I have delicious memories of the pumpkin cake at the now closed Butler's Barbecue. Does anyone have the recipe to share? Thank you.
Cindy Pieghtel, St. Petersburg
Coincidentally, Pumpkin Cake is one of the recipes that Alice Butler (yes, that Butler) shared with us for this week's cover story. After making the cake and trying it for myself, I clearly understand why Cindy likes it so much. This is a perfect combination of flavor and texture. The pumpkin layer is creamy, and the nuts combined with the spice cake add flavor and crunch. The unexpected surprise is that the nuts get toasted during baking, adding another layer of flavor. Then there's the cream cheese frosting for a touch of sweetness.
This cake is the whole package and absolutely perfect for fall. You will think you're using too much cake mix when sprinkling it over the pumpkin mixture but use it all and make it as even as possible.
This recipe is pretty straightforward and the only advice I have for making it is to evenly pour the melted butter over the nuts and cake mix. When I spoke with Alice about this recipe, she wanted me to make sure to mention that lining the pan with wax paper is imperative. She is a wise woman. If you don't line the pan with the waxed paper, letting some hang over the side, you won't get it out in one piece. I loosened it around the edges, placed a platter on top of the cooled pan and flipped it. It came out in one piece with the pumpkin layer on top. Cool it completely on the counter in the pan.
I failed to ask Alice how many servings this cake makes but I think it could easily serve up to 20 if cut into about 2 ½- to 3-inch squares.
Dallas resident Anne Hogg has fond memories of the Strawberry Chicken Pasta at Fat Jacques in St. Petersburg and hopes someone has the recipe. Vicki Smith of St. Petersburg is looking for a recipe for Pickled Chicken that she remembers her father, who grew up in Champaign, Ill., liking. Vicki remembers it being cold, possibly with gelatin, and tangy. She's willing to experiment if someone can provide a recipe.
Readers Denise Bissonnette of Tarpon Springs and Anne Zolt of Sun City Center sent notes asking if the red in the photo of the Lemon Caper Sauce printed two weeks ago was tomato or possibly red pepper and inadvertently omitted from the ingredients. The red in the photo is, in fact, the red onion, also known as purple onion or Bermuda onion. There are no tomatoes or red peppers in the recipe.
Recipes tested by Times correspondent Ellen Folkman unless otherwise noted. Send requests to You Asked For It, P.O. Box 1159, Crystal Beach, FL 34681 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name, city and phone number.