Aunt Donna’s Thanksgiving Caramel Apple Cake

Contributed by: Donna Jean Wheatley (LaFerney)
Source: Southern Living Cake Cookbook

I got this recipe from a very old Southern Living Cake Cookbook that was supposed to be traditional southern cakes. It was called Auntie Ann’s Apple Cake. I made it the first time for Thanksgiving and it became a tradition. It’s also a favorite at our church’s annual Cake Auction.

Continue reading Aunt Donna’s Thanksgiving Caramel Apple Cake

Teri’s Pumpkin Crunch


Contributed by: Teri LaFerney

Teri is a great cook and even though her recipes never have eggs in them (because of her son’s egg alergy) her dishes are always big hits at family get togethers.

  • 1 16 oz. Can Pumpkin
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 large can of Evaporated Milk
  • 1 cup White Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • Mix all together and pour into a 9 x 13-inch cake pan lined with waxed paper

    Then blend together:

  • 1 box of Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1 cup Pecan Pieces
  • 2 Sticks of melted Margarine
  • Sprinkle mixture on top of Pumpkin mixture and Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Cool slightly and flip onto a serving platter or another pan.

    Stir together 1 8 oz Cream Cheese, softened, 1 small carton Cool Whip, and 1 one-half cups Powdered Sugar. When above is cooled, peel off waxed paper, and frost with cream cheese mixture.

    Frosting for Ardith Lide’s Jam Cake

    In 2-quart saucepan, combine:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons flour
  • one-half-teaspoon salt

    Add:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1-teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • Whisk constantly and cook on medium heat until thick. After it boils, continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes. You want this frosting REALLY thick.

    Stir in 2 Teaspoons margarine until melted

    Then: 1-cup raisins, 1-cup pecans, and 1-cup coconut

    Ardith Lide’s Jam Cake

    Contributed by: Donna Wheatley

    Source: Ardith Lide

    The year we moved to Meridian, MS, our church ladies began having a Pie and Cake auction every year at Thanksgiving time. It has, over the years, become one of their most popular and successful fundraisers. That first year, a sweet elderly lady named Ardith Lide brought a Jam Cake. It was heavenly and I told her how much it reminded me of my Grandma. She baked our family one every year for Christmas until she died. The Christmas after she passed, her granddaughter, Terri, gave me her recipe. Mrs. Lide had told her to be sure I got it. It never fails to remind me of two incredibly dear ladies in my life.

    Cream together:

  • one-half-cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • Add:

  • 1 1/4 cup seedless Blackberry Jam
  • 5 eggs, beating well after each one
  • Combine and set aside:

  • 2 one-half cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • one-half-teaspoon salt
  • one-half teaspoon each: cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and allspice
  • Add to butter and sugar mixture, alternating with a combination of 2 Tablespoons coffee and 1 cup milk.

    Stir in:

  • 1-cup coconut
  • 1-cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • Pour into greased and floured round cake pans. I use 3 8-inch round cake pans, ladling the batter out in equal portions to each pan. Before you put them into the oven, shake each pan to level off the batter. Bake at 350 degrees, until done.

    Frosting for Ardith Lide’s Jam Cake

    In 2-quart saucepan, combine:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons flour
  • one-half-teaspoon salt
  • Add:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1-teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • Whisk constantly and cook on medium heat until thick. After it boils, continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes. You want this frosting REALLY thick.

    Stir in 2 Teaspoons margarine until melted

    Then: 1-cup raisins, 1-cup pecans, and 1-cup coconut

    Before you put the cake together, check the tops of each cake layer and make sure they are flat. If not, use a bread knife and trim the tops so they fit flat together. The first layer should go on the plate with the pan side down. Second layer goes on with the top side down, and the third layer goes on with the pan side down. Spread the frosting generously, between layers and on top and sides of cake. This is a cake worthy of a pretty cake stand. It keeps well as long as you put it into an airtight container.

    Aunt Donna’s Thanksgiving Caramel Apple Cake

    Aunt Donna’s Thanksgiving Caramel Apple Cake

    Contributed by: Donna Jean Wheatley (LaFerney)

    Source: Southern Living Cake Cookbook

    I got this recipe from a very old Southern Living Cake Cookbook that was supposed to be traditional southern cakes. It was called Auntie Ann’s Apple Cake. I made it the first time for Thanksgiving and it became a tradition. It’s also a favorite at our church’s annual Cake Auction.

