Desserts for Thanksgiving

Peg Rasmussen, the owner of Countryside Café, creates some delicious dessert recipes for you to share at the Thanksgiving table.

Mocha Cakes

This little cake is a favorite in our family. It was passed down from the Scandinavian side of the family. We often saved it for breakfast on the day after the holiday and always took a few home to enjoy later.

The cake is a dry sponge cake and it is cut into small pieces, dipped in mocha frosting and rolled in crushed peanuts. It is messy but well worth the effort.


2 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp butter
½ cup boiling milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cups flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder 


1 lb powdered sugar
¾ c butter melted
4 tbsp very strong coffee
4 tbsp cream or milk
1 tsp vanilla
(Thin with milk if it is too thick)
Ground Peanuts (lightly salted – Grama always used the oily ones in the can with the blue top but I think the dry roasted peanuts stick to the frosting a bit better – so I use ½ of each.


Grease & flour a 9  x 13 inch pan  Preheat oven to 350

Beat the eggs with a hand mixer until very light. Gradually add the sugar to the eggs, Beating well. Melt butter in the boiling milk and beat in to the egg mixture. Add vanilla and beat.

Sift flour and baking powder together and beat into the batter very quickly. Immediately pour in to the prepared pan and pop it in to the oven.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until the cake tests done. Cool slightly and then turn out of the pan to finish cooling.

Cut the cake in to small pieces: I cut 5 across and 4 down to get 20 little cakes.

Frosting: Mix all ingredients together – it should be about the consistency of syrup. (Try the first cake and then adjust the frosting with milk or powdered sugar as needed.0

Dip each piece of cake in the frosting -rolling to cover every side and then roll in the crushed peanuts.

Dry on a cooling screen and the store in a container in the refrigerator – taking out to warm to room temp before serving


Pumpkin Crunch Cake

This is a new dessert for me and it is perfect for the holidays because it combines the two favorite Pie flavors – Pumpkin & Pecan. The bottom is a creamy pumpkin pie and the top is a crunchy pecan cake.


  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin Puree
  • 1 12oz can evaporated milk
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ c brown sugar
  • ½ c granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ tsp salt

1 Box yellow cake mix
1 cup chopped Pecans
1 cup melted butter
Whipped Cream for Topping


Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease a 9 x 13 pan
Combine the first group of ingredients and mix well. This will be a thin mixture. Pour the batter in to the greased pan.
Sprinkle the cake mix evenly over the batter and pat it down gently.
Spread the chopped pecans over the cake mix layer and drizzle evenly with the melted butter.
Bake for 50-60 minutes. Test with a toothpick but remember that the pumpkin layer will cling a bit – even if the cake is thoroughly baked.
Cool and top each serving with a dollop of whipped cream.
Enjoy! I predict that it will be a new favorite for you too!

Cream Pie Filling

Makes filling for 1 large pie or 10 mini pies


1 cup sugar
1/3 cup corn starch
½ tsp salt
4 cups milk
5 egg yolks
1-2 T butter
1T + 1tsp vanilla

*Prebake pie shell for 10 minutes (or until completely baked/browned) at 425 degrees. (Use a fork to poke holes in the sides and bottom to prevent bubbling.)

Directions:Mix sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a saucepan. Whisking briskly add all the milk and heat until warm. Warm slightly beaten egg yolks by adding 3 T of the warm milk mixture and then pour them back into the pan of milk .. Continue stirring and cooking until the mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Continue cooking for 1 minute after bubbles appear- stirring constantly until thick. Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla. Stir until blended.

Banana Cream Pie: Cover the warm filling with saran (make sure that it touches the entire top of the filling or a crust will form) Allow the filling to cool to room temperature or chill in the refrigerator. You can speed cooling by pouring the filling out on to a cookie sheet and covering it with saran.

Slice 3 medium bananas (for whole pie) and toss the slices in a bit of lemon juice to inhibit browning. When the filling is cool , layer  the filling , then bananas, then remaining filling to the shell and smooth.

If you top with Cool Whip that can be done immediately because it will hold under refrigeration for at lease one day. If you prefer to top with whipped cream , cover the pie with saran again and refrigerate until serving.


Coconut Cream Pie:

Use the cream filling recipe adding 1 ¼ cup of sweetened coconut flakes when you add the butter and vanilla. This filling can and should be poured hot into the baked pie shell. Cover with saran (touching the surface) and cool before adding topping.


Chocolate Cream Pie

Use The cream pie filling with these additions:

Add additional ¾ c sugar & 1/3 c cocoa powder

This filling can and should be poured hot into the baked pie shell. Cover with saran (touching the surface) and cool before adding topping.

Crisco Pie Crust: Double Crust

3 cup sifted flour
1 ½ c Crisco
2t salt
2 t sugar
¼  cup ice water

Sift the dry ingredients together and cut the Crisco into the mixture until it resembles small peas. Sprinkle the mixture with water adding just enough to make the pastry hold together and form into a ball. Wrap in saran and refrigerate to rest and cool the dough.

Roll crusts on a lightly floured pastry cloth.



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