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IDEA ALLEY: 4 easy desserts come with cocktail-inspired twists

by Kelly Brant | April 21, 2021 at 1:47 a.m.
(Illustration by Kelly Brant)

Recipes that appear in Idea Alley have not been tested by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

As more Arkansans are vaccinated and we slowly resume face-to-face social engagements, sweets will no doubt be part of the menu.

This week we have four easy dessert recipes — two cobblers and two cakes inspired by cocktails — from the Page Turners book club.

“This is a great last minute dessert,” writes Kathy Hanlon.

Peach Cobbler

  • 3 cans peaches
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Drain the peaches, reserving the juice from two of the cans.

In a 9-by-13-inch baking pan, combine all of the peaches and the reserved juice. Sprinkle the cake mix over the top. Cut butter into thin pats and place the pats on top of the cake mix. Do not mix.

Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

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This tropical-flavored cake is from Nancy Dailey.

Pina Colada Cake

  • 1 box white cake mix (do not use mix with pudding)
  • 1 cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 (8-ounce) carton sour cream
  • 1 (8-ounce) can cream of coconut
  • 2 packages frozen coconut, thawed
  • 1 family-size carton Cool Whip, thawed

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.

In a large mixing bowl, blend cake mix, oil, eggs, sour cream and cream of coconut; beat according to directions on cake mix box. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake 35 minutes. Cool completely.

Combine the thawed coconut and the Cool Whip and spread over cooled cake.

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This summery cobbler can be made with fresh or frozen blackberries. It is from Judie Elmquist.

Blackberry Cobbler

  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted PLUS more for pan
  • 1 cup PLUS 6 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided use
  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
  • Whipped cream and/or ice cream, for serving

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 3-quart baking dish with butter.

In a medium bowl, whisk 1 cup of the sugar with the flour and milk. Whisk in 4 tablespoons melted butter; set aside.

Rinse the blackberries and pat them dry (if using fresh).

Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the blackberries evenly over the batter. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of the sugar over the blackberries. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 1 hour. In the last 10 minutes of cooking, sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar over the top.

Serve topped with whipped cream or ice cream or both.

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“This cake is especially delicious a bit warm and served with vanilla ice cream,” writes Jeanne Fitzgerald.

Kahlua Cake

  • 1 box Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
  • 1 small package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup PLUS ¼ cup Kahlua, divided use
  • 1/3 cup vodka
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, oil, granulated sugar, 1/3 cup Kahlua, the vodka and ¾ cup water and mix well. Pour batter into a greased and floured Bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.

While the cake is baking, mix together the remaining ¼ cup Kahlua and the confectioners’ sugar. Pour mixture over the cake as soon as the cake comes out of the oven. Cool 15 minutes and then turn the cake out onto a cake plate. Cool completely and then cover.

Email recipe contributions, requests and culinary questions to: kbrant@adgnewsroom.com

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