Cake Simple: November’s Book of the Month Giveaway

“If you’re going to eat dessert, it ought to be homemade and also really flipping good,” writes Christie Matheson, author of Cake Simple. I agree with the cookbook — no ifs, ands, or ‘bundts.’ That’s right, I’m referring to bundt cakes, the subject of our current Book of the Month. Just like Peter Pan collars and cateye frames, bundt cakes are back with a modern zip. Cake Simple serves up a well-rounded array of bundt cake recipes that you’ve got to check out.

Even though I went straight for the chocolate-laden recipes, I found equally enticing selections of all flavors. From the Spiced Dulce de Leche adorning the cover to the imaginative Vanilla-Pink Peppercorn, this book appeals to a variety of palates.

For this review, I made the S’mores Cake. It calls for rich ingredients like buttermilk and brown sugar, adding a satisfying multidimensional flavor. I had a hard time making the marshmallow goop icing, though I may have been more successful if I had a candy thermometer. Regardless, the results were delicioso!

The book is helpful and easy to use. If you’re accustomed to the metric system, there’s no need to convert a thing — metric measurements are listed alongside the U.S. customary measurements within the recipes. As mentioned above, recipes range from the classic to the sophisticated. And, get this, there’s an entire chapter on minis! The photographs, by Alex Farnum, are beautiful, but too few are far between.

Overall, this book is a must-have for the baker of any level. It highlights the simple elegance of the bundt, a cake which doesn’t need such fancy additions like fondant and icing roses. If you’re looking for an impressive dessert to present this holiday season, Cake Simple can help ease that baking stress. If you need a gift for the vintage-loving baker, Cake Simple is perfect! Want to win a copy? Answer the discussion question for a chance!

Discuss: What baked sweets or savory noms make you feel nostalgic?

  • You have until Wednesday, November 30, 2011 to participate.
  • Though you may leave comments after the above date, any comments left after 11:59 p.m. PT on November 30 will not be counted into the giveaway.
  • Only comments left on this blog post will be counted.
  • We will contact you via e-mail if you are a winner.
  • For more information, please see our Contests & Comments page.

Happy commenting!


About Angela

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  1. Avatar
    Rebecca Jean 11/23/2011 at 12:35 pm #

    For me it’s cake donuts and chocolate oatmeal no bake cookies. My grandmothers used to make them both when I was growing up. They’re still my favorites and always make me think of grandma.

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    Anna H. 11/23/2011 at 12:36 pm #

    My favorite dessert when I was a kid was Tollhouse Cookie Pie…just like a melty hot cookie fresh out of the oven…but in a pie crust! My mom made it for my birthday…even though it was the middle of summer 🙂

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    Jordan Riley 11/23/2011 at 12:43 pm #

    My mother’s No Bake Cookies! We would make them in school, but they were never as good as the ones she made at home. Fifteen minutes plus cooling time, tops, and they ere ready to eat. We always had trouble waiting for them to harden all the way before eating them.

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    Katherine McAdoo (@kitkathrn) 11/23/2011 at 12:45 pm #

    Those smores cake sound amazing! My favorite sweet to make for my husband is actually smores (haha) similar to what they make at the 50s prime time cafe at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. On our first trip to Disney in 2007 (before we were married or officially lived together!) we had a “date” to the 50s Prime Time Cafe and I always think of how amazing that time was when I eat them. On our honeymoon, we went back and got smores again. I love making them for him – I’m making them tomorrow for Thanksgiving.

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    Angela Tam 11/23/2011 at 12:50 pm #

    I have been on the continual quest to make rice krispie treats..the perfect kind. I know it isn’t difficult but for some reason I can’t get it right! The s’mores cake sounds like something I could handle!

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    Katy D. 11/23/2011 at 1:04 pm #

    Lefse with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon definitely does it for me! My grandparents used to make it all the time during the holidays. One of my goals is to learn how to make it for my family one day.

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    Jillian 11/23/2011 at 1:04 pm #

    making fudge always makes me feel nostalgic. it seems so classic and simple.

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    Katie 11/23/2011 at 1:24 pm #

    definitely pineapple upside down cake. my mother always made it!

  9. Avatar
    Ashley B 11/23/2011 at 1:30 pm #

    Anything with a simple powder sugared frosting brings memories of my late Grandmother flooding in. She was a terrible cook and that was her go-to “recipe” for making any sort of baked goods. With every baked good she made, it was a requirment to ask for extra milk to wash down the lack of proper baking skills.

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    rebekahgrmela 11/23/2011 at 1:34 pm #

    What my grandmother calls “candycane cookies,” or shortbread cookies dyed and shaped like candy-canes always remind me of the holiday season… I love them!

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    samantha 11/23/2011 at 1:45 pm #

    Mexician wedding cakes with all their powdery goodness. My Grandma makes the best ones!

  12. Avatar
    heldinea 11/23/2011 at 1:46 pm #

    There was this lemon cake that I made while studying abroad in New Zealand. It was so good, and I always made it for special events/parties. I found it in a recipe book while there, so every time I make it, it brings back those Kiwi days. 🙂

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    Lauren-Marie 11/23/2011 at 1:51 pm #

    I just always remember baking ginger snaps, and just about any other cookie, the kitchen is a mess, there are piles of cookies everywhere, and there is no end to baking in sight. Oooo nostalgia!