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 one-half cups vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups flour, divided
  • 1-teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-teaspoon salt
  • 1-teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups peeled, diced cooking apples (Granddaddy Wheatley always brings us a box of

    Gravenstein apples from Washington each fall. They make this cake very special. If I had to substitute a different apple, I would use Granny Smiths, but any good pie apple would do.)

    1 cup chopped pecans.

  • Combine sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat about 1 minute at medium speed with electric mixer. Combine 2-one-half cups flour, soda, salt, and cinnamon. Gradually add to the sugar mixture, beating at low speed until blended.

    Dredge apples and pecans in remaining one-half-cup flour, and then fold into the batter. Spoon the batter into a greased and floured 10″ tube pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center of cake comes clean.

    Remove from oven and cool IN THE PAN for 15 minutes. (Unless you want your cake to come out in chunks, do not skip this step!) Then turn cake out onto a plate and cool completely. Frost.

    Frosting for Aunt Donna’s Thanksgiving Caramel Apple Cake:

  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • one-half cup butter or margarine
  • 1/4-cup evaporated milk
  • Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook over MEDIUM heat, stirring constantly, until it reaches the soft ball stage. Remove from heat. Beat by hand, with a spoon, for approximately five minutes until it reaches spreading consistency. (Don’t be afraid! This is not hard, but if you beat it too long, it will start to set up and you won’t be able to get it on the cake. If you don’t beat it long enough, it will run off. If uncertain, pour just a little over one side of the cake. It should flow nearly to the bottom of the cake, but not puddle into the plate too much.) Frost the cake by pouring it over the top and allowing it to slowly run down the sides, smoothing with a knife as needed.

    Buttermilk Sky Pie

    Contributed by: Donna Wheatley

    This dessert is Evonne’s favorite sweet. It was given to me by a dear friend in Indiana. It came from the “White Trash Cookbook” What a hoot to read! The author made a big deal out of the fact that in the south, there is White Trash (with capitals, meaning respectable) and white trash (in lower case letters, meaning not respectable). The recipes featured, in general, lots of Velveeta cheese and saltine crackers.

    Anyway, this recipe is called Buttermilk Sky because in the Carolinas, it’s called “buttermilk sky” when the clouds cover the sky and look curdled.

    This recipe can be a little bit tricky. Follow the directions exactly.

  • 2 eggs, beaten thoroughly
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 T flour
  • 1/2 cup oleo, melted, but not popping hot
  • 1-cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1-teaspoon lemon juice (bottled or fresh)
  • Lay piecrust into pie plate. Crimp the edges and bake at 400 degrees until it just begins to brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Cool completely.

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

    Mix by hand.

  • Combine sugar and flour.
  • Add eggs. Combine.
  • Add oleo. Combine.
  • Add buttermilk.
  • Mix well by hand.
  • Fold in vanilla and lemon juice.
  • Pour into pie shell. Place in oven. Close door. Immediately reduce heat to 350 degrees. Do not open oven until top looks firm and is brown (about 35 minutes). Check the middle to be sure it’s set through before serving.

    Dave’s Sweet Potato Pie

    Contributed by: David LaFerney

    We used to make this from sweet potatoes from our garden. It’s very much like pumpkin pie.

  • 2 Cups mashed baked sweet potatoes (a worthy dish on their own)
  • 1/4 Cup Butter or Margarine – Softened
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • one-half Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 one-half Cup Milk
  • 1 Unbaked 9″ pie shell
  • Combine first 8 ingredients in a large mixing bowl; beat at medium speed of an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add milk; beat until well blended. Carefully pour filling into pastry shell. Filling will come very close to the top of the shell.

    Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 375 degrees, and bake an additional 60 – 65 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes our clean. Let cool; garnish with whipped cream and a sprinkling of nutmeg.

