Necessary in the 1950's; Essential in 2021

The enticing smell would lure me out of my warm bed and as my feet hit the cold wood floor, I lifted my nose to get the entire scent wafting through my nostrils. It was that time of morning again...Mom was in the kitchen baking cookies - off-limits for breakfast- but oh so welcome come lunch on a hard picnic bench surrounded by other classmates in my elementary school. That's what my mom did. She got up early and made fresh home baked chocolate chip cookies for me and my brothers' lunches. It was important to her. And we kids came to expect it when we opened our lunch bags.

Mom baked from scratch. Always. She had a knack for pulling together a meal or a dish with not always a lot to choose from in the pantry. And the grocery store was several miles away. And no car. My mom was amazing then. And she is to me now too.

Fast forward several years to when I lived near a neighbor friend whom we nicknamed each other Ethel and Lucy. We would show up unannounced and knock on our back doors. It was wonderful. This friend shared with me a recipe that was popular in the 1950's. It was for baking cookies from a cake mix. The best part? It only has 5 ingredients. To top it off, the cookies come out delicious EVERY TIME! I believe it was invented in the 1950's, and as necessary as it was back then, I say it is an essential recipe to have in your kitchen toolbox today. How many times have you had a friend drop by to visit and wish that you had a batch of freshly baked cookies to offer? Well, now it's possible! Mix it up while you are talking and then sit and enjoy the warm cookies together. (If you want to make cookie batter ahead of time and freeze it, be sure to read my blog on cookies anyone? You can find it here )

Easiest Cookies from a Cake Mix


1 cake mix (any kind)

1/2 C. oil or applesauce

2 eggs

1 t. vanilla

1 C add-ins (like chocolate chips)


In medium bowl mix all ingredients. Stir until completely mixed. Drop by spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Let cook on cookie sheet and then transfer to a bread board or plate. Serve.

A couple of notes for you -

I like to use applesauce (homemade of course!), but sometimes add oil instead.

Homemade vanilla always adds a bit more flavor. (see my blog post on making your own vanilla here

You can use any type of mix in. My family has a new favorite - mini chocolate chips from Wal-Mart.

But, you can use most anything you'd like - butterscotch chips, raisins, mixed fruit, nuts, etc. You can mix a few together too, but just make sure that your total mix-ins equal one cup. Otherwise, you won't have enough batter for all your delicious mix-ins!

Easy-Peasy recipe! You will be ready for guests (or your family!) in no time. Be sure to share with me what mix-ins are your favorites!

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