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    JJ @ 84thand3rd 11/23/2011 at 2:05 pm #

    My mom’s chocolate cake – made into shapes for childhood birthdays and a 4 layer tower as an adult – heaven.

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    Claire 11/23/2011 at 2:07 pm #

    I always feel nostalgic when Thanksgiving and Christmas rolls around and its time to make sugar cookies. I’ve done this every year since my mom taught me when I was little. I remember on Christmas Eve we would make the sugar cookies in all sorts of shapes, and then I would decorate the cookies very festively for Santa – and I know I’m going to do it again this year! Yum! Classic cut-out sugar cookies are the bomb.

  16. Avatar
    Hayley Watson 11/23/2011 at 2:08 pm #

    Definitely chocolate chip cookies. I know its a rather simple answer, but growing up I was plagued with an assortment of food allergies. So I never got to have them. When my mom finally found an egg-free chocolate chip cookie recipe, it was super exciting to finally get to bake that treat and eat it.

  17. Avatar
    Allison 11/23/2011 at 2:10 pm #

    Christmas cookies! Ever since I was young my Mom and I take a whole 2 days and make several different kinds of holiday cookies a couple weeks before Christmas and we mail them out to friends and relatives. Sugar cookies, Mexican Wedding Cookies, Sachertorte cookies, gingerbread men, and many more!

  18. Avatar
    Taylor 11/23/2011 at 2:10 pm #

    Angel Food Cake and Chocolate Chip cookies always make me feel nostalgic. My dad’s faovrite dessert is Angel Food cake with strawberries and whip cream, and growing up I always helped make him one for his birthday or if we wanted to do something nice. He doesn’t usually comment on whether or not he likes something, saying things like, “If there’s no more on the plate, then I liked it.” But it made me so happy when he told me that he liked the first Angel Food cake I ever made on my own. So it’s my favorite thing to bake.
    Chocolate chip cookies are just as nostalgic because I remember this one time my brother, Aunt, and I were determined to make them even though the directions in the book were frustrating. We totally made a mess but we laughed the entire time we were making them and those cookies were delicious and worth the struggle! I love baking and I’m always on the hunt for more fun recipes to share with my family and friends.

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    Suzanne 11/23/2011 at 2:11 pm #

    Chocolate chip cookies. I used to make them with my mom as a kid all the time. Also gingerbread cookies – I made them with both my grandmas growing up.

  20. Avatar
    Lauren 11/23/2011 at 2:28 pm #

    My grandma’s Norwegian flatbread, lefse.

  21. Avatar
    Kerrie 11/23/2011 at 2:36 pm #

    My favorite cookies to make at Christmastime are thumbprint cookies. I’ve loved making them with my mother growing up, and now that I’m grown and moved out I still make sure one of us makes them at Christmas!

  22. Avatar
    atwiles 11/23/2011 at 2:36 pm #

    When I was in pre-school (yes, I still remember!) we celebrated President’s Day by baking “George Washington’s Cherry Crisp” after reading a story about his famed [supposed] cutting down of the cherry tree. They sent us home with the recipe, and my mom baked it every so often as a “just because” kind of treat. I still remember sitting in the grocery cart as we picked up the cans of cherry pie filling (something we NEVER bought!) and helping to make that crumbly topping.

    As a college student, I get so excited when cherry crisp is offered in the dessert buffet in our main dining hall–with a small scoop of ice cream, it takes me right back to those simpler days when the biggest concerns were the boys chasing us on the playground.

  23. Avatar
    Sinead 11/23/2011 at 2:39 pm #

    Angel food cake always reminds me of my childhood! My mom used to top it with berries and cream for special occasions.

  24. Avatar
    Ashley V 11/23/2011 at 3:02 pm #

    Every Christmas morning, for as long as I can remember, my grandma used to make blinses for my sister and me. It was like having dessert for breakfast–thick crepes with a sweet cream cheese filling, smothered in jam and syrup. Now, the recipe has been handed down to me, and I still think of her every time I make them!

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    Naomi 11/23/2011 at 3:09 pm #

    My grandmother’s apple-cherry cake!

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    kelsey 11/23/2011 at 3:18 pm #

    Strawberry rhubarb pie is such a nostalgic dessert for me. It brings break wonderful childhood memories of summer and family… and I love making it now. Such a treat!

  27. Avatar
    PattyD 11/23/2011 at 3:18 pm #

    For me, my mom’s German chocolate cake brings back the most memories. She makes it every year for both Thanksgiving & Christmas. When my sisters & I were little, we got used to eating it the way our dad did- one large slice of cake with a side of green jello w/pineapples gelled inside. I don’t know how it the world that got started, but it has been a family tradition ever since. The best thing was how we were allowed to have this combo for breakfast the day after Thanksgiving or Christmas if we wanted- the only time we were allowed to start our day with dessert 🙂

  28. Avatar
    Lauren Mocny-Branum 11/23/2011 at 3:21 pm #

    One sweet that always makes me feel nostalgic is white chocolate covered pretzels! We always had them at our little class parties in elementary school and I would eat them up because I love sweet and salty together.

  29. Avatar
    Ann 11/23/2011 at 3:42 pm #

    My grandma’s chocolate cake with Cool Whip frosting between the layers!

  30. Avatar
    Susana 11/23/2011 at 3:45 pm #

    A very simple carrot cake with a chocolate ganache makes me quite nostalgic. My mother was never the type to let us eat unhealthy stuff so on birthdays, she’ll make us carrot cake. Is still the best I’ve tasted however, I’ve yet to know her secrets for this cake.

  31. Avatar
    Jennifer 11/23/2011 at 4:07 pm #

    Baking is probably my money saver as a college student…There’s just so much you can make!! Also, the fact that you just turn a bunch of “inedible” food to create cakes, cookies, pies, meats, etc. is the fascinating part for me.

  32. Avatar
    Katrina 11/23/2011 at 4:46 pm #

    Any baked dish with cinnamon apples remind me of special occasions when I was younger. The smell of cinnamon can fill a whole house, and when the apples are with a crust or some cream cheese it is perfect.

  33. Avatar
    sydney85 11/23/2011 at 4:59 pm #

    Lamingtons, cream buns and pavlova. I grew up in Australia and really miss the wonderful bakery shops that made heavenly pastries.

  34. Avatar
    Carmen 11/23/2011 at 5:15 pm #

    My Grandma Bettye’s Red Velvet Cake takes the cake when it comes to nostalgic sweets. Grandma would make this cake every Valentine’s day when I was a little girl and we’d have a tea party. My little sister and I would wear frilly dresses and flouncy hats and stuff our faces full. Every time I smell it baking it brings back such sweet childhood memories. Here’s the recipe if anyone is interested:

    Grandma Bettye’s Red Velvet Cake

    1/2 cup shortening
    1 1/2 cup sugar
    2 eggs
    1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
    1 oz. red food coloring
    2 1/4 cups cake flour
    2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    1 cup buttermilk
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

    Cream together the shortening and sugar with a hand held electric mixer until throughly mixed and crumbly. Add eggs one at a time and mix in completely. Add in vanilla and whole bottle of red food coloring and mix on low speed until completely combined. In a separate bowl, mix flour and cocoa and set aside. Alternate adding equal amounts of flour mixture, then buttermilk and beat on a low speed until combined. In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda and vinegar together until it stops bubbling. Add the baking soda and vinegar mixture to the cake batter and mix until completely combined.

    Pour into greased and floured cake pans with two round sheets of wax paper fitted on the inside bottom of the pan. Bake a 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

    Happy baking! 😀

  35. Avatar
    Malinda 11/23/2011 at 6:04 pm #

    Snickerdoodles! they were always my mom’s favorite

  36. Avatar
    Johanna 11/23/2011 at 6:14 pm #

    My mom makes these press cookies on Christmas and they always bring back good memories. She flavors them with orange and almond and the house smells like the holidays for weeks.

  37. Avatar
    Donna F. 11/23/2011 at 6:38 pm #

    Big cookies with rainbow sprinkles make me feel nostalgic. When my mom took me to the bakery as a little girl and let me pick out a treat, I always went for the rainbow sprinkles. I think I really loved the assortment of colors! Today, when I see those cookies, it reminds me of that time.

  38. Avatar
    Adele 11/23/2011 at 6:41 pm #

    I always get a feeling of nostalgia with black and white cookies (plain cookies with half black icing and half white icing). They are classic New York cookies that I grew up enjoying. They taste delicious and were a personal favorite. I think back to my childhood even as I enjoy those cookies today!

  39. Avatar
    Maddie 11/23/2011 at 7:20 pm #

    Making my grandmother’s pecan pie. She would make it when she came to visit us for Thanksgiving. Earlier this year she passed away, so seeing her secret recipe in her handwriting, and smelling the pies reminds me of her.

  40. Avatar
    Julia 11/23/2011 at 7:52 pm #

    oh my, the answer must be apple pies (served with vanilla ice cream of course)! the smell of them in the oven always brings me right back to my teenage years. apple pies were the dessert of choice on holidays with my friends, to be enjoyed throughout winter trips up in the snow as well as lazy summer days by the beach! x

  41. Avatar
    Hilary 11/23/2011 at 7:59 pm #

    I forever will think of my mothers chocolate crinkle cookies and peanut butter fudge when I think of being a kid. The memories of helping her stir, rolling the cookie batter in sugar, and testing the fudges candy stages it makes me want feel little all over again! My sister and I would hang out in that kitchen for hours!

  42. Avatar
    Kayla 11/23/2011 at 8:00 pm #

    Warm oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with nuts and dried cranberries bring a tad of healthiness into a delicious treat my Mom would make. The smell wafts through out the entire house and brings me back to childhood memories. Just talking about them makes my tummy yearn for the cookies with a giant glass of milk. I can still see myself, face covered in warm sticky chocolate and hand reached out grabbing another cookies.

  43. Avatar
    Larabeth 11/23/2011 at 8:30 pm #

    I bake Baklava! It is a recipe a close friend gave me and I make it every year around the holidays. It’s a tradition for friends to come over and make it now.

  44. Avatar
    Suzy 11/23/2011 at 8:47 pm #

    I love to eat and prepare chocolate soufflé. It just makes everything a dreamy chocolate heaven right out from those cheesy chocolate commercials. It’s soft like fresh-baked cake right out of the oven, but it’s also moist, though not as thick as pudding. It’s also a great crowd-pleaser, especially when garnished with superfine sugar. Brings up the mood when you’re down especially since is easy and fast to make.

