Happy Endings

In an effort to bring a little ease to our lives, I'm continuing a three part series on how you can use mixes to make bringing sweetness to your table a bit easier. Whether it's adding twists to a mix to make something special or using a mix in a way not intended, these convenience products can lend sweetness to your life without taking a lot of time or energy.

This month, I'm sharing a recipe that is simply perfect for your Thanksgiving holiday entertaining. This elegant torte is adult-only though if you make it with the orange-flavored liqueur. Opt for orange juice if there will be youngsters at your gathering. This cake is beautiful as well as yummy and makes a lovely centerpiece on a dessert table. Serve hot cider and coffee as well as an assortment of cookies to make the event complete!

As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!

Pumpkin Torte With Orange Cream Filling

  • 1 package (18.25 ounces) yellow cake mix
  • 1 can (30 ounces) pumpkin pie filling, divided
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup (5-fluid-ounce can) evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur (such as Grand Marnier) or orange juice, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • Orange rind curls (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 8- or 9-inch-round cake pans.

Beat the cake mix, 1 1/2 cups pumpkin pie mix, eggs and oil in large mixer bowl for 2 minutes. Spoon into the prepared pans.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove the cakes to wire racks to cool completely.

Meanwhile, whisk together the evaporated milk and cornstarch in a medium, heavy-duty saucepan. Stir in the remaining pumpkin pie mix and 1 tablespoon of the liqueur. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute or until thickened; remove the mixture from the heat. Cover; cool to room temperature.

Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of orange liqueur over the tops of the cakes. Cut the layers in half horizontally. Spread about 3/4 cup of the filling between each layer. Spread the top of cake with the whipped topping and garnish with orange curls, if desired. Store in the refrigerator.

  • Yields: 12 servings
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour