Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Better Than Almost Anything...

My son-in-law suggested an alternate title for this blog. The cake that I am featuring is known by another name, but Blogger has a fantastic filtering system and it wouldn't let us use certain words--even if it was as a description for food. Let's just say, the original title would have rhymed with "Better Than Chex Cake." That's what Sarah used to call it anyway when she was younger (she was too embarrassed to use the other title).

The cake is known by all of the above names, but in our family we always call it Caramel Cake (christened by Sean). It's one of Sean's favorite desserts and that boy has taste. I found the recipe years ago printed in an LDS Novel called "Pray Away Pounds." It was a funny story about a sister who joined a group trying to lose weight but they all gained....mostly due to eating recipes like this one. (Thus began a short and intense period of reading tons of novels by LDS authors.) The recipe for this cake can also be found on the Betty Crocker website
Each chapter began with a recipe and this was the most tantalizing. I've seen it printed up many places and it is a staple in Mormon Ward cookbooks.
The other recipe was a bookend because Sarah likes to have two recipes posted at once. It came from one of my favorite websites (Betty Crocker) and was yummy, yummy. In fact, some (I won't say who) liked it better than the other cake.

Better Than Almost Anything Cake

1 box German chocolate cake mix
Water, vegetable oil, and eggs called for on cake mix box
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 jar (16-17 oz) caramel, butterscotch, or fudge topping (we recommend caramel)
1 container (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 bag (8 oz) toffee chips or bits (crushed English toffee or Heath bars work well too if you want more chocolate)

Heat oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees for dark or nonstick pan). Bake cake as directed on box for 13x9 inch pan.

Poke top of warm cake every 1/2 inch with handle of wooden spoon. Drizzle milk evenly over top of cake; let stand until milk has been absorbed into cake. Drizzle with caramel topping. Run knife around sides of pan to loosen cake. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or until chilled.

Spread whipped topping over top of cake. Sprinkle with toffee chips. Store covered in refrigerator.

Makes 15 servings.


The cake may stick to the wooden spoon handle while you're using it to make the holes, so occasionally wipe off the handle.

The caramel topping will be easier to drizzle if it has been kept at room temperature. If refrigerated, remove the lid and microwave on High about 15 seconds.

Nutrition information: 510 calories, 21 g fat, 60 mg cholesterol, 480 mg sodium, 75 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 6 g protein.

Banana Tres Leches Dessert


1 box white cake mix
1 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 cup mashed bananas (2 medium)
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
1/2 cup (from 14-oz can) coconut milk (not cream of coconut)
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 container Whipped fluffy white frosting
Banana slices and/or toasted coconut, if desired


Heat oven to 350 degrees (325 gor dark or nonstick pan). Grease bottom only of 13x9 inch pan with shortening or cooking spray.

In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil, eggs, and mashed bananas with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds; beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

Poke top of cake every 1/2 inch with long-tined fork, wiping fork occasionally to reduce sticking. In large bowl, stir together condensed milk, coconut milk, and whipping cream.

Carefully pour evenly over top of cake. Cover; refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight until mixture is absorbed into cake.

Spread frosting over cake. Garnish each serving with banana slices and/or toasted coconut, if desired. Store covered in refrigerator.

Makes 16 servings.

Nutrition information: 430 calories, 20 g fat, 55 mg cholesterol, 290 mg sodium, 56 g carbohydrate, 5 g protein.


  1. Be sure to use the German Chocolate. I've seen recipes that call for devils or dark chocolate, but I think that wouldn't compliment the caramel as well. Also, we have made the cake with low fat caramel, condensed milk, Cool Whip, etc. and it saves calories but the taste doesn't really suffer.

    Finally, I use whipping cream instead of Cool Whip because Sean is picky. He doesn't really like whipping cream either and we tried to leave it unfrosted once and; surprisingly, it dried out and wasn't very good.

    Both of these cakes are better if stored in the fridge. They are perfect to take to family functions or pot lucks as so much of it is do ahead and they will get slicked up faster than a snake on a desert.

    Ha ha. I never really talk like that in person.

  2. I thought both cakes were fantastic, but if I had to choose, I'm in the chocolate camp!