Patti Darkow

2 ½ cups pecan pieces 2 cups of coconut
Pecan halves enough for garnish 1 cup of coconut milk
3 cups of butter (6 sticks or 1 ½ lbs.) 3 teaspoons of coconut flavoring
1 (2oz) can evaporated milk 2 teaspoons of vanilla
3 ½ cups of granulated sugar 3 cups of flour
8 cups of confectioners’ sugar 2 8oz packages of cream cheese
6 egg yolks 2 teaspoons of baking powder
4 whole eggs 1 teaspoon of salt


Begin by sautéing 2 ½ cups of pecan pieces in ¼ cups of butter in a skillet for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Cool the pecans on paper towels to absorb any extra butter.  Then finely chop them.

Make the Coconut Pecan Filling first-

Over medium heat, cook 1 (12oz) can of evaporated milk, 1 ½ cup of sugar, ¾ cup of butter and 6 egg yolks in a sauce pan, stirring constantly until butter is melted. Continue stirring and cooking for 15-20 minutes until mixture thickens and is bubbling.  Remove from heat and stir in 1 ½ cup of the sautéed pecans, 2 cups of coconut, 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1 teaspoon coconut flavoring.  Set this pan aside to cool.

Coconut Pecan Cake-

Cream together- 1 cup of butter and 2 cups of sugar until fluffy. Add 4 eggs individually, beating well between each.  Add 1 teaspoon of coconut flavoring.  In a separate bowl, combine 3 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, and ½ teaspoon of salt.  Add to creamed mixture alternately with 1 cup of coconut milk, beating after each addition.  Stir in the remaining (1 cup) sautéed pecans.  Stir 2 cups of the coconut pecan filling into the cake batter.  Divide batter evenly into (3) 8’ cake pans that have been greased and floured.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes (until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean).  Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and place on wire rack to completely cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Beat 1 cup of butter together with (2) 8oz package of cream cheese. Mix thoroughly.  Add 8 cups of confectioners’ sugar (slowly and a little at a time, so that it doesn’t dust everywhere).  Add 1 teaspoon of coconut flavoring and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.


Put ½ of the remaining coconut pecan filling between the first two layers and the other ½ between the second two layers. Then frost with cream cheese frosting.  Garnish with sautéed pecan halves as desired.



2nd Place:  Carrot, Apple, Pineapple Cake

Linda Willard

Prep Time 25-30 minutes

Serves 16 people generously.

From the recipe I found in a magazine about 25 years ago, I have reduced the fat content by slightly more than 1/3, increased the eggs, adjusted the cinnamon and nutmeg amounts, added vanilla, used a whole apple instead of 2 tablespoons and added the juice from the canned pineapple rather than throwing it away. As most juice pack pineapple is dryer than what I remember from long ago, I have added 2 tablespoons of water.


  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together with a wire whisk: 2 cups of sugar, 2 cups of sifted flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg and 1 teaspoon of salt.
  2. I another mixing bowl, beat 3 eggs well with wire whisk, then add 1 cup of vegetable oil, 1 of teaspoon vanilla, 1 ¾ cup scraped and finely grated carrots, 1 finely grated peeled and cored medium size apple, entire contents of an 8 oz can of juice pack crushed pineapple and 2 tablespoons of water
  3. Add contents of bowl containing liquid ingredients all at once to bowl containing the dry ingredients
  4. Fold all together with a bowl scraper or large spoon until no dry ingredients can be seen. DO NOT use an electric mixer with this.
  5. Pour into greased and floured cake pans (2 or 3 eight inch/2 nine inch) and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
  6. Cool for 10 minutes in pans
  7. Turn out on wire racks to cool then frost. (Frosting recipe below)

Note: This also can be baked in a 12 by 15in flat pan or be made into 24 cupcakes/muffins.  As unfrosted muffins, this is good for people who do not tolerate dairy products.

Butter-Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Beat 4 oz of cream cheese with 6 tablespoons of butter
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla and beat
  3. Add a 1lb box of 10x powdered sugar alternately with about ¼ to 1/3 cup of milk.
  4. Beat after each addition, using all the sugar and enough milk to make it of spreading consistency

Frost stacked up layers. Optional: “Frame” top and bottom edges with a decorative border and add chopped walnuts or pecans to top of cake with in decorative top border.

