To lay the foundation for this crafty birthday confection, our kitchen staff turned first to a deliciously simple pound cake recipe supplied by subscriber Ethel Ledbetter of Canton, North Carolina. It's texture was just right for building the blocks. "The secrets in the cream cheese I added to the recipe," confides Ethel. "That's what makes my cake firm for cutting—and easy to frost, too." What'll bring even bigger grins is the fact that the cake can be baked ahead and frozen, then thawed
My Aunt Lillian made her fabulous crumb cake every weekend when we came to visit. She created this recipe back in the '40s. Knowing my father loved it, she shared the recipe with my mother, who passed it on to me. I serve it as a coffee cake for Sunday brunch or for dessert. —Rose Gearheard, Phoenix, Oregon
This moist, flavorful cake was the traditional birthday cake at our house when I was growing up. Everyone requested it. I especially like the sweet coconut-pecan frosting. —Lisa Andis, Morristown, Indiana
At our Wisconsin farm, dessert was just as important as the main course. This idea has followed us to California, where I'm still on the lookout for good dessert recipes. This moist cake is a favorite since it's chock-full of fun ingredients like chocolate candy bars, pecans and coconut.
-Kay Hansen, Escondido, California
"This dessert is out of this world," promises Iola Egle, McCook, Nebraska. Coconut, chocolate chips, marshmallows and pecans turn a boxed cake mix into a delectable treat. "All of your guests will agree that it's the best ever," she assures. "Enjoy it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream."
I have so many speedy dessert recipes, but this one is truly special. A friend shared it with me, and it immediately became the one I prefer because it tastes like a coconut cream pie with only a fraction of the work.
-Betty Claycomb, Alverton, Pennsylvania
We live in a little community of 27—if everyone's home! A neighbor game this recipe when we first moved here, saying it dated back to the 1800"s and everybody in the area made it. I soon discovered why when I took a taste...and I'm not a fruit cake fan!
My husband, who's the inventor of a three-point bale mover, and I have a grown son. I'm a crafter and collector.