Copycat Shoney’s Hot Fudge Sundae Cake

Shoney's hot fudge sundae cake

I had actually forgotten that this yummy chocolate cake, hot fudge, and ice cream dessert existed (or that Shoney’s existed) until recently while browsing Pinterest. When I saw a picture of it, immediately recognized it without even reading the text, and was instantly overcome by a wave of nostalgia.

I used to have those all the time!

When I was eleven or twelve years old we would head to Shoney’s (you may remember it as Bob’s Big Boy) occasionally for a meal and the only thing I remember about those restaurant visits is the Hot Fudge Sundae Cake. (You may also know it as Hot Fudge Cake, Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake, etc.)  I’m sure they had other dishes that I liked but, you know, priorities.

shoney's hot fudge sundae cake



And since National Chocolate Day is September 23, I figured this is a great recipe to honor what should be (and in my mind, IS) its own food group….CHOCOLATE.

It’s a pretty simple recipe with few ingredients.  Just make sure that you have time to allow for baking and freezing.

Copycat Big Boy's Hot Fudge Sundae Cake
Serves 12
A delicious dessert with chocolate cake, vanilla ice cream, and chocolate sauce!
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Total Time
2 hr 45 min
Total Time
2 hr 45 min
  1. 1 dark chocolate fudge cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
  2. plus ingredients for the cake mix (usually eggs, vegetable oil, water)
  3. 1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream
  4. 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  5. 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
  6. 3 Tbsp. whipping cream
  7. 1 tsp. vanilla
  8. Reddi Whip or prepared whipped cream
  9. maraschino cherries with stems
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a 9x13-inch pan with heavy duty aluminum foil so that, length-wise, the foil extends over the ends of the pan (this will become "handles" later to take out the cake). Spray with nonstick cooking spray and dust with a little of the cake mix powder (or use flour if you like).
  2. Mix cake mix according to package directions. Pour into you prepared pan and bake for the length of time your cake mix suggest. For me this was 26 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean or with just a hint of cake crumbs on it.
  3. Cool completely for (about an hour).
  4. Carefully lift up on your foil handles and place the cake on the counter. Using a long serrated knife (like a bread knife), carefully cut into the edges of the cake to a depth of about 2-3". Do this all the way around trying to stay even. Then, insert the whole knife at one end of the cake and carefully zig zag your way through the entire cake. (Using those starting cuts should help your knife to stay in a "channel" so that you don't end up with it cut unlevel.)
  5. Lift both layers at the same time from the foil and place back into the pan. Then carefully lift out the top layer and lay on top of the foil. I found this to be the easiest way to move fragile cake layers. But you do you!
  6. Take the vanilla ice cream out of the freezer. The easiest way to slice up the ice cream is to remove it as a block from it's container onto a cutting board. Use a long knife to cut 1"-ish slabs from the ice cream. Place these slabs on the top of that bottom cake layer, laying them like puzzle pieces to fit as tightly together as possible. You may need to take some ice cream scraps and fill in any gaps.
  7. Replace the top cake layer, cover with that foil you used before, and place the whole thing in the freezer for at least an hour.
  8. When you're about ready to serve the cake, place the chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and whipping cream in a saucepan and melt the mixture together over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla.
  9. Remove the cake from the freezer and cut into 12 portions (4 by 3....or smaller portions if you want). Remove a piece to a serving plate, top with sauce, whipped cream, and cherry and you're ready to dive in!
Mormon Mavens

Copycat Wendy’s Chili


Okay, this is going to have to be quick because I have to get back to watching the Winter Olympics.  Every time.  

My sister shared this recipe with me when we visited one time during a cold winter weekend.  Comfort food at its best and it smelled so good in her house while it was cooking.  Super easy recipe, and could easily be done in the slow cooker.  Be sure and get some of those cute Premium Saltine Minis.  I think they just taste better because they are so small.  Kids I love to snack on them.

Great dish for a baked potato bar while you are watching ballgames or any time you are feeding a crowd.  We had a baked potato bar when I fixed this and now I have leftover spuds.  Stay tuned for my next recipe–baked potato soup!



