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'Gooey Butter Cake' takes top prize in national baking contest

by jmaloni
Tue, Dec 27th 2011 06:55 am

Decadent cake is delicious addition to holiday desserts table

Amateur cook and blogger Melissa Sperka of Greensboro, N.C., beat out nearly 900 competitors in the "Flour Power" baking contest with her caramel, chocolate and almond "Gooey Butter Cake." The contest was hosted by Just A Pinch Recipe Club, the online food-focused social network at www.justapinch.com.

Sperka created her confection by "using some of (her) family's favorite sweet indulgences," including caramel, cream cheese, almonds, chocolate and toffee. The cake will shine on holiday tables or any time of year.

For her win, Sperka will receive a trip to Nashville, Tenn., to cook her recipe before a live audience, a $1,000 cook's dream shopping spree, and Grand Ole Opry tickets.

Sperka's butter cake and the other finalist recipes were selected and prepared for judging by the club's food editor, Janet Tharpe. According to Tharpe, the cake was easily named the winner by a panel of judges. "This cake is a snap to make," she says, "and it's easily customizable to your family's flavor preferences. Plus it tastes amazing! We knew we had a winner at first bite."

Receiving runner-up honors are "Chocolate Bliss Bundt Cake" by Traci Bentz of Vancouver, Wash., "Ms. Geraldine's Fresh Apple Cake" by Debbie Lawrence of Birmingham, Ala., and "Cranberry Cookie Strudel" by Didi Dalaba of Greece, N.Y.

The club's latest national recipe contests, "Sporty Snack Showdown: Chili Cook-off" and "Cookie Celebration," are now accepting entries.

The Just A Pinch Recipe Club is the nation's fastest growing online recipe and coupon social network. Home cooks around the country swap and discuss thousands of "family-tested and approved" recipes, share cooking tips, earn blue ribbons, and print grocery coupons, all for free. Known as "America's Greatest Recipe Swap," Just A Pinch has grown rapidly, with some 70,000 recipes posted by members, millions of visitors worldwide, and more than 320,000 club members since its launch in April 2010.

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