  45. Avatar
    Amanda 11/23/2011 at 9:18 pm #

    Mmm, cheesecake! Nom, nom, nom!

  46. Avatar
    Esther D. 11/23/2011 at 10:19 pm #

    Caramels! The square, ultra sticky kind. My great uncle ( one of those adorable little old men) used to go to the supermarkets with us and randomly hand me a caramel; I’d eat it, then start thinking, I wonder where he got it? Turn out he was sampling the store selection and making me an accomplice! Haha good times 🙂

  47. Avatar
    Jo T 11/23/2011 at 10:49 pm #

    My favorite holiday treat as a kid was (and still is) marshmallows covered in macintosh caramel + condensed milk with rice crispies! Mmmm, so delicious 🙂 The best part was being covered in caramel by the end – on my fingers, in my hair, all over my clothes!

  48. Avatar
    Danelle 11/23/2011 at 11:06 pm #

    My mother’s chocolate cake. No matter how hard I try, using her recipe, I can never make it the same. Her’s is perfect!

  49. Avatar
    Jess 11/23/2011 at 11:46 pm #

    My grandmother, who unexpectedly passed away at the end of August, had made the same Christmas cookie recipe for the past 56 years. It had been passed down in her husband’s family for countless years before that. An anise-seed cutout, flat and barely sweet, it is impeccably frosted with a glaze frosting that hardens smooth and thin. Before the frosting dried, however, my grandmother decorated the cookies with an artist’s eye; I have many memories of eating rearing reindeer with gilded antlers, candlesticks with a glowing orange and red flame, delicate snowflakes that glittered, and tree ornaments that looked so close the the real thing. Last year, out of nostalgia and a genuine love for baking, I spent an entire day with her, learning the craft of this recipe. I am so thankful I did. This year, since she will not be with us, all of us grandchildren (most not children anymore), will honor her by converging from all over the world to make her most beloved recipe together and share memories of a grand woman.

  50. Avatar
    Mar 11/23/2011 at 11:48 pm #

    I was born in Barcelona but my Mother’s family comes from Andalusia. When I was a little girl one friend or another used to bring home “pestiños” for Christmas. They are really sweet and crispy. It’s a really thin fried dough covered with confectionary sugar or honey. Some people make them square but the most traditional form is a cute bowtie. At least this was the traditional form in my family and friends.
    They are really easy and cheap to make (flour, olive oil, aniseed and water) but they can’t be made without love and dedication. <3

  51. Avatar
    Tara D 11/24/2011 at 2:16 am #

    I think my most nostalgic dessert would definitely have to be old-fashioned raspberry and white chocolate muffins, my absolute fave. My mum made them for me all the time when I was a little girl, and the recipe was passed on from my grandmother who also used to create these delicious muffins all the time. I have to say that all desserts make me nostalgic though, because each taste relates with another memory of mine; afterall food is the centre of our lives! 🙂

  52. Avatar
    Katherine 11/24/2011 at 2:57 am #

    At Christmas my grandma always makes these amazing rumballs with white chocolate. They are SO rich you can really only have half of one at a time, but they are just Christmas to me with all my family at my grandparents house. Makes me happy just thinking about taking a bite into one of those delicious treats!

  53. Avatar
    Claire Lawrence 11/24/2011 at 3:46 am #

    Cinnamon buns! Every winter and summer, my family would fly out to my Grandparent’s place in the prairies for a visit. Before long, my grandma and I began a tradition of making cinnamon buns for the whole family. I remember painstakingly measuring out each cup or flour, or the yeast, or the salt, and putting them into the bread-maker to knead the dough for us. In fact, for many years, I didn’t know there was any other way of making dough! Eventually my grandma decided to make them “healthier” by using only whole wheat flour. Ahh those were the days… I’m going to Grandma’s this Christmas – maybe it will be time to whip up another batch!

  54. Avatar
    danielle 11/24/2011 at 5:02 am #

    snickerdoodles – the first recipe i can remember making entirely on my own, when i was 12 or so.

  55. Avatar
    Marcela 11/24/2011 at 5:23 am #

    I lived in the United States for three years and I loved everything about your country, I’ve now returned to Italy from a couple of years and what I miss most of your bakey is pumpkin pie which I don’t know how to make it, but I happened to find in a store called “California bakery” in milan.

  56. Avatar
    Caitlin 11/24/2011 at 6:43 am #

    My grandfather passed away at about the same time I was born, so I didn’t ever get to know him. My mother bakes these cookies that she says he loved, keeping a little piece of him alive. They’re called liebekuchen, and are made using a old German recipe that has been in my family for years.The name itself means Love Cookie in German, supposedly because the taste of one could make a man fall madly in love with the baker of such a delightful treat. She only makes them at Christmastime, and they’re like little fruitcake gingerbread men. They are rolled out and cut into holiday shapes: reindeer, trees, stars. Then they are finished with a generous dollop of sugar glaze icing. The taste is heavenly, but the smell is what takes me back. They make the whole house smell like cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange peel. I haven’t lived with my parents for a few years now, but as soon as I walk through the door at Christmas, the smell hits me, and reminds me of the Christmases past.

  57. Avatar
    Holly Sackett 11/24/2011 at 8:20 am #

    Pie. My grandma is the one who got me in the kitchen first and instilled in me a love for baking. She would teach me how to bake pies. Although I don’t do pies, I am about ready to open a cake business because of her. Pies are how it all got started.

