36 Recipes We Learned from Our Aunts

Our aunts are loving, supportive members of the family...and excellent cooks.

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Honey Cinnamon Rollups

This cinnamony treat reminds me of baklava, but with only a few easy ingredients, it’s a fraction of the work. My Aunt Adele shared the recipe with me, and I think of her whenever I make it. —Sue Falk, Warren, Michigan

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Beef Braciole

Beef Braciole

My great-aunt used to make the most amazing braciole, but it was a laborious and time-consuming effort. I took her basic recipe and transformed it into a slow cooker version, making it easier for today’s hurried world. My great-aunt always served the flank steak sliced over orzo that had been tossed with olive oil and Romano cheese. Delicioso!—Lisa Renshaw, Kansas City, Missouri
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Spaghetti with Four Cheeses

This creamy and cheesy spaghetti dish is my mainstay whenever company’s coming. The recipe, handed down from my aunt, is on the table in 30 minutes. As cook and hostess, I never feel hurried preparing this meal. —Nella Parker, Hersey, Michigan
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Vegetable Beef Casserole

This easy one-dish recipe has been a family favorite ever since my husband’s aunt handed it down to me 35 years ago. Try adding whatever vegetables you have on hand. A simple salad goes nicely with this dish. —Evangeline Rew, Manassas, Virginia
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Favorite Creamy Chicken Casserole

I created this creamy chicken casserole when my husband was craving a dish his aunt used to make. It tastes and smells great and is now a staple at our house. —Mari Warnke, Fremont, Wisconsin
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Mashed Potato Doughnuts

As a special treat in winter, my parents would make a double batch of these doughnuts to welcome us six kids home from school. This recipe from my great-aunt has been handed down through the generations. —Tammy Evans, Nepean, Ontario
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Aunt Karen’s Shrimp Salad

When unexpected company calls during the holidays, this shrimp salad is the perfect fit. It’s quick to put together, too, leaving you more time to spend with your guests. — Karen Moore, Jacksonville, Florida
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Corn Bread with a Kick

Nothing says southern cooking like crisp corn bread made in a cast iron skillet. I use a very old skillet that belonged to my great-aunt. It will be passed on for generations. —Geordyth Sullivan, Cutler Bay, Florida
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Old-Fashioned Rhubarb Cake

My great-aunt gave me this rhubarb cake recipe. It’s especially delicious when rhubarb is in season, and tastes even better with the old-fashioned milk topping. But you’ll love it even with frozen rhubarb and “modern-day” whipped topping! —Marilyn Homola, Hazel, South Dakota
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Sweet Macaroni Salad

A sweet out-of-the-ordinary dressing makes this macaroni salad special. My aunt gave me the recipe and it has become one of my favorites. I occasionally leave out the green pepper if I know that people don't like it, and it still tastes great. —Idalee Scholz, Cocoa Beach, Florida
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Apricot Ice Cream Soda

This ginger ale float recipe came from my husband’s aunt, who was born in the early 1900s. It’s a delightful drink for hot Texas summers. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Stovetop Turkey Tetrazzini

A very special aunt shared this fun spin on creamy tetrazzini. We think it’s even better the next day. —Tasia Cox, Niceville, Florida
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Honey Cinnamon Bars

My Aunt Ellie gave us the recipe for these sweet bar cookies with cinnamon and walnuts. Drizzle with icing, and serve with coffee or tea. —Diane Myers, Star, Idaho
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Aunt Margaret's Sweet Potato Casserole

My great-aunt made an incredible sweet potato casserole for our holiday dinners. I’ve lightened it up a bit, but we love it just the same. —Beth Britton, Fairlawn, Ohio
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Li'l Cheddar Meat Loaves

I got this recipe from my aunt when I was a teen and have made these miniature loaves many times since. My husband and three children count this main dish among their favorites. —Kathy Bowron, Cocolalla, Idaho
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Basic Pizza Crust

My aunt shared this basic pizza dough recipe quite a few years ago. I like to double the recipe and keep one baked crust in the freezer for a quick snack or meal later. —Beverly Anderson, Sinclairville, New York
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Aunt Lou's Fresh Apple Cake

My Great-Aunt Lou made a luscious fresh apple cake recipe that became a family tradition. My mom makes it for our annual beach trip to the Outer Banks. —Cristy King, Scott Depot, West Virginia
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German Red Cabbage

Sunday afternoons were a time for family gatherings when I was a kid. While the uncles played cards, the aunts made treats such as this traditional German red cabbage recipe. —Jeannette Heim, Dunlap, Tennessee
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Plantain Fritters

These golden brown plantain fritters are a favorite in West Africa, where my aunt served as a missionary for 45 years. Make sure the plantains are very ripe. You can substitute bananas if you’d like. —Heather Ewald, Bothell, Washington
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Fresh Corn & Arugula Salad

