34 Recipes We Learned from Our Aunts

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

1 / 33

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

Go to Recipe

2 / 33

Braciole

In our family braciole was served as a special treat for birthdays and holidays. It was Grandma’s specialty and the preparation was time-consuming. When the meat and sauce were fully cooked, Grandma called us into the kitchen to watch her lift the big braciole roll from the sauce to the cutting board to slice it. The pinwheels of meat, laid side by side on the platter, topped with Grandma’s delicious sauce, made a colorful picture. —Cookie Curci, San Jose, California
3 / 33

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
4 / 33

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
5 / 33

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
6 / 33

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
7 / 33

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
8 / 33

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
9 / 33

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
10 / 33

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
11 / 33

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
12 / 33

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
13 / 33

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
14 / 33

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
15 / 33

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
16 / 33

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
17 / 33

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
18 / 33

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
19 / 33

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
20 / 33

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
21 / 33

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
22 / 33

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
23 / 33

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
24 / 33

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
25 / 33

Gingerbread

My grandmother first used this recipe for gingerbread more than 100 years ago. I remember that the kitchen smelled like heaven when Grandmother baked her gingerbread. The only thing better was when she took it out of the oven and served it with a generous topping of fresh whipped cream! —Ellouise Halstead, Union Grove, Wisconsin
26 / 33

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
27 / 33

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
28 / 33

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
29 / 33

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
30 / 33

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
31 / 33

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
32 / 33

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
33 / 33

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 has spent the last decade writing and editing food and lifestyle content. As a senior editor at Taste of Home, she leads the newsletter team sharing delicious recipes and helpful cooking tips to more than 2 million loyal email subscribers. Since joining TMB seven years ago as an associate editor, she has worked on special interest publications, launched TMB’s first cross-branded newsletter, supported the launch of the brand's affiliate strategy, orchestrated holiday countdowns, participated in taste tests and was selected for a task force to enhance the Taste of Home community. Emily was first mentioned by name in Taste of Home magazine in 1994, when her mother won a contest. When she’s not editing, Emily can be found in her kitchen baking something sweet, taking a wine class with her husband, or making lasagnas for neighbors through Lasagna Love.
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.