When my grandparents were getting ready to sell their house in the country, an old converted schoolhouse situated on a one-acre parcel of land in Wisconsin, they invited the extended family to come and select a few items from their home that would remind us of them. I chose an old Norwegian Bible, a small spiral notebook in which my Grandma meticulously recorded every garment she had sewn (including fabric yardage and number of button holes) and her recipe box. The old, wooden recipe box was stored upside down because the bottom had fallen off. It was filled so tightly that it was difficult to return a recipe once it had been removed. Some of the recipes were clipped from newspapers and magazines (circa 1940’s) but most of the recipes were written in her old familiar writing – the same writing that signed my birthday cards and sent letters to me at camp.
One recipe in particular held a place of honor. It was the only recipe to earn its own plastic sleeve. That recipe was Crazy Cake. Grandma said it was called Crazy Cake because it was so easy to make, you could mix it and bake it in the same pan.
Thinking of all those times when Grandma would visit, bringing her own homemade pan of dessert, I decided to bake the crazy cake. Grandma would have mixed and baked hers in a 9x13” cake pan and frosted it with a simple chocolate icing. I baked mine in 48 mini cupcake tins piped with pale pink buttercream and pink sprinkles – perfect for my 7-year old daughter’s (her great-granddaughter’s) birthday.