For many of us, the holidays mean the return of special foods, those favorite family dishes that hold special meaning. They’re the once-a-year treats that help tie families together and offer reminders of those who came before. Without these dishes on the holiday table, the season just wouldn’t be the same.

We asked our readers to share some of their favorite holiday treats. They replied with recipes that would bring grace to any holiday table. We thought you might want the main course — whether it’s turkey, ham, lamb, beef or goose — to represent your family’s tradition, so here’s another dish you can use to expand your holiday table and to incorporate some of the traditions of your neighbors.

Holiday Rum Cake

From “the collection of Harry & Karen Meinzen McEnerny,” submitted by Karen Meinzen McEnerny of Sandy Springs.

Karen Meinzen McEnerny

Here is a family favorite. Harry was a terrific cook and always used recipes with a “twist.” We enjoyed this cake every season and also gave them away as gifts.

1 small package instant pudding: vanilla, coconut cream, or pistachio

1 box yellow cake mix (plain yellow cake mix, not the kind with pudding already in it)

½ cup light rum, Amaretto, bourbon or Grand Marnier

½ cup water

½ cup salad oil

4 whole eggs

If desired, nuts, grated coconut, or raisins to taste

Combine pudding and cake mix. Add liquor, water, and oil. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.

Bake in greased and floured Bundt pan for about one hour at 350 degrees.

Remove from oven and pour glaze over.


1 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1 stick butter

2 ounces liquor

Bring to boil and boil one minute. Pour over cake. Let stand in pan one hour before turning cake out.

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.