    Grandma LaFerney’s Christmas Fruit Cake

    Contributed by: Donna Wheatley (LaFerney)

    Source: Irene Henry by way of Mom

    Mama made this cake every year for Christmas when we were growing up. She got it from Mrs. Irene Henry, who was a friend of hers when we lived in Logansport, Indiana for one year in 1965-66. It was the only recipe I ever knew her to refuse to share, and that was because she would often use it as Christmas gifts. It is a lot of work, because you inevitably have to crack and pick out the Brazil nuts, but it is very simple to mix up. I have never had another fruitcake to compare to it. (The Brazil Nuts are much easier to crack if you freeze them for 24 hours. Use a hammer and gently strike them on the angles.)

  • 2 cups whole dates
  • one-half pound whole Brazil nuts (1 pound in the shell)
  • 1 one-half-pound whole English walnuts
  • 2 8 oz. jars of candied cherries: 1 red, 1 green
  • 1-one-half teaspoons Baking powder
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 one-half-cup flour
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • Dash salt
  • 1-teaspoon vanilla
  • Put fruit and nuts into large mixing bowl. Mix dry ingredients separately and sprinkle over the nuts and fruit. Mix together.

    Beat eggs and pour over above. Mix altogether.

    Bake 1 one-half hour at 250 degrees.

    Mom used to make 1 tube pan cake for our family (grease the pan) and 1 loaf to share, or 3 loaves. She would make it several weeks before Christmas, wrap it in foil and keep it in the refrigerator to “age”. She would pour a little pineapple juice over it weekly to keep it moist. No brandy allowed in her kitchen!

    Grandmama Alcy Wheatley’s Cream Pralines

    Contributed by: Donna Wheatley

    The year I was pregnant with Evonne, Earl and I traveled to Seattle to spend Thanksgiving with Earl, Sr. while we were there, he informed us for the first time that he was going to get married to a lovely lady from New Orleans, Louisiana! She had sent a big box of homemade goodies to him for all of us to enjoy, and the moment I tasted her incredible pralines, I knew I was going to be good friends with her! 🙂 Over the years, the Evonne, Erin, and I have spent many happy December afternoons making these pralines for Christmas snacking.

  • 1-Cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups pecans (1/2 pound), coarsely broken, not chopped
  • 1-teaspoon margarine
  • one-half plus 1 Tablespoon evaporated milk
  • You will eventually drop the pralines onto waxed paper. Get your waxed paper out and lay it out on the counter before you start!

    Mix all ingredients together thoroughly in a 1 to 2 quart saucepan before cooking.

    Then cook over medium heat to soft ball stage, stirring constantly. (To test, pour a drop of the cooked liquid into a cup of cold water. You should be able to put your hand down into the water and form a very soft ball with it. In other words, it may not make a ball as it falls into the water, but it will form a soft ball and hold together when you use your fingers to form it in the water.) This process doesn’t take as long as you think, so check it in the water frequently.

    Remove it from the heat. Let it cool slightly and then beat it with a spoon by hand until it begins to thicken. This is the critical part. You don’t have a very big window of time between the time that it’s so runny that it will not form a patty, and the time that it turns hard and sugary and falls apart. We always consider the first batch to be a test run, and don’t worry! If it’s too thin, you have fabulous ice cream topping. If it’s too thick, break it into crumbles and sprinkle it into salads (yes, green salads), on top of sweet potatoes, or what the hey! Just eat up the “failure”!

    When it is thick enough (the surface of the candy will be shiny), drop it by spoonfuls (make sure there are some nuts in each one) onto the waxed paper. It should set up into soft patties immediately. This candy is guaranteed to impress boyfriends, bosses, co-workers, and especially PREACHERS!

    Grandmama Alcy Wheatley’s Date Pecan Cake

    Contributed by: Donna Wheatley (LaFerney)

    Source: Grandmama Alcy Wheatley – Earl Wheatley’s Stepmother

    This is a traditional Christmas cake for us. The girl’s Grandmama Alcy Wheatley made it for us every year, until I began doing the holiday cooking. She was from New Orleans, and this is a typical New Orleans twist on fruitcake.

  • 4 cups pecan halves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound of pitted whole dates, cut in halves
  • 1-cup sugar
  • 1-cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease a tube pan. Put nuts and dates into large mixing bowl. Add dry ingredients and mix. Add vanilla and eggs and mix well. You may have to use your hands. Pack firmly into cake pan and bake for 50 to 55 minutes. Then at 350 degrees for 5 to l0 minutes more. Let the cake cool completely in the pan before removing it.