Drake's Cakes

Drake’s Cakes
Just a mini-Drake’s Cake cookbook for all you Drake-a-holics! I worked for the company years back and I have to admit (and not because I worked for them) that their products far exceeded Hostess! Their cakes are moist and their fillings are creamier! Some products are either discontinued or not in all areas. But we can still enjoy Drake’s Cakes at home.

For 120 years Drake’s has been making delicious cakes. From their famous pound cakes, to Devil Dogs, to Yankee Doodles, to Coffee Cakes, to Ring Dings, to Funny Bones, to Yodels, to Fruit Pies, and now Drake’s Zoinks! - this company makes them all. There’s only one Drake’s Coffee Cake. Classic round Drake’s coffee cake topped with plenty of sweet, cinnamon-flavored streusel - moist and delicious. Launched in 1930, and sold for 15 cents - these coffee cakes became a big hit. Now you can make them in your own home.

I know I am old and have been around for quite some time - but unfortunately - I wasn’t around back in 1896 when Newman Drake opened the N.E. Drake Baking Company on 135th Street in Harlem in New York City. He baked pound cakes of various kinds, which quickly became a local favorite. But I will share with you (at the very end) an old pound cake recipe handed down in my family from the late 1890’s. It’s been re-written from an old scrap of yellowed paper that has fallen apart - but the recipe was saved.


Drake’s Devil Dogs
Creme-Filled Devils Food Cakes
The original. Two fun-shaped devils food cakes, sandwiched around an abundance of rich Drake’s vanilla-flavored creme.

1 egg
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 cups marshmallow creme (1 7-ounce jar)
1 cup shortening
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons very hot water

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, blend together the egg, shortening, and sugar with an electric mixer. Continue beating while adding the milk and vanilla.
  3. In another bowl sift together remaining cake ingredients – flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder.
  4. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and beat until smooth.
  5. Spoon about a tablespoon of the batter in strips about 4 inches long and 1 inch wide on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for
    5 to 6 minutes or until the cakes are done. Cool.
  6. In another bowl combine the marshmallow creme, shortening, powdered sugar and vanilla. Dissolve the 1/8 teaspoon of salt in the 2 teaspoons of very hot water in a small bowl. Add this salt solution to the filling mixture and beat on high speed with an electric mixer until the filling is smooth and fluffy.
  7. When the cakes have cooled, spread about a tablespoon of filling on the face of one cake and top it off with another cake. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Makes 20 to 24 snack cakes.

Drake’s Yankee Doodle Iced Cupcakes
A new twist on an old favorite! Original Yankee Doodles were first introduced in 1928. Yankee Doodles Iced Cupcakes are delicious Yankee Doodles devils food cake, filled with as much Drake’s creme as it can hold, now topped with rich, chocolaty icing and a squiggle stripe.

3/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups flour, all-purpose
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup milk
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract pure
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Vanilla creme
1/4 cup flour, all-purpose
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 teaspoons vanilla extract pure
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375*.
Cream shortening and sugar in large bowl.
Add eggs and vanilla, blend well.
Combine dry ingredients, add alternately with milk to creamed mixture.

Fill 24 cupcake cups ⅔ full with batter.
Bake for the 20 to 25 minutes.
Cool completely.

Prepare Vanilla Creme:
Cut a 1½ inch cone from the top of cupcake.
Fill, replace cone.
Swirl filling over top if desired.

You can use a pastry tube with an open star tip, insert into center of cupcake and squeeze gently til cupcake peaks.

Combine flour and milk in sauce pan.
Cook over low heat. Stirring constantly with wire whisk until mixture thickens and begins to boil.
Remove from heat and chill.
Cream butter and shortening in large bowl; blend in vanilla, salt and chilled flour mixture.
Gradually add the 4 cups of powdered sugar, beat to spreading consistency.

Drake’s Yankee Doodle Cupcakes II

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup boiling water
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp. instant coffee
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Marshmallow Creme Filling:
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter (room temperature)
1-1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup Marshmallow Fluff
2 Tbsp. heavy cream

Make batter: Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick spray. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in bowl. Whisk water, cocoa, chocolate chips, and coffee in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar, sour cream, oil, eggs, and vanilla and mix until combined. Whisk in flour mixture until incorporated. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake until toothpick comes out with a few dry crumbs attached, 18 to 22 minutes. Cool cupcakes in tins 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack and cool completely.

For the Filling: In a bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, confectioner’s sugar, vanilla extract, salt and marshmallow fluff. Add the cream and beat just until smooth. Transfer the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch round tip. Insert tip into top of cupcake and pipe into center being careful not to overfill.

NOTE: No recipe has been found (YET - but I won’t give up!) for their chocolate icing for their Yankee Doodles. BUT there is a chocolate ganache recipe - see Drake’s Ring Dings below.

Drake’s Coffee Cakes
Moist, Traditional Breakfast Pastries
There’s only one Drake’s Coffee Cake. Classic round Drake’s coffee cake topped with plenty of sweet, cinnamon-flavored streusel.

