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I’ve always believed that “age is just a number” and “you’re as old as you feel.” But since retiring from my full-time job at The Berkshire Eagle, I’m constantly reminded how old I really am — especially by my knees — even though my mind tells me I’m 35.

I took the month of August off before upping the hours at my part-time job, And I have to be honest, I was bored out of my mind! What do retired people do all day? Daytime TV really stinks and reading all day was great, but not as fulfilling as working eight hours a day and chatting with my coworkers. And housework isn’t high on my list of priorities.

I started watching foodie videos on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. I still love Emmymade, despite my recent beef fudge experiment, and recently came across Janelle Flom, who does all kinds of funky videos, including some using commercially made food items to create desserts — dry cake mix and cookie dough rank supreme on her ingredient list. There don’t seem to be any recipes with the videos, or at least any I could find, but I'm technologically challenged. They seem simple enough to figure out from the videos.

I decided on a recent cool fall-like afternoon to try her version of a marble cake. Get ready for this one folks … it uses Hostess cupcakes. Oh, and another pitfall to being retired, I can’t bring the finished dish into the features department for them to eat. Alas, it’s all going to waist ...


(Based on a video by Janelle Flom)


One 10-count box Hostess chocolate cupcakes

One 15-ounce can evaporated milk

One 6-ounce can condensed milk

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1 stick butter

1 yellow cake mix, do not prepare as on package


Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease or spray a 9-inch pie plate.

Unwrap the 10 cupcakes and dunk in the evaporated milk, placing nine around the edges of the pie plate and one in the center. Pour dollops of condensed milk directly on top of the cupcakes. Shred half the butter on a grater and place on top of the milk-covered cupcakes. Sprinkle the dry cake mix on top of the ingredients in the pie plate, making sure to fill in the spaces between the cupcakes. Cut the remaining butter into pats and scatter them on top of the dry cake mix.

Bake for 30 minutes.

My verdict: I can’t really call this a marble “cake,” there is nothing cake-like about it. I’d call it something more generic, like a dessert. The cupcakes dissolved into a rich, chocolatey, moist gooeyness. The dry cake mix provided a sandy, sweet accent throughout the dish, and a nice bar-like crust around the edges of the pie plate. I have no idea where the cupcake frosting and filling went physically, but the dessert is over-the-top sweet, but in a good way. Would I make it again? Probably. It took under 10 minutes to put together and 30 minutes to bake, and like the beef fudge would be a great topic of conversation.

Note: When making the dessert, I didn’t use the full can of either the evaporated or condensed milk.

Now where are my coworkers when I need them to polish off the rest of this thing …?