In the Zone: The Best of Mama Strahan’s Cakes

When I was a kid growing up in Germany, there was nothing better than my mother’s home-cooking. Her food was always so delicious, you couldn’t help but go back for seconds (and sometimes even thirds). With Mother’s Day this Sunday, May 12, I thought it would be fun to share two of my all-time favorite desserts which, to this day, are a Strahan family tradition: Mama’s Famous Butter Cake and her Sock-It-To-Me Cake. And the recipes for these delicious desserts also come with a helpful hint from yours truly: Instead of asking your mama to make these treats for you, why not try surprising her on Mother’s Day with something baked with love straight from youroven? I promise you it’s better than anything you can buy in at the department store—and the leftovers are the gifts that keep on giving, trust me!

Mama Strahan’s Famous Butter Cake


For the cake
2 Boxes butter recipe cake mix (like Duncan Hines)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1¼ cup oil
2 cup sour cream
10 eggs

For the frosting
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, slightly softened
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 (14 oz.) can evaporated milk

Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350°. 2. In a bowl, mix all cake ingredients together. 3. Spray a 9×13” cake pan with cooking spray and spread cake mixture evenly. Bake for 1 hour. 4. For the frosting, cream the softened butter with the sugar and cocoa powder, and then slowly add in the evaporated milk until texture is smooth. 5. Make sure cake is completely cool before frosting.


For the cake
1 box butter recipe cake mix (like Duncan Hines)
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
4 eggs
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1½ cup pecans, chopped

For the glaze
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2–4 Tbsp. milk
2 Tbsp. pecans, chopped

Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 375°. 2. Spray a 10-cup Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray. 3. Reserve 2 tablespoons of cake mix in a small bowl; set aside. 4. In a large bowl, beat together remaining cake mix, sour cream, oil, water, eggs, sugar, and vanilla, using a handheld electric mixer, for 2 minutes on high. 5. Mix together 2 tablespoons of reserved cake mix, brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans; set aside. 6. Pour about 3/4 of batter into the prepared pan and then sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture on the center of the batter. Spoon the remaining batter over the cinnamon sugar layer and spread evenly. 7. Bake 45 to 55 minutes in preheated oven. Cool for 25 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely on a wire baking rack. 8. For the glaze, in a medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of milk until smooth. If necessary, add more milk, very slowly so it doesn’t get too thin, until desired consistency is achieved. 9. Drizzle glaze over the cake. Sprinkle top with 2 tablespoons of chopped pecans and serve.

Also check out:

The Sit Down: #NationalCakeDay with Kelly Banks

The 411: Snoop is in the Kitchen

The Sit Down: Louise Strahan