For the crumb topping:
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch table salt, or 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 3/4 cups cake flour*

For the cake:
1 1/4 cups cake flour*
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt (or 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt)
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick)
1 large egg at room temperature**
2 Tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup buttermilk***

Nonstick Spray
Confectioner’s sugar for dusting (optional)

*Note #1: Yes, you really do need cake flour for these to turn out properly. Using all-purpose will produce dry and brittle cakes.

**Note #2: If you forget to set the egg out in advance to warm up to room temperature, try submerging it in very warm water before you begin making the crumb. That way, by the time you need it for the cake, it will be ready.

***Note #3: If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, add a generous splash of lemon juice to the bottom of a 1/3 cup measuring cup and fill the rest with milk. Stir gently and set aside to curdle slightly.

Make the crumb:
Cut the stick of butter into 8 pieces and, in a microwave-safe bowl, heat on high for 1 minute. Stir briefly to finish melting any small chunk that remain, and set aside to cool slightly while you mix the dry ingredients.

In a large mixing bowl, combine sugars, cinnamon, salt and and flour and make sure the brown sugar is broken up and no large clumps remain. Slowly drizzle in the slightly-cooled butter while mixing with a fork. The batter will form many large clumps, some small clumps, and some dry mixture will remain at the bottom of the bowl (that’s ok). Don’t overmix; you want to retail those large clumps.

Set aside the crumb for now.

Make the cake:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Thoroughly coat a 12-muffin tin with nonstick spray and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, baking soda and salt on low speed to combine. If the butter is straight out of the fridge, cut it into 6 pieces, lay them out on a plate, and microwave on high for 15 seconds. If the butter is at room temperature, just cut it into pieces (do not microwave). Leaving the mixer running, add butter one piece at a time and beat for a minute or so until the butter is incorporated and no chunks remain.

Combine egg, yogurt, vanilla extract and buttermilk in a tupperware container and shake vigorously for a few seconds until completely smooth. Add to the mixer bowl and mix on medium high speed for about a minute just until it becomes light and fluffy. A few very small chunks of butter may remain, which is fine. Be careful not to overmix.

Fill each cupcake cup about halfway with cake batter (I used a heaping 2-inch cookie scoop-ful for each, but you can also just eyeball it). Tap slightly to even out the batter. Spoon the topping over the batter to fill the fill the remaining half of the cups.

Bake for 10 minutes, turn the pan around on the rack, and back for another 11 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes in the pan before eating.

Makes 12 cakes. Keeps for up to 5 days in an airtight container.

Drakes Ring Dings
Classic round devil’s food cakes, loaded with rich, Drake’s vanilla-flavored creme and enrobed with Drake’s thick, rich frosting.
Yield: makes 12

For the Cake
3 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
3/4 tsp vanilla

For the 7 Minute Frosting
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 Tbsp water
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the Ganache
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
12 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped into 1/2-ounce pieces

For the Cake
Preheat oven to 300°F. and grease pans. Line bottoms of 2 10-inch round cake pans with wax paper and grease paper. If you don’t have 10-inch cake pans, you can make 2 9-inch cake pans and a dozen cupcakes.

Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored. Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well.

Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Cool layers completely in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks. Carefully remove wax paper and cool layers completely. Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.

For the 7 Minute Frosting
Combine frosting ingredients with a pinch of salt in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water and beat with a handheld electric mixer at high speed until frosting is thick and fluffy, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and continue to beat until slightly cooled. Use frosting the day it is made.

For the Ganache
Heat the heavy cream and the butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil.

Place the semisweet chocolate in a 3-quart stainless steel bowl. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth.

To assemble the Ding Dongs
Once the cake layers have cooled completely, use a small round cookie cutter to cut small circles of cake out of the layers. Enjoy the scraps or save them for cake balls.

Using the cone method, scoop out a small portion of cake from each circle. Fill with 7-minute frosting and replace top of cake.

Using a pastry brush or spoon, cover individual cakes with ganache. Allow ganache to completely set up before serving.

Drake’s Funny Bones
Peanut Butter Creme-Filled Devils Food Cakes
Funny Bones® are a classic Drake’s variety, first introduced in 1961. Each devils food cake is filled with rich peanut butter creme and enrobed with a milk chocolate-flavored icing.

NOTE: I have a twinkies cake mold - but you can make these without one:

1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, soft
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, regular or Dutch-process
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk, yogurt, or sour cream

Peanut Butter Filling
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
6 to 8 tablespoons milk

Chocolate Coating
2 cups semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9" x 13" pan, line it with parchment paper and spray the paper.
For the cake: Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between additions, and stopping to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl at least once or twice. Add the vanilla.
Whisk the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt through a strainer to break up any lumps in the cocoa.
Add half the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and mix.
Add the buttermilk or yogurt and mix. Scrape the bowl, then add the remaining dry ingredients. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Level the top with an offset spatula. Bake the cake for 23 to 25 minutes, until it pulls away from the edge of the pan, and springs back when lightly touched in the center. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

For the filling: Place the peanut butter in a mixing bowl with the vanilla. Stir the confectioners' sugar through a strainer (to eliminate lumps) into the bowl, and mix at low speed until the mixture is crumbly.
Add 4 tablespoons of the milk, and mix at low speed. You'll see the mixture's texture go from crumbly to smooth, but stiff. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. After that, add the milk 1 tablespoon at a time, until the filling is smooth and spreadable.

