Janet's Notebook
Bundt Cakes Add Flavor and Flair to Holidays

Bust Your Buttons Butter Cake

This time of year I tend to get pretty sentimental about favorite recipes. They're like familiar friends that we welcome back into the kitchen for the holidays each year. A favorite festive guest at my table has always been the Bundt cake. The Crew and I have tried so many of your wonderfully creative twists on this culinary tradition that I wanted to share some of our favorites! From quirky to classic, these cakes are all winners.

Coming in at creatively classic is Angela Gray's Bust Your Buttons Butter Cake! This Bristol, TN cook approaches her Bundt baking with a wink and a nod. "One bite of this cake and you can't stop eating it until you feel like you are going to Bust Your Buttons!" laughs Angela. What makes this cake even more addictive is how very simple it is to prepare. In fact, the glaze itself is nothing more than a yummy mixture of butter, water, sugar and vanilla! This cake is a good secret-keeper, though: your guests will think you spent hours working on it!

Along those same lines is Dira Niver's recipe for Cream Cheese Pound Cake. Pound cake is one of those desserts that everyone seems to love and it really takes only an ounce of effort to whip up some of the tastiest eats around! Dira's recipe is the perfect example. With just six ingredients and the help of a Bundt pan, she manages to turn out a stunning dessert fit for even the pickiest of queens. "Cream Cheese Pound Cake is my family's favorite," she says with a smile. In fact, each of her family members has their own special way of enjoying it. "My husband said, 'Cream Cheese Pound Cake + coffee is so good.' My daughter said, 'No, dad. It's good with a milk... yummy.' But I like my Cream Cheese Pound Cake with a hot TEA." Whichever way you take it, this cream cheese delight is destined to be adored by all who try it.

For those with an even more adventurous sweet tooth, do I have the recipe for you... Melissa Johnson's This Beets the Cake! That's right, b-e-e-t... as in the red root vegetable! Who knew that such a humble veggie could transform into a classy - and delicious - cake? Well, Melissa knew and she has helped me see the light. Not usually a fan of beets herself, Melissa initially perfected this recipe as a favor for her kids. "I found this recipe and I changed a few things to improve it," she explains. "The result? It's fantastic! The beets taste like cranberries! This cake became wildly popular with our senior citizens at the Center. And besides, I love to ask someone if they can guess what’s in the cake and [see] the look on their face when I tell them the secret ingredient is beets - it's priceless!" Well, we think this RECIPE is priceless, too. After all, why should carrot cake get all the attention? Let's hear it for the beet!

Now, anyone who visits with us regularly knows that chocolate is never far from my thoughts. True to form, we've fallen in love with two very rich, very CHOCOLATE Bundt cake recipes.

First on my “Chocolate Bundts to Watch” list is Jenny Curtis' Double Chocolate Cheesecake! This Owingsville, KY gal sure does know the way to my heart. Her Bundt cake is the picture of decadence...and a beautiful picture at that. A favorite of her son's, this recipe consists of a gooey tunnel of cream cheese and cheery filling enrobed in moist chocolate cake! Jenny suggests using a prepared cake mix with pudding already in it for an extra moist outcome...and a bit of a shortcut.

The second recipe on my Chocolate List comes from Blountville, TN resident Lisa Cox. Her Mini Chocolate Raspberry Rum Cakes are single size servings of pure Heaven... with sugar on top! "These are always a big hit with family and friends," admits Lisa. "They make great gifts, too!" Goodness, do we love that idea! Mini Bundt pans can be used for most Bundt cake recipes and each individual cake makes for such a thoughtful present. Bigger than a cupcake, but just as cheerful!

I sure do hope you enjoy these scrumptious recipes as much as the Crew and I do. We are so very grateful for every bite of delicious food you’ve shared with the Club. Each of you is an honored guest in our kitchen. We hope you savor the sweetness of the season!

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Melissa Johnson - Dec 18, 2011
Thank you for the props for my Beet cake recipe, Janet! I'm honored! I just posted a new recipe for a Triple Chocolate Cake that will serve over 75 people. I will be making it again soon and will try to post a picture of it. Meanwhile, ya'll need to try it! It's perfect for catering large parties or feeding hungry families at the holidays! Just make sure they leave room for dessert!
Angela Gray - Dec 16, 2011
Thank you my dear Mrs. Pat, I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season ! Merry Christmas and GOd Bless you and your, Angela
Pat Duran - Dec 16, 2011
Angela, congratulations on the recognition of your recipe, Love ya sweetie!
Angela Gray - Dec 15, 2011
Polly, I am making peanut butter buckeyes today and I made chocolate covered cherries, and Mr. Bud Candy last night. They were both fantastic ! I will have to hide them if I want to have any left for parties and Christmas ! lol

Merry Christmas, ~Angela
Polly Anna - Dec 15, 2011
Thought you might like to know that several of the JUST A PINCH cookie recipes showed up at our office Christmas party. You have lot's of fans here!
Angela Gray - Dec 15, 2011
Hey Dee, thank you so much, very sweet of you ! I have been super busy dealing with my Dad's insurance, disability and worrying about him. I haven't been sleeping well at all and in turn I feel pretty rotten. My body is slowing shutting down, needs rest. I made choc. covered cherries , uncle bud candy and peanut butter buckeyes/bonbons/or whatever their called ! lol I am just exhausted but we are leaving town for Christmas so I know it will be low key and relaxing. Thanks for missing me, hope you are well. Praying for that beautiful grand daughter of yours ! Merry Christmas my friend, Angela
Dee Stillwell - Dec 15, 2011
Angela, this write up is so awesome..i love the looks and sounds of this cake. Congrats to the other girls cake's mentioned here too.
How hav u been g/f? I havn't seen u here much. I have been busy too cleaning, making truffles and cookie dough. I'm having a JAP cookie exchange on sunday too. It sounds like u and Lori will have fun baking together. U should grab her and come and meet us in Florida in March. : D
Angela Gray - Dec 15, 2011
Right back at you sweet girl !
Sherri Williams - Dec 15, 2011
Heart U, Angela...
Angela Gray - Dec 15, 2011
Hey Mrs Sherri, I am busy making candy and cookies. I am getting ready for a big party Sun. and then getting ready to leave for Hilton Head. I am one tired cookie, (no pun intended)...

Denise, Thank you so much ! Merry Christmas
Denise Steilberger - Dec 14, 2011
way to go Angela!
Sherri Williams - Dec 14, 2011
Angela, how are you doing my friend? sw☺
Angela Gray - Dec 14, 2011
Sure Mona, no problem . There is also a button at the bottom of every screen that is blue and reads ?HELP . CLick on it and I bet every question you can think of or have been wondering will be on there. Just scroll down once you get there. Merry Christmas
Diane Morrison - Dec 14, 2011
Okay that sounds easier, thanks.
Angela Gray - Dec 14, 2011
Click on the blue link above listed with each recipe or just type in the name of the cake. Hope you figure it out Mona, :)