Sanders’ Fudge Cake & Buttercream Icing

Sanders’ Fudge Cake & Buttercream Icing, with Fudge Frosting

(aka: “Bumpy Cake”)

By Gloria Pitzer, as seen in… The Original 200 Plus Secret Recipes© (Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; June 1997, pp. 37-38)



2/3 C. butter

1 3/4 C. granulated sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

2 eggs

2 1/2 squares (1-oz each) unsweetened, solid baking chocolate (melted & cooled)

1 1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/4 C. ice-cold water


In medium bowl, with mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter; adding sugar, gradually, until light and fluffy – then adding vanilla and eggs. Beat well for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl often. Then beat in the chocolate.

Sift flour, soda, and salt together. Add this alternately with the ice water to the creamed mixture, beating well.

Divide batter equally between to two well-greased, flour-dusted, 9-inch square, baking pans.

Bake at 350°F for about 30-35 minutes, or until toothpicks inserted into centers come out clean. Cool well.



4 egg whites

1 lb. + 1 C. powdered sugar

1/2 lb. unsalted butter

1 C. white Crisco or Spry

3 TB cornstarch

1/4 tsp. any flavor of clear extract (vanilla, almond, etc.)


Beat egg whites in deep, narrow bowl, with mixer on high speed until peeks form when beaters are lifted out. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until smooth, then the same with the butter, in little bits at a time. Beat in last three ingredients, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl often. The longer you beat this, the better the consistency it will have, for using in decorating tubes. Makes enough to frost a 9-inch, double-layer cake – top, sides, and between layers. Keep this refrigerated. It freezes well, too!



1/2 C. each – light corn syrup, buttermilk (not sour milk), packed brown sugar, & margarine (or butter)

4 squares (1-oz each) unsweetened, solid baking chocolate

1/2 tsp. salt

1 TB vanilla

5 C. powdered sugar


As listed, combine first six ingredients in 1 1/2-qt. saucepan, over medium-high heat, stirring until smooth. Bring to hard boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let cool for 20 minutes. Then beat in vanilla and powdered sugar, a little at a time, until smooth.


Invert one cooled cake layer onto platter (bottom-side up). Apply 1/2-inch buttercream icing to this. Place 2nd layer of cake on top of icing, with top-side up. Freeze this for several hours.

Remove from freezer and apply to top four 1-inch thick ribbons of buttercream, each spaced 1/2-inch apart. Freeze again for one hour.

Remove from freezer, again, and apply 1 recipe of my Fudge Frosting carefully to top and sides. Return cake to freezer for at least one hour, before cutting to serve – 9 generous portions or 16 moderate servings.

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – All the Little Steps

Neiman Marcus-Style Cheesecake

Neiman Marcus-Style Cheesecake

By Gloria Pitzer, as seen in… The Original 200 Plus Secret Recipes© (Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; June 1997, p. 32)


1 cup sugar

1 TB flour

3 pkgs. (8-oz. each) cream cheese, at room temperature

6 egg yolks, well-beaten

1 TB vanilla

1 TB lemon juice

the rind of half a lemon, grated fine

1 cup heavy cream

6 egg whites, stiffly beaten


Cream together the sugar, flour cream cheese, and beaten egg yolks. Add vanilla, lemon juice, rind, and heavy cream. [See below for crumb mixture.] Fold in the stiff egg whites. Pour this into a crumb-lined 10″ springform pan. Bake 1 hour at 350°F. Turn off oven and open door about 1 inch or so, letting cheesecake remain undisturbed IN OVEN to cool completely. Serves 12.

CRUMB CRUST for Neiman Marcus Cheesecake

Crush into fine crumbs 1 box Zwieback – or use 2 cups graham or Ritz cracker crumbs – mixing with 1/2 cup sugar and 1/3 cup butter. Press mixture evenly over bottom of a greased  10″ springform pan and half-way up the sides.

Refrigerate several hours or overnight BEFORE adding prepared filling [above] and the crust will be firmer even when the filling must be baked in the crust as well. This recipe requires patience, time, and perfection – but the results are so rewarding!

Cheesecake Tips for Lower Fat and Cholesterol Options

By today’s “less fat” standards, use instead of the 6 real eggs (yolks and whites) an equivalent with the Egg Beaters product. Also use fat-free cream cheese. Omit the heavy cream entirely, using liquid non-dairy creamer with 2 TB cornstarch for body.

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Dreams Come True

Mackinac Island Dark Fudge

Mackinac Island Dark Fudge

By Gloria Pitzer, as seen in… The Original 200 Plus Secret Recipes© Book (Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; June 1997, p. 31).

In a heavy saucepan, combine (1 cup each): butter, milk, packed brown sugar, and granulated sugar; also adding a dash of salt and 8 TB Hershey’s baking cocoa. [1 cup chopped nuts can also be added, at this point, if you wish.] Stir and cook until it comes to a boil. Then simmer gently, while stirring for 8 minutes.

Turn off heat and add at once 1-lb powdered sugar and beat with mixer on med-high speed, until thick and smooth (8-10 minutes, at least). Spread out in an 8-inch, buttered, square pan. Put in freezer for about an hour or chill in fridge until firm enough to cut into 1-inch squares. Makes 36 pieces.

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Que Sera, Sera!

Tomato Soup, like Ruby Tuesday’s


By Gloria Pitzer, as seen in her 2002-2004 (fall) media free recipes sheet (Secret Recipes, Marysville, MI).


2 cans (10-oz. each) tomato soup

6-oz. can tomato paste

14-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained

1 tsp. dry basil leaf, crushed fine


Combine everything in top of double-boiler, over simmering water. Stir until smooth and comes to a serving temperature. It can be thinned, as you wish, with canned chicken broth; but it’s supposed to be a very thick soup. Serves 4, virtuously.

