1960’s Recipes – Trying to Establish a New Direction

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Tunnel of Fudge Cake



Tunnel of Fudge Cake

Tunnel of Fudge Cake*

About the Recipe:  This recipe from Pillsbury’s 17th Bake-Off Contest in 1966 develops a fudgy tunnel filling inside as it bakes.  It took the nation by storm, created a demand for Bundt cake pans, and brought “magic” to the dessert table.

*This is Pillsbury’s Updated recipe for the famous cake since the cake called for a package of Double Dutch Buttercream Frosting Mix, a product that is no longer available.  It is also important to add all of the nuts.

pdf for Copy of Recipe – Tunnel of Fudge Cake


AND SO THE STORY GOES…,. You can imagine how excited I was to be a finalist at the 25th Pillsbury Bake-Off contest.  That morning, a beautiful breakfast was being served before we cooked.  Energized finalists and company guests filled the room. Introducing ourselves around the table, I discovered that Ella Helfrich from Bake-Off 17, the creator of the Tunnel of Fudge Cake, was sitting right across from me.  She humbly shared her own thrilling experience and added that the recipe was not selected as the Best of the Bake-Off.  She was really a person just like us who loved to “create” in her kitchen.  I was awed by her words as she told me how happy she was that Pillsbury invited her to attend this Bake-Off as a guest.  It was almost like she didn’t realize that her recipe changed the culinary world. Pillsbury received more than 200,000 requests for the pan she used, and H. David Dalquist’s company went into overtime production.  Today, more than 50 million Bundt pans have been sold around the world.

She motivated bakers all around the United States to bake her cake and brought the sense of “magic” into the world. Add to that she taught us all a great lesson.  Being the Best doesn’t mean winning the top prize, it means bringing happiness and celebration into the lives of others. Three Cheers to You, Ella Helfrich!

*Cook’s Note:  Cooks are still fascinated by this amazing recipe.  See an interesting story on http://www.midcenturymenu.com/2011/06/tunnel-of-fudge-cake-a-mid-century-recipe-test/

About the pan: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2008/10/tunnel-of-fudge-cake-brief-history-bundt-cake.html


1960’s      Trying to Establish a New Direction
The Ideas of Camelot

What’s Happening?

Advocating, experimenting, rejecting, and searching for a whole new world belongs to the 60’s. Daring to be different, love-ins, and wild concerts were popping up around the country with ear blaring rock music, flashing lights, and screaming fans who loved the Beetle songs. Conservative ideas gave way to permissive, counter culture fashions, and new sensual sensations.

President Kennedy brought the idea of Camelot and dreams right into the White House, and the Peace Corps offered opportunities to build a better life for others. Passionate unrest saw the U.S. involved in the Vietnam War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King. Protests were violent with sections of cities burning because of social ills. The country was learning about the needs of minorities, Sesame Street’s value of early education, and outer space adventures as the astronauts walked on the Moon.

Discovering new foods, cooking styles, convenience products, and creative ways to dazzle taste buds welcomed foods from foreign countries.  Fondue pots, the wok, and the hibachi added an international flair and “Black is Beautiful” brought the introduction of delicious soul food.  Quick and easy continued to satisfy busy families, but gourmet cooking offered unusual and elegant dinner parties.

Did you know these were popular?  Beef Fondue, Classic Cheese Fondue, Chocolate Nut Fondue, Chicken Kiev, Beef in Burgundy, Sukiyaki, Hungarian Goulash, Taco Salad, Lazy Day Grasshopper Pie, Lemon Pudding Pound Cake, Easy Chocolate Fudge, Shrimp Quiche, Steak au Poivre, Sour Cream Baked Potatoes, Green Goddess Salad