  58. Avatar
    Kate 11/24/2011 at 9:26 am #

    Definitely my nama’s holiday crunch cake. She used to have my little sister and I help her make the cakes and the best part was eating the leftover nut topping. She just made a huge batch the other day, so I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a slice!

  59. Avatar
    Angela 11/24/2011 at 9:39 am #

    Making apple pies- we always bake them around the holidays. It always reminds me of my family. There’s just something so homey about pies 🙂

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    TK 11/24/2011 at 10:06 am #

    Homemade rice krispies treats with lots of gooey marshmallows!

  61. Avatar
    Megan 11/24/2011 at 10:49 am #

    definitely gingerbread men and women! the smell of them baking gets me in the christmas spirit!

  62. Avatar
    Anne 11/24/2011 at 11:33 am #

    My family doesn’t bake all that much (except me) so I would have to say my dad’s banana bread. I would always wait by the counter and watch his attempts, and have chat with him while it was baking. It might not have always succeeded but the warm smell of banana bread would always come out, and the love and effort always gave it that extra yum!

  63. Avatar
    anastazija 11/24/2011 at 11:44 am #

    Loud and clear: apple pie!

    There is something so special about the way my mother makes it. You feel the softness of the apples, the crispy nuts and the strong flavor of cinnamon. The first clue for me that winter has come is the smell of apple pie in the hole house when I come home. And not just the pie itself is special, but the fact that somehow when we eat apple pie we always get together. It is as if the pie has some magic power of bringing us closer, the way only a very good meal can do.

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    kelly 11/24/2011 at 11:44 am #

    I always loved making rice krispie treats with my mom. We would just stand around the kitchen counter and talk about life and really bond while melting marshmallows and mixing everything together. She would always make sure that she left some in the bowl so we could eat some while chatting. Those times always made me happy.

  65. Avatar
    Noor Nooruddin 11/24/2011 at 11:56 am #

    My grandmother (who is Iranian) used to make these amazing Persian cookies called Noon (or Naan) Nokhodchi. The little biscuits literally melt in your mouth, I never had to chew one in my life! If my mother didn’t stop us, my brothers and I would go through box-fulls at a time. I’m hoping I can convince my grandmother to teach me how to make them the way she does! OMNOMNOM!

  66. Avatar
    Abby 11/24/2011 at 1:57 pm #

    There’s nothing more nostalgic for me than what my Mom deems as “Green Stuff”. (for all of you who have not grown up eating it for any and all holidays, it’s actually called Watergate Salad) This “Green Stuff” is made with pistachio pudding and it contains crushed pineapple, cool whip, and marshmallows. It may sound a little weird, but put all of those ingredients together and you have delicious clouds of green fluffy goodness.

  67. Avatar
    Justine Navarro 11/24/2011 at 2:58 pm #

    My mom always did her best not to feed us too many sweets growing up, so it’s something savory that makes me feel nostalgic! She makes this awesome chicken noodle soup with homemade broth AND homemade noodles! At the end of the noodle-making process, if there was a bit of extra dough leftover she or my dad would roll it out and cut special fun shapes for us to find in our bowls. Now it only happens for special occasions, but it takes me right back!

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    adris 11/24/2011 at 4:29 pm #

    Every year of my childhood my mom and I would slave in the kitchen to make the perfect cheesecake. It was a wondrous family time. Every time I see cheesecake, I think of my mom and frost on the windows. And not being able to see over the counter.

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    Courtney 11/24/2011 at 4:57 pm #

    My mom and my sisters and I always make a chocolate chip coffee cake (heavy on the chocolate chips) every year for Christmas morning and it doesn’t really feel like Christmas until we’re sitting around unpacking stockings and eating it.

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    Jaxx 11/24/2011 at 8:33 pm #

    My favorite was having a nice big chocolate chip cookie paired heavenly with a cold glass of milk. Hmmm. Every Monday there would be one waiting because my mother baked on Sunday nights and saved me a cookie before she brought them to the bakery she worked at. I can still taste the chocolate and walnuts baked in with peanut butter. Yum!

  71. Avatar
    Julie Kirby 11/24/2011 at 9:29 pm #

    The sugary nom that makes me nostalgic are Christmas sugar cookies. Ever since I was a little girl I looked forward to Christmas. It’s my favorite holiday. I would look forward to going over to my Grandmother’s house and helping her wrap presents, decorate the Christmas tree, and complete her holiday cooking. As my Grandmother got older and her vision and stamina began to wane, she allowed me to take on more of the Christmas responsibilities, which I delighted in. I especially enjoyed making her famous Christmas sugar cookies. It was a two day process. The first day you had to actually make the cookies, from scratch I might add, into a wide variety of shapes such as Christmas trees and snowmen. And then the second day, we would spend the entire day decorating them with frosting, sprinkles, and candy drops. Even now, as I complete my sophomore year of college, I look forward to the time I get to drop my books and responsibilities and start baking my favorite Christmas sugar cookies.