To assemble: Remove the cooled cake from the pan using the parchment paper. Split the cake into two layers.
Remove the top layer and set it aside.
Spread the filling over the bottom cake layer.
Replace the top layer.
Cut the filled cake into thirds lengthwise.
Cut the cake into nine 1 1/2" bars. Pull them apart slightly.
Melt the chocolate chips and shortening together at low power in the microwave. Stir until the mixture is smooth.
Drizzle the chocolate coating over the tops of the cakes; use a small spatula to spread the chocolate over the tops and along the sides of the cakes. The chocolate will firm up at cool room temperature, but you can refrigerate the cakes to firm up the chocolate if you're in a hurry.
Yield: 27 cakes.

Drake’s Yodels
Classic Devils Food Cake Rolls
A classic Drake’s favorite. Devils food cake, rolled with a layer of rich, Drake’s vanilla-flavored creme and enrobed in Drake’s thick, rich frosting.

Line one jelly roll pan - 15x10x2" with aluminum foil. Grease and flour foil.
Prepare one devil’s food cake mix as directed on box.
Using HALF the cake mix, pour into prepared pan.
Bake in preheated 350* F. oven for 20 minutes or until cake tests done.
Transfer to clean, lintless kitchen towel (just like making any cake roll).

Prepare your marshmallow filling:
1 cup of marshmallow fluff
1 cup softened butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
2.5 cups confectioners sugar

Beat to make a light, fluffy icing. Carefully spread over unrolled and COOLED cake. Must be completely cooled. Carefully re-roll - jelly roll style. Place on parchment paper and wrap well. Freeze overnight to make handling much easier.

Prepare your topping:
1 12-oz. bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 stick butter - nor margarine or spread
Heat over low heat or in a microwave to melt.

Cut your yodels and spread topping on one side. It will harden like Magic Shell. Turn over and repeat with the other side.

You now have Yodels!

The remaining batter can be used to make Yankee Doodles, Ring Dings, etc.

Drake’s Apple Fruit Pies
Drake’s® Apple Fruit Pies are a classic Drake’s® variety first introduced 50 years ago. The flaky crust contains a filling with real fruit and covered with a sweet glaze.

NOTE: Once again - I’ve searched and searched and won’t give up -
but this is close -

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 large Granny Smith Apples (about 1 pound)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted - Drake’s does not add walnuts
4 sheets phyllo dough, thawed

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking with a silicone liner or parchment paper.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, and simmer until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer the butter to a metal or glass dish to stop the cooking process, and set aside. (See tips.)

Peel and core apples then chop into small cubes. Combine the chopped apples in a medium bowl with the brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, zest and juice.

Place a medium skillet over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, pull it away from the burner and coat with nonstick spray. Return the pan to the heat, and add the apple mixture. Cook, stirring often, for five minutes, until the apples are soft and the sugar starts to bubble. Remove from heat, and add the walnuts.

Place a single sheet of phyllo dough onto a cutting board and coat with nonstick spray. Fold the sheet in half. Spoon 1/2 cup of the apples onto the bottom edge of the dough, leaving 1" space on all sides. Fold the dough over twice to form a packet and fold the edges under to secure the pie. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and brush with browned butter.
Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients. (You’ll make four pies.) Bake 6-8 minutes until golden brown.
Serve warm or cold.
Serving Size: Makes 4 hand pies

Drake’s Cherry Fruit Pies
Drake’s® Cherry Fruit Pies are a classic Drake’s® variety first introduced 50 years ago. The flaky crust contains a filling with real fruit and covered with a sweet glaze.

NOTE: Once again - I’ve searched and searched and won’t give up -
but this is close -

Follow the above recipe for Drake’s Apple Fruit Pies substituting a can of cherry pie filling for the apples.

Drake’s Zoinks and Drake’s Sunny Doodles
Golden cream cakes with their creamy filling - just a spin-off of twinkies - no recipe yet - but I won’t give up.
Can easily be duplicated at home with a moist golden cake mix filled with their creamy filling.

Same with their Sunny Doodles - moist golden cake with the same filling that they use in the Yankke Doodles.

Enjoy and have a DRAKE day!

and as promised - an very old pound cake recipe - handed down in my family - from the late 1890’s:

1 pound butter (2 cups)
1 pound sifted cake flour (4 cups)
10 eggs, separated
1 pound sugar (2 cups)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream butter, work in flour until mixture is mealy. Beat egg yolks, sugar and vanilla until thick and fluffy. Add first mixture gradually, beating thoroughly. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Beat vigorously 5 minutes. Bake in 2 loaf pans lined with waxed paper, in a moderately slow oven (325F.) 1 ¼ hours. Makes 2 loaves (8x4 inches).