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The inspiration for this cake came from one of my favorite flowers, the sunflower. The yellow peeps make eye-catching flower petals, and I carefully placed chocolate chips in a circular pattern to resemble the seeds in the middle of a sunflower. This cake is easy, but looks quite impressive. —Bethany Eledge, Cleveland, Tennessee
Years ago, I drove 4-1/2 hours to a cake contest, holding my entry on my lap the whole way. But it paid off. One bite and you'll see why this velvety beauty won first prize. —Sandra Johnson, Tioga, Pennsylvania
This beautiful layered cake has a creamy filling with a mild pumpkin flavor and a little spice. It's quick and always turns out so well. The nuts and caramel topping add a nice finishing touch, but you could also try other toppings as a variation. —Trixie Fisher, Piqua, Ohio
I rely on canned pumpkin and a yellow cake mix to fix this effortless alternative to pumpkin pie. It's a tried-and-true dessert that always elicits compliments and requests for the recipe. —Linda Guyot, Fountain Valley, California
Using packaged meatballs helps save time in the kitchen and they are just as tasty as homemade. My friends look forward to enjoying these meatballs at our holiday gatherings and there are never any leftovers! The sauce is tangy yet sweet, and the festive color is perfect for any holiday party. —Amy Scamerhorn, Indianapolis, Indiana
Because I'm our town's postmaster, I can bake only in my spare time. When I do, I especially like making breads and desserts.
I'm one of six children, and I learned to cook young! This recipe came from my aunt in Alabama. I've used it in all sorts of different ways over the years—as strawberry shortcake...tucked under ice cream and chocolate syrup like a hot fudge sundae...or like pound cake with powdered sugar.—Karen Conrad, East Troy, Wisconsin