This fresh-tasting salad is known as Aunt Pammy’s salad in my family. It’s so colorful that it will take center stage. — Pamela Damm, South Beloit, Illinois

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Aunt Myrtle's Coconut Oat Cookies

These oatmeal coconut cookies are the stuff of happy memories. They have such a rich flavor and texture. Store them in your best cookie jar. —Catherine Cassidy, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Aunt Edith's Baked Pancake

My aunt made a mighty breakfast that revolved around 'The Big Pancake'. I always enjoyed watching as she poured the batter into her huge cast-iron skillet, then created the perfect confection: baked pancakes. —Marion Kirst, Troy, Michigan
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Peach Cake

I first tasted this cake about 15 years ago when a dear aunt brought it to a family reunion. I knew I had to have the recipe...and I was thrilled to discover how easy it is to make.—Donna Britsch, Tega Cay, South Carolina
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Almond Tea Bread

My aunt brought her tea bread recipe with her from Scotland, and enjoying a fresh-baked loaf has become a family tradition during the holidays. Each slice is loaded with red cherries. —Kathleen Showers, Briggsdale, Colorado
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Bacon Cauliflower Salad

My Aunt Lavern’s special cauliflower salad recipe combines crispy-crunchy ingredients with a creamy dressing that’s ever so slightly sweet. —Kelly Ward Hartman, Cape Coral, Florida
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Banana Pound Cake

I adapted a basic pound cake recipe from my great-aunt for this treat. It makes a moist cake that pops out of the pan perfectly. —Nancy Zimmerman, Cape May Court House, New Jersey
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Gingerbread Cake

Gingerbread Cake

This dark, moist gingerbread cake combines the old-fashioned flavors of ginger and molasses. The recipe was passed down to me from a dear aunt. —Ila Mae Alderman, Galaz, Virginia
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Rosemary Walnuts

My Aunt Mary started making this recipe years ago. Each time we visited, she would have a batch ready for us. The use of cayenne adds an unexpected zing to the savory combo of rosemary and walnuts. When you need a good housewarming or hostess gift, double the batch and save half for yourself. —Renee Ciancio, New Bern, North Carolina
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Aunt Frances' Lemonade

My sister and I spent a week each summer with our Aunt Frances, who always had this thirst-quenching lemonade in a stoneware crock in her refrigerator. It makes a refreshing drink after a hot day of running around. —Debbie Reinhart, New Cumberland, Pennsylvania
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Oat-Rageous Chocolate Chip Cookies

My aunt gave me this recipe, and my family thinks these cookies are delicious. We enjoy all different kinds of cookies, and with this recipe, we can combine three of our favorite kinds—oatmeal, peanut butter and chocolate chip—in one! —Jaymie Noble, Kalamazoo, Michigan
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Cheese Soup with a Twist

One of my favorite childhood memories is of my Aunt Claire serving up hearty bowlfuls of her famous cheesy soup. She would pair this cheese soup with a slice of warm buttered bread for a downhome lunch. —Rob Feezor, Alexandria, Virginia
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Scalloped Cranberries

This warm cranberry casserole is a nice substitute for traditional cranberry relish. It’s been a staple on my holiday table ever since my aunt gave me the recipe many years ago. —Ellan Streett, Clear Spring, Maryland
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White Chocolate-Cranberry Biscotti

The original version of this recipe was handed down from my great-aunt. Through the years, my mother and I have tried different flavor combinations…this is a favorite for all. —Brenda Keith, Talent, Oregon
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Apricot Upside-Down Cake

My Aunt Anne, who is a great cook, gave me a taste of this golden upside-down cake and I couldn't believe how delicious it was. Apricots give it an elegant twist from traditional pineapple versions. —Ruth Ann Stelfox, Raymond, Alberta
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Aunt Grace's Eggnog

When I was growing up, I couldn't get enough of the nonalcoholic eggnog my aunt always prepared for us kids. Now I enjoy this adult version. —Susan Hein, Burlington, Wisconsin
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Pumpkin Pie Custard

Instead of pumpkin pie, try this flavorful light holiday dessert. My husband’s aunt shared the recipe after she brought this treat to a family party. —Nancy Zimmerman, Cape May Court House, New Jersey

Emily Racette Parulski
Emily Racette Parulski is a Senior Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in email newsletters. When she’s not writing about food, she’s baking something sweet to feed her chocolate obsession.
Christina Herbst
Christina is a Social Media Editor for Taste of Home. She enjoys trying out local restaurants and coffeehouses and adding copious amounts of garlic and cheese to any recipe she can get her hands on. In her free time, you can find her hunting down one-of-a-kind furniture pieces at thrift and vintage stores and DIYing trendy home decor crafts.