E. Claire Dessert – Yum!

Lovingly named after Mary’s first child, you’ll love this dessert. It couldn’t be easier…or more delicious.  Bringing this will make you the hit of any picnic, but don’t count on there being any left to take home.


  • 1 pkg (5.1 oz) vanilla pudding mix
  • 3 cups cold milk
  • 1 tub (8 oz) whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 box graham crackers
  • 1 container chocolate frosting

Mix vanilla pudding mix with 3 cups cold milk and let stand until soft-set.  Fold whipped topping into prepared pudding.  Line a 13×9 pan with graham crackers, breaking if needed to fit pan.

Pour ½ of the pudding mixture onto the graham crackers.  Top with another layer of graham crackers.

Pour remaining pudding mixture onto the graham crackers.  Top with a final layer of graham crackers.



Remove lid and foil liner from frosting container, and heat for 20-30 seconds in the microwave or until it pours easily.  Pour over final graham cracker layer and spread to the edges of the pan.

Refrigerate until set.  We have enjoyed it the same day we assembled it, but prefer to make it a day ahead.


Over The Top Chocolate Cake

This unbelievably moist cake is a chocolate lover’s dream.  Bonus?  Since it starts with a cake mix, it is as easy as it is scrumptious.  ENJOY!!


  • 1 Devil’s Food cake mix
  • 1 (small) box of instant chocolate pudding
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups of chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a bundt pan with cooking spray, set aside.  Mix all ingredients together in an electric mixer until blended.  Pour batter into bundt pan.  Bake for 55-60 minutes.

Cool completely and dust with powdered sugar.  This cake holds its own, but a little vanilla ice cream is a delicious complement.

Tie-Dye Jar Cakes with Pudding Icing

Use this technique to create delicious cakes with a tie-dye look.  We chose to stick with red and blue to go along with our Tie-Dye 4th of July.  Using a rainbow of colors is really great as well.

Tie-Dye Jar Cake Recipe

  • Mason jars (These jars make a man-sized portion.  Use jelly jars or prepare in a standard muffin pan for something a little smaller.)
  • white cake mix (and the ingredients to bake as directed)
  • food coloring (we used blue and red for our Tie-Dye 4th of July, but you can use any colors you want)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray the Mason jars with cooking spray.  Prepare cake mix as directed.  Divide evenly among three bowls.  Keep one bowl as is.  Using food coloring, dye the cake mix in one of the other bowls red and the cake mix in the last bowl blue.

Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, drop dollops of each color into the jars filling between 1/3 and 1/2 of the jar.

Place the jars on a cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes until done.  Use a toothpick to assure the cake is baked.

Pudding Icing

  • 1 box (3.9 oz) pudding
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 8 oz. frozen whipped topping, thawed

Mix pudding, milk and powdered sugar in  large bowl.  Add whipped topping.  Top cake with generous portions.  Refrigerate any unused portion.


Rise and Shine Bundt Cake

This is our go-to breakfast cake.  Serve it for brunch or wrap it and trim it with a bow to welcome new neighbors.  Because the base is a cake mix, it is easy to prepare and unbelievably moist.

Cake and Filling:

  • 1/3 c packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¾ c chopped pecans or walnuts, divided
  • 1 plain yellow cake mix
  • 1 pkg (3.4 oz) vanilla pudding
  • ¾ c vegetable oil
  • ¾ c water
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  •  Glaze:
  • 1 c confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350*.  Spray bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Sprinkle ½ cup chopped nuts evenly in pan.  To make the filling, mix brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Set aside.

Place cake mix, pudding mix, oil, water, eggs, and vanilla in large mixing bowl.  Mix with an electric mixer until thoroughly blended, about 3 minutes.

Pour 1/3 of batter into pan.  Sprinkle  ½ of the filling over batter.  Top with another third of the batter.  Sprinkle remaining filling on top.  Finish by adding the remaining batter and smooth it out with a rubber spatula.

Place pan in oven and bake for 55-60 minutes.

While cake is baking, prepare glaze by whisking ingredients in a small bowl until smooth.

Once the cake is done, remove from oven and cool completely on wire rack for about 20 minutes.  Invert cake onto serving platter and slowly drizzle with glaze.  Before glaze is set, sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup chopped nuts.

This cake freezes beautifully for up to 6 months.  Just wrap tightly in foil and stick it in the freezer until you are ready to use it.  Enjoy!