There are certain recipes that have been classics through the years and we keep returning to them, whether it is for a special occasion or a regular family meal. However, sometimes we find ways we can change the classic up and enjoy it in a new way. In some cases we can make some revisions to create a healthier recipe and sometimes we will be able to make them in other forms that include the same favorite flavors. If you are ready for a change, try any of these remakes on the classics.

Potluck from around the world

Red Velvet Swirl Bundt Cake

Red velvet cake is very traditional and a favorite of many with the characteristic red chocolate color and tender moist cake. But these flavors can also be enjoyed in cookies, in muffins and even sweet rolls. This bundt cake will satisfy your craving for a red velvet cake but it is easier to make in a bundt pan and with the cream cheese filling swirled through the cake.

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(Makes 1 Bundt cake -10 to 12 cup)

¾ cup unsalted butter, softened

1½ cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1½ tablespoons red food coloring

1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided

½ teaspoon white vinegar

Cream Cheese Filling *(recipe follows)

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

¼ to 1/3 cup whipping cream

Stress-free soup for the soul

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10 to 12-cup bundt pan with baking spray with flour in it. In a large bowl, beat butter and granulated sugar with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cocoa, salt, and baking soda. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture to butter mixture in three additions alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating until combined after each addition. Stir in food coloring, ½ teaspoon vanilla, and vinegar. Prepare cream cheese filling. Spoon half of batter into prepared pan. Spoon cream cheese filling over batter, avoiding edges of pan. Top with remaining batter. Gently swirl batter using the tip of a knife. Smooth with an offset spatula. Bake until wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Invert cake onto a wire rack, and let cool completely. In a small bowl, whisk together confectioner’s sugar, cream and remaining ½ teaspoon vanilla until smooth. Drizzle onto cake.

1 (3-oz.) package cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, and flour with a mixer at medium speed, until smooth. Add egg white and vanilla, beating until combined.

Source: “Cooking with Paula Deen,” November/December, 2022.

Upside-Down German Chocolate Cake

The classic German Chocolate Cake is a favorite for many and a go-to for birthday cakes. The frosting can at times cause some difficulties however. Also, when you are applying the coconut/pecan frosting it may slide off the cake. This re-make recipe takes away those issues since the frosting is baked in the bottom of the pan with the cake and it comes out on top the cake. You also use a cake mix to make the cake which saves time and effort.

1 package moist deluxe German chocolate cake mix or classic chocolate cake mix

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened

½ cup butter or margarine, melted

1 pound (3½ to 4 cups) confectioner’s sugar

Tried and true recipes for holiday gatherings

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 13 x 9-inch pan. Spread coconut evenly on bottom of prepared pan. Sprinkle pecans evenly over coconut. Prepare cake mix according to directions on package. Pour over coconut and pecans. Combine cream cheese and melted butter in medium mixing bowl. Beat at low speed with electric mixer until creamy. Add sugar; beat until blended and smooth. Drop by spoonfuls evenly over cake batter. Bake at 350 degrees 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted halfway to bottom of cake center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan. To serve, cut into individual pieces: turn upside down onto plate.

Source: “Duncan Hines Classic Recipes,” Publications International.

Banana Bread with Streusel Crumb Topping

Banana Bread is one of the most basic and well-loved quick breads. However, if you are gluten-intolerant or suffer from Celiac, you are unable to enjoy it unless you can find a gluten-free alternative. Unfortunately many of those gluten-free alternatives are lacking in flavor and texture. This is a recipe I have used several times when I needed a gluten-free bread for someone, and it has always been well-received. The recipes come from the book “Gluten-free Makeovers” by Beth Hillson.

2 cups self-rising flour *(recipe follows)

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 large eggs (at room temperature)

1½ cups very ripe bananas (about 3 large bananas)

¼ cup chopped pecans (opt.)

1 cup streusel crumb topping **(recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil two 8½ x 4½ -inch loaf pans. Combine the flour blend, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, bananas, sugar, and oil. Add to the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Fold in the pecans, if using. Prepare the streusel. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans. Sprinkle ½ cup streusel topping over each loaf. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Set on a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Turn the breads out from the pans and let cool completely. Wrap in plastic and let set overnight before slicing.

*Gluten-free self-rising flour: This mix produces light delicate baked goods and is excellent to use for quick breads. The addition of amaranth and sorghum flour makes for a nutritionally dense, high fiber blend.

Ingredients: 1¼ cups white rice flour, 1 cup sweet white sorghum flour, ¾ cup amaranth flour, ¾ cup corn starch or potato starch, ¼ cup tapioca starch/flour, 2 tablespoons baking powder, 2 teaspoons xanthan gum, 1½ teaspoons salt.

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground allspice

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

½ cup ground pecans, walnuts, or pecan (if desired)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter or non-dairy buttery spread, at room temperature

Combine all the ingredients except the butter in a large bowl. Mix well; add the butter and mix with the tips of your fingertips just until crumbly.

Bernie Mason writes the Local Flavor column for Lee Montana Newspapers. She was a Yellowstone County extension agent for 24 years. Mason grew up in Sidney in a family of German and Danish ancestry.

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