There are those few people in life that put the fear of God into you. They may not know their power, but by just being, their very presence makes you shake in your boots and gives you the cold sweats. No matter how old you are now, just the thought of them still makes you shudder. My first was Mrs. Woodhouse, 6th grade teacher at Rock Creek Elementary school. She had a wicked high, bright copper red beehive hairdo and she scared the crap out of me. I never interacted with her, but I saw her scolding naughty 6th graders outside her classroom door and that’s all I needed to know. She gave me nightmares. No joke. I was only in the 2nd grade, but I dreaded the four short years until I had to take her class. Much to my relief, my parents put me in another school for my 3rd grade year. I didn’t cry about leaving my friends. I didn’t moan over not knowing anyone new. I just thanked my lucky stars that I didn’t have to ever be near Mrs. Woodhouse again.
Things were going along swimmingly until I bumped into Doris Dennis. Doris was a member of the church that my parents and grandparents attended. She killed it in polyester dress suits and was full of vim and vinegar. That woman took no guff from anyone. Looking back, I’m sure I would consider her a role model, standing up for herself and the causes she believed in, but that pre-teen me would duck and cover any time she was near. Years later, I confessed my fears to my mom and she insisted that both Mrs. Woodhouse and Doris Dennis loved me. That Mrs. Woodhouse was looking forward to having me in her class and Doris Dennis was actually a friend of the family and thought my brother and I were really special kids.
So, much to my surprise, instead of sitting out in a dark shed somewhere, sharpening knives and cleaning shotguns, Doris Dennis was making this Sherry Cake. And it is frighteningly delicious. One point for you, Doris Dennis. Lesson learned.
This ain’t no party. This ain’t no disco. This ain’t no foolin’ around. This is the REAL Bundt pan and you will take it very seriously. Grease every nook and cranny with butter and then dust it with flour. DO NOT SPRAY WITH PAM. This does not work well and the cake will most likely get all gummy and stick to the pan. Plus, everything is better with butter.
There are three really great things about this recipe: 1) it is a one-bowl deal. No extra pans or bowls or chopping up of things. Just open and dump it in. Presto! It’s a now a cake. 2) 3/4 cup sherry. (come on, you know you were thinking it). and 3) this cake tastes like egg nog. I’m talking the kind of egg nog with an extra shot of nog, if you know what I mean.
Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix. Once blended, pour into buttered and floured Bundt pan, knock the pan on the counter a couple of times to get out any bubbles, and place on the center rack of a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes.
After 40 minutes, check doneness by inserting a toothpick and pulling it out clean. If batter is sticking to it, it needs a bit more oven time.
Once completely baked, set on cooling rack in bundt pan until completely cooled. It should pop right out. Dust with a bit of powdered sugar and marvel at the incredibly rich, ridiculously moist, egg noggy flavor of this simple holiday cake!
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 1/2 c. oil
- 4 whole eggs
- 3/4 c. dry sherry wine
- 1 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 box instant vanilla pudding
- 1 scant tsp. vanilla
- Put everything into mixer.
- Mix for 5 minutes.
- Grease and dust with flour the pan.
- Bake in a Bundt pan or angel food pan at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
- Cool in pan before removing.