prefer, roll the finished pies in nuts." These are great for a bake sale, a special after-school treat or even for a holiday party.

Next time you're at the grocery store and see a special, make sure to pick up an assortment of cake mixes. There's no limit to what you can create. It will be our secret!

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Pat Duran - Nov 27, 2014
Happy Thanksgiving.....

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Lori Spaidal - Nov 26, 2014
Can I freeze chicken cordon bleu before breading it?
Straws Kitchen - Nov 25, 2014
Sorry BUT making Whoopi Pies out of cake mixes "is NO secret"....yours are beautiful though♥