Earthquake Cake, Orange Meringue Pie and Grandma’s Chocolate Pudding


By Andy Bedwell

How we Southerners love our sweets! If someone is having a hard time, you might carry them a cake or pie that you made yourself. It seems like a “little something sweet” is what we need at difficult times. At our Wednesday night suppers at Eastside Presbyterian Church, we knew each wonderful dessert that the ladies would bring. Pansy Cochran’s egg custard pie, Vera Cooper’s orange cake, Dot McCleskey’s chocolate pound cake with chocolate fudge icing, Virginia McCleskey’s caramel cake, Frances Blackwell’s pound cake and many more wonderful desserts were brought to that small little church in East Gadsden.

Earthquake Cake

1 cup coconut

1 cup chopped pecans

1 box German

chocolate cake mix

1 stick margarine, softened

1 (8 ounce) cream cheese

2 cups powdered sugar

Grease and flour a 9×13 inch pan. Put coconut and pecans in the bottom of the pan and spread evenly. Mix cake mix as directed on box. Pour cake mix over coconut and pecans. Mix margarine, cream cheese and powdered sugar. Spoon on top of cake mix (in dollops). Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. May be served with whipped cream or ice cream.

Andy’s Note: I love this cake. This is a recipe that anyone can follow and it will be moist and delicious. Decorate the top with white chocolate and crushed pecans.

Orange Meringue Pie

1 cup orange juice

1 cup orange sections,

cut in pieces

2 tablespoons grated

orange rind

1 cup sugar

5 tablespoons cornstarch

3 egg yolks, beaten

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons margarine


3 egg whites

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine orange juice, orange sections, grated rind, sugar and cornstarch. Cook on low heat until clear. Add a little hot mixture to beaten egg yolks. Return to hot mixture and cook about five minutes longer. Remove from heat. Blend in lemon juice and margarine. Pour into a baked pie shell. Be sure filling and shell are both hot or both cold. Cover filling with meringue. Bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned.

For meringue, beat whites until light and fluffy. Gradually add cream of tartar, sugar and vanilla

Andy’s Note: If you love oranges, you will love this pie. This was a very popular pie during the 1980s.

Grandma’s Chocolate


2 tablespoons butter

3 egg yolks

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 heaping tablespoons cocoa

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 1/2 cups milk

Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon vanilla

Vanilla wafers

Cook milk, yolks, sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt until thick. Stir constantly until thick. If it gets too thick, add a little more milk.

Andy’s Note: Everyone needs a good chocolate pudding recipe. I love to layer this pudding with vanilla wafers and top with whipped cream. You might not want to use as much sugar as I do, but as my mother always said, “If something is suppose to be sweet, I want it to be sweet.”

All of y’all have a sweet and safe week!

Happy Sweet Cooking,

Andy Bedwell

“Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell” can be purchased at Alabama Gift Company in downtown Gadsden and The Messenger on Rainbow Drive.

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