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    Lindsay Beth 11/24/2011 at 10:26 pm #

    For me it is plain old yellow cake covered in chocolate icing and topped off with home-canned peaches, my great-grandmother’s specialty. Whenever we would eat at her house she was sure to have this as the desert and we were all sure to get seconds! The juice from the peaches seeps into the cake and that combined with the chocolate icing is just heaven! I guess I know what I’ll be baking sometime soon : )

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    teaspoonandcamera 11/25/2011 at 2:47 am #

    If I have to choose I’d say my dad’s blueberry and white chocolate chips plumcake that we used to eat in special occasions when I was a child and whose flavour I’ve never -ever!- been able to make the same as dad’s one.
    I plan on baking this for Christmas to remind myself of home – since I’m in Japan and every cake here has a chemical-like taste that I really don’t fancy at all, so every single bakery thingie gives me nostalgic struggles 🙂

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    Rachel Moore 11/25/2011 at 7:09 am #

    I will definitely have to go with chocolate chip cookies. My mom and I would always make them from scratch as a kid and it was so much fun! Also I used to get the little debbie snack cakes as a kid after school and I recently made some fauxstess cupcakes (the ones with the swirl on top). They brought me right back to elementary school!

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    krista heimpel 11/25/2011 at 8:47 am #

    Whipped Shortbread my grandmother makes every Christmas. Delish dipped in earl grey tea!

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    tina t 11/25/2011 at 9:32 am #

    love those bundt cakes!

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    Tori 11/25/2011 at 9:57 am #

    A cake made with Betty Crocker Rainbow Chip cake mix and frosting! That was always my birthday cake as a kid.

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    Suzanne 11/25/2011 at 10:19 am #

    My grandma’s gingerbread cookies. She only has them out during the holidays and they always make me feel nostalgic. I’ve been missing the holidays with my family as of late, but I try to recreate the feeling with Starbucks gingerbread cookies. Just not the same!

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    Cellabella 11/25/2011 at 10:24 am #

    Banana bread always makes me nostalgic because that was the first thing I ever learned to bake. I started making it in elementary school. Every Saturday morning my whole family would go out on a bike ride together. We’d come back, I’d get the banana bread batter ready and put it in the oven. We’d all get cleaned up and come downstairs for breakfast for fresh baked banana bread out of the oven!

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    cassie t. 11/25/2011 at 12:25 pm #

    There is just something about a warm Bread Pudding that stirs up a big bowl of nostalgia for me. Maybe it is because when I was young my family made a point to try every bread pudding recipe at each Mom and Pop restaurant within a 100 mild radius of our small Tennessee town…or maybe because it is just a Southern tradition in general. Either way, you just can’t beat a crisp Fall evening sitting on the porch with some warm Bread Pudding.

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    Kamea King 11/25/2011 at 12:39 pm #

    For me it would have to be pound cake. Whenever me and my grandmother used to make it it was the most beautiful moment ever even though it did get a little messy ( I was only about 2 or 3). The best part was putting the frozen 7 up on the cake. When ever i see that i cry because it was our past time. Word to the wise never try to drink frozen pop it isn’t the best idea.

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    Denisha 11/25/2011 at 12:55 pm #

    any kind of dessert with the flavor of red velvet just makes me go crazy. That is by far the best kind of dessert for me. It can be red velvet cake, cupcake, yogurt ice cream, you name it.

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    Nadine 11/25/2011 at 1:17 pm #

    My most favourite dessert is called Grasshopper Pie! It always beings a smile to my face when I know we’re having it because it is so tasty! Minty and oreoy! Perfection.
    For my birthday last year, my best friend contacted my Mom so that she could make me the dessert because I couldn’t get home for the treat!
    I’ve been requesting this dessert since I was a kid. My Mom used to tell us that there actually were Grasshoppers in it! EEK!
    No worries – just tasty perfection.

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    Nancy M. 11/25/2011 at 1:41 pm #

    Nestlé Tollhouse cookies! Mom and I still bake them together every year.

    p.s. There’s a bundt pan in my cabinet just begging to be used…

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    Abby 11/25/2011 at 2:07 pm #

    Every year aorund Christmas my mom makes this special kind of candy. The recipe is a secret, and although we’ve all taken candy to work and for teachers at school, we have never once revealed the recipe and I have never tasted anything else like it. Last year I made the recipe for the first time and I will continue the tradition and pass it down to my future children.

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    Eliza 11/25/2011 at 2:23 pm #

    Poor Man’s Toffee. It’s this……almost a brittle……made with Saltine crackers, butterscotch and chocolate chips. My mom would always let me help make it, in my little apron. I couldn’t even reach the counter, but I would drag my chair across the floor. We called it our “Cooking Hour”, and we pretended we were TV chefs. One year I came up with a motto; “You’ve got that taste!” I don’t know where I got it, but I got a lot of laughs from my Dad. Now, whenever I taste it, I think of those Christmases in the kitchen with Mom.

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    Logan Young 11/25/2011 at 6:17 pm #

    The scent that sends me into flashbacks of my younger years is as simple as Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls. My mom made them Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas morning, and the delicious scent never failed to get my brother and sister and I out of our beds. You can’t go wrong with Pillsbury!

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    Petra Wilcox 11/25/2011 at 7:59 pm #

    For me, it’s our special recipe chocolate chip pound cake, the best cake I have ever eaten! While it’s cooking, everyone has to tip-toe around the house, because you don’t want to shake the cake, or it will fall, so I love making the house peaceful that way-no one wants to mess up the yummy cake! It also reminds me of my Grandma, because it is her ingenious recipe, and I wish she could see me making all the baked goods these days. (:

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    Claire 11/25/2011 at 8:43 pm #

    My mother would make this delicious mango float. It would be a frozen cake with layers of mango, graham crackers, and condensed milk. I would love it during summer when it would start to thaw in the sun and the milk becomes creamy and the sweetness of the mango would appear.