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Resolutions

Cracker Cookies


By Gloria Pitzer, as seen in her 2002-2004 (fall) media, free samples sheet (Secret Recipes, Marysville, MI)


1-lb. box Keebler’s Club Crackers

2 cups flaked coconut

2 cups chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans or both)

2 sticks ( 1/4-lb each) butter or margarine

1/2 cup, plus 2 TB sugar


Arrange enough crackers in a single layer, close together, to fill the bottom of a cookie sheet (with a short rim around it – NOT open sides). Sprinkle with the coconut and nuts and set aside.

In sauce pan, melt butter over med-high heat, adding sugar and stirring well, until it comes to a boil. Let it boil for ONLY 2 minutes. (Set your timer!) Drizzle this mixture over the prepared crackers that you set aside.

Bake at 350°F for ONLY 10 minutes. Remove crackers quickly from pan to sheet of foil, separating cracker pieces with a knife, where needed. Let pieces air-dry for a few hours. Store in a loosely-covered container at room temperature. Makes about 60 “cookies”.

Happy Holidays!

Christmas Pie


By Gloria Pitzer, as seen in her 2002 Christmas “card” of free recipes (Secret Recipes, Marysville, MI; December 2002).

Prepare  a crust – see: Butter Crust recipe – and pat out in a pam-sprayed, oblong baking pan; making crust twice, to cover it, if needed. Bake completely at 375°F for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

Right out of the oven, spread the crust generously with a tub of ready-to-use, vanilla frosting. Top that off quickly in layers of 1 cup chopped pecans, 1 cup maraschino cherries (diced), and a small can of crushed pineapple (with all the liquid pressed out). Use a pizza wheel to cut it into “bars”, before serving proudly!

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Cover it in Chocolate!


BUTTER CRUST (My Most Dependable &Very Favorite Recipe!)

By Gloria Pitzer; as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 243)


¼ pound butter – NOT margarine

1 tablespoon sugar

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup all-purpose flour


Melt the butter in a small sauce pan on medium heat until it’s frothy, but don’t let it change color or become the least-bit brown. (I like to put the stick of butter into my heat-proof, 1 ½-quart, glass mixing bowl, placing it in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes on “Defrost”.)

As soon as the butter is melted, and while it’s still hot, dump in the remaining ingredients. Turn your electric mixer on high and beat mixture in a bowl for about 30 seconds or until it comes away from the center and hits the sides of the bowl. Quickly gather it into a ball and pat it out to cover the bottom and sides of a Pam-sprayed, 10-inch, Pyrex pie plate. (Pyrex plates work best with this very rich recipe.)

If you don’t have Pam, grease the pan in Crisco only! It might stick otherwise! Bake crust at 375°F for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Fill as desired. Makes one 10-inch pie crust. Note: Do not double this recipe. The dough becomes difficult to work with as it cools and, then, it crumbles and breaks apart. Make one single recipe at a time.

NOTE: To make top crust – pat out a single recipe, as given above, on a Pam-sprayed and waxed-paper-lined dinner plate. Invert crust over filling spread in crust-lined pan, per recipe of your choice.

Lift off plate and peel back waxed paper. Make slits for steam to escape. Gently press crust to rim of pie pan with a floured fork (or a fork dipped in ice water.) Use an egg-wash if you wish (one egg yolk, beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water and brushed lightly – lapping it, rather than pressing it, over top of crust), but the butter in this crust should allow it to brown beautifully without the wash.

Bake per filling recipe directions. Generally, the best temperature is at 375°F for 25 to 28 minutes or until filling begins to bubble up through the slits in the top crust in the crust is golden brown.

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – The Best Things in Life

Homemade Kahlua


By Gloria Pitzer; as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 269)


1-quart water

3 cups sugar

10 tablespoons instant coffee granules or powder

3 tablespoons vanilla extract

A Fifth of 100-proof vodka (750 ml)


Put first 3 ingredients in a heavy, 2 ½-quart sauce pan and bring to a gentle boil – 30 minutes or until consistency is reduced to a syrup consistency. Remove from heat. Cool completely – refrigerating to hasten this. Stir in vanilla and add vodka. Funnel into a dark-tinted 1-quart bottle. Cap it tightly. Let it stand at room temperature for one week before using.

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Traditions

Greenfield’s Pumpkin Pie


By Gloria Pitzer, as seen in… The Original 200 Plus Secret Recipes© Book (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; June 1997)

Make (or buy) two raw, 9-inch, butter pie crusts*


2-lbs. canned pumpkin

2 eggs

13-oz. canned Pet Milk

2tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 C. packed brown sugar

1 TB vinegar

3 TB flour


Combine ingredients, as listed, beating well after each addition. Beat 3 more minutes after last addition.

Transfer filling mixture to top of large double-boiler, over simmering warm water and stir; cooking to a custardy consistency. Meanwhile, have those pie shells partially baking (at  375°F for 6 minutes).

Remove crusts and divide warm filling between the two pie shells and return to bake at 350°F for 35 minutes or until they test done.

*See Gloria’s favorite and most reliable “Butter Pie Crust” recipe on this “Recipes” tab!


1-2-3 PUMPKIN PIE [Like Greenfield’s of Detroit]

1-2-3 PUMPKIN PIE [Like Greenfield’s of Detroit]

By Gloria Pitzer, as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 243)


1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell

1-pound can pumpkin

14-ounce can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk

2 eggs, well-beaten

2 tablespoons butter (or margarine)

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice, or to taste


Preheat oven to 375°F and partially bake the empty crust for 10 minutes at 375°F. Combine all filling ingredients, beating thoroughly. Pour mixture into pie shell and return to oven to bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Makes one 9-inch pie. Serves 6 to 8.

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Giving Thanks and Appreciation