Note: I have decreased the standard amounts of butter and cream cheese from what is the standard recipe for this.  It does not need that much fat and it improves the consistency of the frosting for the decorative edges.



3rd Place:  Tower Of Babel Chocolate Crunch Cake

Crystal Ridge


For Cake For Candied Pecans & Bacon For Icing
1 cup butter, softened 1 cup chopped pecans 3 sticks butter, softened
2 cups sugar 1 tablespoon egg whites 1 ½ cups Crisco shortening
4 eggs ¼ cup sugar 1 ½   teaspoons almond extract
3 cups cake flour 1 teaspoon Siagon Cinnamon 1 ½ teaspoons butter flavor extract
½ teaspoon salt Half of a 16oz pack Oscar Mayer Maple Bacon 5 ½ tablespoons clear vanilla extract
½ teaspoon baking soda 6 tablespoons of water
1 cup buttermilk 3 tablespoons light brown sugar 12 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla   3-6.8oz Symphony Bars
3 oz unsweetened chocolate squares   Garnish– 5 ½ Hershey Bars



Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour three 9” round cake pans.  Cream butter and sugar.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Sift flour and salt.  In a separate bowl, mix buttermilk and baking soda; add alternately with the flour to the creamed mixture.  Add vanilla.  Melt the chocolate in a double boiler; stir until smooth.  Blend the chocolate into the cake mixture and pour into prepared pans.  Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes, or until done.  Remove pans from oven and cool in the pans on wire racks for ten minutes.  Remove cakes from pan and continue cooling on wire racks until completely cool.


As cakes are cooling, make the candied pecans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl until thoroughly blended.  In a separate bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy; add chopped pecans and stir with a fork until nuts are wet.  Stir the cinnamon sugar mixture into the pecans until well coated.   Line a rimmed 9 ¼ X 13 ¼ “pan (or larger) with parchment paper.  Spread nut mixture evenly over the parchment paper in a single layer and bake at 350 degrees for 7-10 minutes or until fragrant and crisp.  Place pan in fridge to cool while you make the bacon.







Next make the candied bacon, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a rimmed 13 ½ x 19 1/2 “ pan with parchment paper and place half of the pack of bacon on the pan. Sprinkle each piece with a little brown sugar and bake for 7 minutes.  Remove the pan from the over, using tongs to turn the bacon over and sprinkle the other side with brown sugar.  Cook 57 minutes longer or until bacon is shiny, crispy and darkened.  When done let bacon cool on wire racks.  When bacon has thoroughly cooled, crumble each piece into a bowl and set aside.  Remove the pan of nuts from the fridge; crumble into pieces, and prepare the icing.


For the icing, cream butter, shortening, extracts and water. Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time.  Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Chop the Symphony bars into small pieces and blend into the icing mixture.

When cakes are fully cool, split each cake into two layers. Ice one layer with Symphony bar infused icing mixture; sprinkle liberally with candied pecans and candied pecans.  Place another cake layer on top of the iced layer, and repeat the icing, pecan and bacon layers until all cake layers have been used.  Do not use pecans or bacon on the very top layer of icing.  Ice sides of cake.


For garnish, slice 4 Hershey bars in half; then slice diagonally; place atop cake in a circular “artistic” pattern, with the tips of one diagonal beginning in the center of the cake. Use any chocolate bar crumbs to sprinkle on top of the cake also.  Separate the remaining 1 ½ Hershey bars into individual segments and place lengthwise, as a border, around the bottom edges of the cake (with Hershey logo facing upwards), with each segment touching the segments beside of it


Wally Decker

Wally Decker

Married my high school sweetheart (Diane) in 1987. She teaches kindergarten. We attend, fellowship and serve at Faith Missionary Alliance Church of Midway. We have three children: Tyler (20), Brianna (17) and Bradley (14) Obviously most of my free time (what’s that?) is divided between family, church and community activities. Got into radio at age 15…have been part of the WBFJ team since 1983.

Wally Decker

Latest posts by Wally Decker (see all)

Wally Decker

Married my high school sweetheart (Diane) in 1987. She teaches kindergarten. We attend, fellowship and serve at Faith Missionary Alliance Church of Midway. We have three children: Tyler (20), Brianna (17) and Bradley (14) Obviously most of my free time (what’s that?) is divided between family, church and community activities. Got into radio at age 15…have been part of the WBFJ team since 1983. MON-FRI 1P-3P, SUN 6A-10A wdecker@wbfj.fm