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    cruz 11/25/2011 at 9:41 pm #

    homemade sugar cookies decorated by children!

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    Bean 11/25/2011 at 10:03 pm #

    My favorite dessert that I used to make with my mother before I moved out was banana bread. Even now my younger sisters make it with my mom. We used to save all the old bananas just for the purpose of making this scrumptious banana bread! My mom still brings me a loaf or two when she comes and visits me in Minnesota while I’m at school 😀 This bread always reminds me of my house and my childhood which is always something good and fun to be reminded of 🙂

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    julia vivian 11/26/2011 at 6:25 am #

    my aunt estelle’s lace cookies. they are so light and delicious and remind me of childhood visits to her home in greenwich, ct! xo

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    colourfulpalatedotcom 11/26/2011 at 10:06 am #

    My Mother’s warm cinnamon buns straight from the oven with melted butter. Oh my.

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    Caitlin 11/26/2011 at 12:20 pm #

    My grandma’s chirstmas cookies make me feel nostalgic. She makes the best gingersnaps and tick-tac-toes and sugar cookies – mmmm.

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    Lillian 11/26/2011 at 4:20 pm #

    My mom is a tip top baker. I’ve constantly had the fortune of delighting in super yummy baked goods of all kinds, especially cakes. A couple of months ago I found out that I’m gluten intolerant. I haven’t been able to enjoy my mommy’s delicious creations as much, because most of them have gluten. However, there is one of my mother’s specialties that is not off limits: Coconut Macaroons! Although I can’t eat every lucious treat my mom makes, I still can have as many Coconut Macaroons as my heart desires. Being limited to gluten-free products, it is so comforting knowing I will always have my mom’s Coconut Macaroons.

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    Kate 11/26/2011 at 4:45 pm #

    When my stepmother joined my family back in 1991, so, too, did the annual baking of Rolo cookies at Christmastime — chocolate cookies with a caramely Rolo melted inside. I love desserts — and especially cupcakes; I’m something of a cupcake connoisseur — but those Rolo cookies still manage to take the cake!

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    Mickey 11/26/2011 at 10:21 pm #

    My mom has baked forever, and still does; her confections are what I think of when I’m feeling nostalgic and home sick. Ever since I was a little one my mom and I would make peanut butter blossoms every Christmas (and still do!). It’s a peanut butter cookie with a Hershey’s kiss placed on top, and is known in my family as the “Boobie Cookie,” which is the name my dad came up with! We’ve made those cookie each Christmas, and no matter where my family and I have lived I’ve always felt like I was home with each batch pulled out from the oven. Now that I’m away at college I count down the days until I can come home and make cookies with my mom again, and possibly gain back the 30 pounds I lost!

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    Itsy 11/27/2011 at 12:28 pm #

    I remember my mom,aunt and gradma baking cakes,pies,or cookies the day before christmas, but my favorite was a kind of cheesecake with a thin layer of jello on top, It was delicious! I wish my mom was here 🙁

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    Jessica H. 11/27/2011 at 12:41 pm #

    Fresh apple cider donuts; where I live, there’s only one place to get them, and even then they’re a seasonal treat we only got once a year when we went apple picking. The orchard makes them right in front of you too, like some Krispy Kremes do, so you get to see everything that goes into them, from measuring out the ingredients, to frying, to rolling them in sugar. The line was always really long to get them, because they we insanely popular, but my mom would always wait in the line. The donuts were, and still are, 100% worth it though: the donuts are cakey, moist, and they stay warm for hours! Om nom nom!

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    Jessamyn 11/27/2011 at 12:41 pm #

    My grandma makes three Christmas cookies every year: Russian tea cakes, peanut blossoms (peanut butter cookies with hershey’s kisses on top) and English Toffee (not quite a cookie, but delicious none the less.) I can’t imagine the Christmas season without them

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    Cami Grimm 11/27/2011 at 12:51 pm #

    Every year for my birthday my grandma would make an angel food cake with homemade cream cheese icing loaded with coconut. As I got older, she taught me how to make it and showed me all her little tricks. Now, even though she is no longer with us, I make sure every year for not only my birthday but others in my family, we celebrate with that yummy cake! It’s so simple yet so delicious and filled with memories.

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    Jennifer H 11/27/2011 at 2:23 pm #

    Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting was what I always asked for on my birthdays! So that’s the thing that reminds me of childhood!!

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    Autumn 11/27/2011 at 3:08 pm #

    Peanut butter balls!! Pure and simple. My grandfather has been making them every year around Christmas time since I was a little girl. They’re literally balls of peanut butter, coated in this delicious dark chocolate layer. We keep them in the freezer and eat them when they’re cold. There’s just nothing like them. 🙂

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    Tammy 11/27/2011 at 3:32 pm #

    Stovetop hot cocoa always reminds me of my mom.

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    Caitlin 11/27/2011 at 4:12 pm #

    Really, anything from my grandmother’s recipe book. However, she had a special diner roll recipe that my family eats at every holiday. It reminds me of the big family gatherings we used to have

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    Jane 11/27/2011 at 5:32 pm #

    When I was young, Mom and I used to bake together all the time! Her chocolate chip cookies never last long in the house.