Copycat Wendy's Chili
Serves 12
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  1. 2 lbs. ground chuck
  2. 1 29-oz. can tomato sauce
  3. 1 29-oz. can dark red kidney beans (with liquid)
  4. 1 29-oz. can pinto beans (with liquid)
  5. 1 c. diced onion (medium)
  6. 1/2 c. diced green chilies
  7. 1/4 c. diced celery
  8. 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  9. 2 t. cumin
  10. 3 T. chili powder
  11. 1 1/2 t. black pepper
  12. 2 t. salt
  13. 2 c. water
  1. Brown the beef in a skillet over medium heat; drain off fat.
  2. Using a fork or other tool for chopping meat, crumble the cooked beef into pea-size pieces.
  3. In a large pot, combine the beef plus all remaining ingredients, and bring to simmer over low heat. Cook, stirring every 15 minutes for 2-3 hours.
  1. I had a big crowd over for dinner so I doubled the recipe, but only 1 1/2'd (is that a word?) the spices and water.
  2. Add-ins: sour cream, shredded Mexican blend cheese, saltine mini crackers.
Adapted from Amy Eason
Adapted from Amy Eason
Mormon Mavens

Copycat Hardee’s Biscuits

Here in the South, biscuits hold an honored place at your table, no matter which meal is being served.  I don’t make them often because, well, they wreak havoc on any weight loss efforts I may currently be pursuing.  But once in a while someone wants biscuits and sausage gravy and there you go.  

Way back in the 1980’s our family acquired this delicious biscuit recipe from someone who shall remain nameless, because I don’t want to get them in trouble-and I can’t remember his name anyway.

There are lots of ways to serve them–one of my favorite being to eat them with butter and strawberry jam.  Oh and if you like cheese biscuits do this: instead of rolling them out and cutting them, just pinch off a good size portion of dough–like maybe the size of a tangerine or a little bigger–roll it into a ball, then kind of pat it out enough to wrap around about a 2 to 3-inch cube of sharp cheddar cheese, place in your pan and bake.  Shut your mouth good, y’all. If you are from Eastern North Carolina and have been to an Abram’s BBQ you will know what I’m talkin’ about–maybe I will try making a Tutti Frutti some time. Yeah, those…

Next time you get a hankering to have some comfort food, serve up some of these babies and you will be surprised at the compliments you get. By the way, the ingredient amounts on this recipe make for a LOT of biscuits.  I usually just half the recipe.

Be sure and shoot us a comment and let us know how you like these and how you like to serve them.  

Copycat Hardee's Biscuits
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  1. 8 3/4 c. self-rising flour
  2. 1 1/2 c. Crisco shortening
  3. 2 T. Baking Powder
  4. 1 quart buttermilk
  5. 2 T. Sugar
  1. Mix flour, baking powder and sugar for 20 seconds by hand. Work in Crisco.
  2. Add milk all at once. Mix quickly.
  3. Put on floured surface. Roll out to desired thickness and cut with a cookie or biscuit cutter.
  4. Bake at 450 degrees F for 12-15 minutes.
  5. Brush tops with melted butter, if desired.
  1. We got this recipe from an unnamed source back in the 80's. Hardees might have changed their recipe since then, but these are dang good.
Mormon Mavens

Lion House Rolls

On a recent trip to Utah, I stumbled upon a package of rolls in, of all places, a bookstore in downtown Salt Lake City.  Now, I’ve been to the Lion House once for a wedding reception and I remember it was very tasty; but I don’t remember the rolls.  Well, after taking one bite of the rolls I bought at the bookstore, I was hooked.  I found a recipe online through a Google search and although mine weren’t as good as the original, they were pretty dang tasty and a big hit at my house.

