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  • Kayla Portillo

Holiday Desserts

If you’ve been following along with Laura and I’s Back Patio journey, you’ve probably noticed that I absolutely love to bake! I have always felt that there is no better way to say ‘thank you’, ‘welcome’ or simply ‘hello’ than with homemade baked goods. While I bake all year round, there is something extra special about baking for the holidays! With the season upon us, I thought I would take a minute to show you what will be on my dessert menu this holiday season.


Don’t let the funny name fool you... this dessert is a must have at our house around the holidays. This is an old recipe of my mother’s, and is what finally turned me into a pumpkin fan. While it is basically a pie, cake, and custard all in one, it’s no surprise that this is always a huge hit with family and friends. If you’re looking for something slightly different than (or in addition to!) the traditional pumpkin pie, this dessert definitely deserves a try.

STEP ONE // Cake


1 box yellow cake mix

1 egg

½ cup melted (but not browned) margarine

Set aside 1 cup of yellow cake mix.

Combine all ingredients.

Mix and press into a 9x13 pan.

STEP TWO // Filling

4 eggs

2 x 15 oz canned pumpkin

1 ½ cups sugar

1 tsp. salt

5 tsp cinnamon

2 x 12 oz cans evaporated milk

1 tsp. ground ginger

½ tsp. ground cloves

Mix well and pour over cake mix in pan.

STEP THREE // Topping

1 cup cake mix

¼ cup melted (but not browned) margarine

¼ cup sugar

3 tsp. cinnamon

Mix to crumble state and sprinkle on top of pie mixture.

Bake 1 - 1 ½ hours at 350 degrees.


Again, one of those things that might not sound like your typical dessert, but this pie certainly holds its own. As my grandmother’s recipe, this was something that I enjoyed enough growing up to remember to keep in my recipe book. While I actually make this pie quite regularly throughout the year, the hint of nutmeg makes it a staple around the holidays.

*In-a-pinch hint*

Although I typically make my pie crust from scratch, I have certainly bought a premade crust when the time calls!


9 inch unbaked pie shell

½ cup softened butter or margarine

2 cups sugar

1 cup buttermilk

3 rounded tbls. Flour

3 eggs, beaten

1 tsp. Vanilla

Nutmeg to taste

Add sugar to softened butter, cream together well.

Stir in flour and eggs and beat well.

Stir in buttermilk, vanilla, and nutmeg.

Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake for 40 - 50 minutes, depending on your oven, at 350 degrees.

Cool completely before serving.


While many people love anything and everything pumpkin at this time of year, I tend to lean towards more spice, and less pumpkin. A simple spice cake has always been a favorite of mine, so this year for our Back Patio Give Thanks dinner, I decided to try my hand at a homemade version with a simple vanilla glaze. I love that you still tasted all of the fall flavors in a beautiful light Bundt cake. Plus, you can basically put any kind of glaze or icing on a spike cake to compliment!


10 inch Bundt pan

1 cup softened butter

2 cups sugar

½ cup light brown sugar

3 cups flour

¼ tsp. baking soda

1 ¼ tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. cloves

½ tsp. nutmeg

6 large eggs at room temperature

1 cup sour cream

½ cup confectioners’ sugar

3 tbls. heavy cream

½ tsp. vanilla


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray the inside of a 10 inch Bundt pan with cooking spray.

Cream the butter, sugar and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.

Add the eggs to the creamed butter, one at a time, beating after each addition.

Add the sour cream, alternating with the flour mixture, beginning and ending with the flour and beating until no flour is visible. Don’t overbeat!

Pour the batter into the prepared pan

Tap the pan on the counter to remove any air pockets.

Bake for 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cool slightly in the pan, 5 to 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack while still warm.


Stir together the confectioners’ sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla in a small bowl.

Drizzle over the cake.

#Holidays #Desserts #pie #cake #Hosting #Entertaining

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