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    Deirdre 11/28/2011 at 5:19 am #

    Chocolate Icebox cookies and Tandy Cakes (Chocolate and Peanutbutter over a yellow cake). The recipes are something out of the 50’s and something my grandmother and I would make together.

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    e. díaz 11/28/2011 at 7:57 am #

    For me it’s my mother’s italian bread. It was a simple recipe she used to cook when she was happy. Two years ago, we had a huge fight and she kicked me out of the house and hasn’t spoke to me ever since. Even though I’m really hurt and angry, I miss her everyday. Sometimes I’m reminded of that bread she used to bake, and I say to myself I ‘ll learn how to make it and show up at her house with it, so that we can finally sit down together and talk, for the first time in two years.

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    Jessamyn 11/28/2011 at 3:30 pm #

    My Grandma has three traditional Christmas cookies that she makes every single year: Russian teacakes, peanut blossoms and English toffee.

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    Wehaf 11/28/2011 at 6:40 pm #

    Chrusciki (a kind of Polish cookie) makes me feel nostalgic for my grandparents and for my childhood Christmases.

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    hannah 11/29/2011 at 12:59 am #

    My mums pecan pie, my aunts trifle and my nans chocolate chip flapjacks. Probably the three best things in the world 🙂

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    Jasmine 11/29/2011 at 1:29 am #

    Cheesecake. My Oma is from Germany and every time a birthday or holiday would roll around when I was younger, she’d make one special, just for me. Even in her early 80s, she still does because she knows I love it. There’s nothing quite as delicious as German Cheesecake made by such a lovely woman. 🙂

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    Rachel 11/29/2011 at 8:18 am #

    cookie press butter christmas cookies 🙂

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    Christine 11/29/2011 at 10:57 am #

    I love the nostalgia that Pillsbury Crescent rolls bring, as odd as that might sound! I remember being little and baking them with my mom and my sisters. I would always be so excited and a little afraid to tear the paper off the can, in anticipation of the “pop!” and the can bursting open. (I never was very good, and am still not very good, at not being startled when that happens)! I loved unrolling the perforated dough, and having the delightfully dough-y and buttery smell waft up toward my nose. It was so fun to roll the triangular pieces up into crescent shapes. My mom would always fix my rolls – typical! – so that they looked perfect. It was so satisfying to be able to eat them a mere 10 minutes later 🙂

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    Becky 11/29/2011 at 2:20 pm #

    My grandmother’s chocolate toffee bars and mom’s frosted sugar cookies make me think of home! Especially around the holidays, when we would always have them!

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    Margaret 11/29/2011 at 5:52 pm #

    Crepes. Last year, my close friends (more like sisters) and I celebrated our first annual Winter Brunch. It’s really a great time because the six of us are divided among four different high schools, one of which is really out of the area. We all convened during the mid to late morning to exchange the last of three Secret Santa Christmas presents and to enjoy each others company and the musical stylings of Mumford & Sons, played through our lovely hostess’s vintage record player. Afterwards, we made crepes complete with fillings and toppings, not forgetting to take plenty of pictures documenting the cooking process. The last crepe consumed was bitten by each of us and we called this one the “Sisterhood of the Traveling Crepe.” To conclude the morning we talked and watched the rain steadily fall on the windowpane. These girls mean everything to me and they are all amazing, in their own ways. They have been with me through all the hardships I have encountered thus far. We can talk about truly anything and I know they had been listening by the amount of thought put into their response. They make me a better person. It is truly hard being away from them for such long periods of time, and when I see just one, it’s like a spark has been reignited and I don’t have to think twice about speaking my innermost thoughts. This year the second annual Winter Brunch is in its planning stages, but regardless if the tradition stops (which I hope it never does, even when we have grown up and left the city), I know crepes will always hold a special place, embodying a balance between childhood curiosity and adult maturity, in my heart.

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    Ashlee Townsend 11/29/2011 at 7:19 pm #

    Fudge, or Candy, as my Nanny (Grandma) would call it. She made it every year and all of us got a little package of it wrapped up in a pretty Christmas tin. That is my favorite, and most special, baking memory of all.

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    Kate 11/30/2011 at 12:45 pm #

    My sisters and I have discovered this amazing seven layer snicker-doodle cake. The warm vanilla cinnamon cake with butter cream icing contains a total of nine sticks of butter and reminds me of my grandmothers cinnamon snicker-doodle cookies!

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    Miss Monique 11/30/2011 at 7:14 pm #

    The baked sweets that make me feel nostalgic are Christmas Jewels, simple yet delicious and fun cookies. I have been making them with my mom every winter season ever since I was a little girl, and my mom made them with her mom when she was little. The cookies are “jewels” because we roll the dough in colored sugar, usually red and green to match the season, but sometimes I can convince my mom to also make pink cookies or blue cookies. 🙂

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    Kelly 11/30/2011 at 10:11 pm #

    Spritz cookies, it’s a holiday tradition that me and my dad do together every year at Christmas time!


  1. ModCloth Blog » Blog Archive » Merry Cranberry & Pear Muffins - 12/06/2011

    […] our recent Book of the Month post, I asked “What baked sweets or savory noms make you feel nostalgic?” Many of you […]

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