2 cups warm water
2/3 cup nonfat dry milk
2 Tbsp. yeast
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 egg
5-6 cups all-purpose flour
melted butter

1.  In a large bowl combine the water and dry milk powder; stir well until milk is dissolved.  Then whisk in  yeast, sugar, salt, butter, egg, and 2 cups of the flour.  Whisk well.
2.  Add another 2 cups of flour and whisk well.  Add 1 more cup, stirring well (here’s where I get out my big wooden spoon).  Add remaining flour a bit at a time just to the point where your dough is no longer really sticky but isn’t dry and stiff.
3.  Dump dough onto a floured surface and pour a Tablespoon of vegetable oil on the sides of the mixing bowl.  Return the dough to the bowl, flip it over to coat the surface.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size (1 to 1 1/2 hours).
4. Punch dough down and turn onto floured surface.  Either roll out and cut or form into roll shapes by hand.  (I divide the dough in half, then half again, half again, etc. until I end up with 2 dozen blobs of dough.  I shape these by hand into rounds).  Place in a greased pan (I used two 9×13 greased pans), cover, and allow to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
5.  Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden on top.  Brush with melted butter as soon as they come out of the oven.

Source:  LDS Living

Cabbage and Kale Salad

So, there is this salad mix that you can get from Costco. I decided I would attempt my own version.

Really easy, super crisp, sweet and tangy. There aren’t any measurements, just make as much or as little as you want.

Cabbage and Kale Salad

Green cabbage (red as well, if you choose)
dried cranberries
pumpkin seed kernels
Brianna’s Poppy Seed dressing

Wash and finely chop the cabbage.
Wash, remove ribs and roughly chop the kale.
Lightly toast the pumpkin kernels in a skillet
Add everything to a bowl. Pour some dressing over top. Toss it all together.

Longhorn’s Strawberry Salad [Knock-Off]

Let me tell you how tasty this salad is. It is SO GOOD. My mom and I love to get ideas for salads from restaurants we enjoy. A while ago we were at Longhorns – and we both had this salad. Ever since then – it has been a regular in my (and her) home. It’s so easy to make too!

Lonhorn’s Strawberry Salad [Knock-Off]

Mixed field greens
Blueberries (the original has grapes, I use grapes in the winter)
Mandarin Oranges (canned)
Candied Pecans… look at your grocery store, they sell them!
Feta Cheese
Marie’s Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing

I usually make this by individual bowls to insure everyone gets all the goods.
– Start at the top of the ingredient list and toss ingredients in. Let the amount lessen as you go along the list.
– Enjoy!

Chicken and Gnocchi Soup (Olive Garden style)

     Thank you so much for inviting me to post on this wonderful blog! I love to cook and try new things, so I am looking forward to being here very much. 

    For my first post, I will share a wonderful soup we tried a few weeks ago. If you have ever tried Olive Garden’s Chicken and Gnocchi soup, you will be as excited to try this as I was. I was pleasantly surprised by how easy this was to put together. We all loved it (kids included)! It is hearty, silky, and satisfying. And let’s be honest, Gnocchi is just fun to say.

Chicken and Gnocchi Soup (Olive Garden Style)


  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 quart half and half
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely diced
  • 1 cup onion, finely diced
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 or 2-14 ounce cans of chicken broth (adjust to desired level of thickness)
  • 1 cup carrots, finely grated
  • 1 cup chicken breasts, cooked and diced
  • 1 package gnocchi, cooked  (usually in the pasta or prepared food sections of the store)
  • 1 cup of fresh spinach coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional, but you should use it!)


Saute the onion, celery, and garlic in the butter and olive oil over medium heat until the onion becomes translucent. Cook gnocchi according to directions. Stir in flour to make a roux and cook out the raw flavor of the flour for about one minute. Add half and half. Add in the carrots and chicken. Once the mixture becomes thick, add the chicken broth. Stir until the mixture thickens again, add the cooked gnocchi, spinach, and seasoning. Simmer until soup is heated through. May season with additional salt to taste.

Notes: I used home canned chicken for speed and it was delicious. You could also use a Rotisserie chicken, which would give it an added flavor boost.

For those of you who don’t know, Gnocchi is Italian for potato dumplings. 


Olive Garden’s Pasta E Fagioli Soup

Olive Garden’s Pasta E Fagioli Soup
  • 2 lbs. ground beef*
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, shredded
  • 1 c. celery, chopped
  • 2 (28 oz.) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (16 oz.) can red kidney beans, drained* 
  • 1 (16 oz.) can white kidney beans, drained 
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 3 tsp. oregano
  • 2 tsp. pepper
  • 5 tsp. parsley
  • 1 tsp. Tabasco sauce
  • 1 (20 oz.) jar Prego traditional spaghetti sauce
  • 8 oz. pasta 

  •  Brown meat. Drain fat. Combine all ingredients (other then pasta) in a large crock-pot.  Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours.  Add cooked pasta just before serving. 
  • *I usually make this without meat and it still tastes great!
  • *I have never had white kidney beans on hand when I have made this so I use another can of red kidney beans.

Sweet Tamale Corn Cakes



2 tomatillos, chopped (remove papery skin)
1 4 oz. can mild green chilies
1 green onion, chopped
2 T. fresh cilantro
1 1/4 t. granulated sugar
1/4 t. ground cumin
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. ground black pepper


1 medium tomato, diced
1 T. minced Spanish onion
1 T. minced, fresh cilantro
1/4 t. lime juice
1/2 small fresh jalapeno, minced
dash salt
dash ground black pepper


1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 t. white vinegar
1 t. water
3/4 t. granulated sugar
1/2 t. chili powder
1/4 t. paprika
1/8 t. cayenne pepper
1/8 t. onion powder
dash salt
dash garlic powder


1 1/2 cups frozen sweet corn
1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)
3 T. granulated sugar
1/8 t. salt
1/2 cup masa harina (corn flour)
2 T. all-purpose flour


1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 avocado, chopped
2 T. coarsely chopped, fresh cilantro


1. Prepare salsa verde by combining all ingredients in a food processor on high speed. Cover and chill.

2. Prepare tomato salsa by combining all ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and chill.

3. Prepare Southwestern sauce by combining all ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and chill.

4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

5. Prepare the tamale cakes by chopping 1 cup of the frozen corn in a food processor until it’s coarsely pureed. Combine pureed corn with softened butter, sugar and salt. Blend well with electric mixer until smooth.

6. Add masa and flour and blend well. Mix in the remaining 1/2 cup of frozen corn kernels by hand.

7. Measure 1/2 cup portions of the mixture and form it into 3-inch wide patties with your hands. Arrange the patties on a baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the cakes are browned on the bottom. Carefully flip all cakes with a spatula and bake for an additional 5 to 7 minutes or until other side is browned.

8. While the cakes are baking, spoon a portion of the salsa verde onto a plate or platter (you may want to heat up your plate in the oven for a bit to help warm the sauce). You’ll need to use enough salsa verde to coat the entire plate—it should be about 1/4 inch deep. Arrange the tamale cakes side-by-side on the salsa verde. Spoon a dollop of sour cream onto each tamale cake. Drizzle the Southwestern sauce over the cakes in a criss-cross pattern (use a squirt bottle if you’ve got one). Spoon some tomato salsa over the cakes, followed by the chopped avocado. Finish off the plate by sprinkling the coarsely chopped cilantro leaves over the top.


1. Use canned salsa (verde and tomato).
2. Make a “Southwestern sauce” using sour cream mixed with taco seasoning or other bottled
Southwestern condiment.
3. Make the El Torito Sweet Corn Cake recipe previously posted on this blog for the “cakes”.

Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur

Jamba Juice’s Strawberries Wild Knock-Off

I’m expecting my second child in just two short weeks. I’ve started to pull out my recipes that are quick to make, nutritious, and can easily be eaten while I’m nursing. (I was always starving while I nursed my first baby!)  Enter Smoothies. I LOVE Jamba Juice…. sadly I live in the part of the country that there are none. That’s not a problem…. with some trial and error, I think I’ve made up a good knock-off of one of their more popular smoothies. Enjoy!

Jamba Juice’s Strawberries Wild Knock-Off 
1 c. apple juice
1 banana
1c. frozen strawberries
1 (6 oz.) light vanilla yogurt (you could also use frozen yogurt if you have that)
½ c. ice

Blend, and enjoy!