Hornet’s Nest Cake*

Hornet's Nest Cake from thenovicechefblog.com

My Dad is 50 and still eats like a frat boy. His food groups consist of the following: Beer, Ramen Noodles, Beer, Sausage & Cheese, Popcorn, Beer and Chips. For good measure, he will sometimes have a bowl of cereal or a sandwich — however both of those are followed up with one of his stellar food group choices.

You would think his health would be horrendous, but he somehow manages to stay fit and all his health numbers are great (he has perfect cholesterol…the man has a bowl of fried noodles for brunch every day — it blows my mind). Last year for his physical, he had a fit when the nurse told him his waist was 33 inches. He was so distraught that he made me remeasure him and prove that his waist is in fact only 32 inches. And to my horror, he was right.

My Mom does feed him real food every chance she gets. While he doesn’t eat anything like quinoa (or any healthy grain like it), he does eat normal healthy dinners when she is home from work early enough to cook. Of course dinner is always followed up with a bowl of buttery popcorn, but that’s neither here nor there.

Hornet's Nest Cake from thenovicechefblog.com

It should come as no surprise that this Hornet’s Nest Cake is one of his all time favorite desserts. It’s a package of pudding, some milk and a box of yellow cake mix. Then you toss on some pecans and a whole bag of butterscotch chips. My Mom has been making this recipe for him since I was in middle school and he is always one of the first ones in line for a slice.

It’s one of those recipes that you would ignore, but like most of those dressed up cake mixes…I gotta admit — it’s pretty dang good. I have been blogging for quite some time now, so I think it’s time that one of my Dad’s favorites finally made the blog. And I don’t think y’all want instructions on how to make Ramen Noodles. :-)


Hornet's Nest Cake

Yield: Serves 12


  • 1 package (3.4 oz) vanilla instant pudding
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 package (18.25 oz) plain yellow cake mix
  • 1 package (11 oz) butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 13x9 baking pan, set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together pudding mix and milk. Let sit 5 minutes until it firms up. Fold in the cake mix and stir until combined (a few lumps are ok).

Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Scatter the butterscotch chips and pecans on top of cake batter.

Bake cake for 35 to 40 minutes -- until it springs back when lightly pressed with fingers. Remove from oven and let cake cool on wire rack for 30 minutes before serving.

Store this cake in baking dish (covered in aluminum foil) at room temperature for up to 1 week.

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24 Responses to “Hornet’s Nest Cake”

  1. 1

    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — April 18, 2013 @ 8:46 am

    Haha your Dad sounds so much like mine! I don’t know how these men can go through so much junk and soooo much beer and be skinnier than me!! I dig this cake too though. Love that topping!!

  2. 2

    Christine @ Cooking with Cakes — April 18, 2013 @ 9:40 am

    honestly these are the best kind of recipes – No muss, No fuss, and a crowd pleaser! Bless your dad for his miraculous health :)

  3. 3

    Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough — April 18, 2013 @ 10:43 am

    Your dad and my dad = samesies. Only mine’s weakness is tortilla chips, oddly enough. He could polish off a box — yes, a BOX — full of them in one sitting. Oof. He isn’t a big fan of desserts though, so that means more for me when I make this yummy cake! :)

  4. 4

    Joanne — April 18, 2013 @ 10:57 am

    Can I somehow get a bit of your dad’s metabolism? That’s crazy. And awesome. He sounds a lot like my boyfriend.

    This cake sounds awesome. Totally bad and totally good at the same time.

  5. 5

    Meagan @ A Zesty Bite — April 18, 2013 @ 11:31 am

    I’ve never heard of this cake!! This looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it out!

  6. 6

    DessertForTwo — April 18, 2013 @ 11:44 am

    YUM! It’s so not fair how men eat with zero harm to their waistline! But we can still have a sliver of cake, too! :)

  7. 7

    Diana @ Sweet y Salado — April 18, 2013 @ 1:42 pm

    I’ll have a couple of pieces with a cup of coffee. This looks yummy! My dad was the same way, he would eat anything in sight and never gain a pound. 32 inch waist at 50? Jealous!

  8. 8

    Karly — April 18, 2013 @ 2:01 pm

    Love, love, love this! I’ve never heard of a hornet’s nest cake before, but it looks easy and yummy!

  9. 9

    Leah | So, How's It Taste? — April 18, 2013 @ 2:04 pm

    That’s hilarious how your dad eats. Must be nice! I’ve never heard of this cake but it sounds right up my alley. Bookmarking this one!

  10. 10

    Jaren (Diary of a Recipe Collector) — April 18, 2013 @ 2:28 pm

    These look so good! I make so many chocolate desserts, and I’m always looking for a nice change. Thanks for sharing. Pinned it!

  11. 11

    Courtney @ BakeMeBetter — April 18, 2013 @ 6:53 pm

    Never heard of this cake. It looks good. My Dad is always “cutting back” but never declines an offer for sweets!

  12. 12

    Katie — April 19, 2013 @ 1:17 am

    Good for your dad! This cake sounds awesome!

  13. 13

    Nutmeg Nanny — April 19, 2013 @ 10:57 am

    This sounds so simple and looks heavenly :) I love butterscotch!

  14. 14

    Stephanie — April 19, 2013 @ 12:42 pm

    This recipe looks AMAZING! And, your photography is gorgoues..how do you do it??

  15. 15

    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — April 19, 2013 @ 3:22 pm

    LOVE that this is made with cake mix. I am too damn lazy to wait any longer than necessary for this cake! The quicker, the better!

  16. 16

    Marcie@FlavortheMoments — April 19, 2013 @ 3:32 pm

    Funny story about your dad! Must be nice to be able to eat like that and remain trim! This cake looks so delicious.

  17. 17

    Christina @ It's a Keeper — April 19, 2013 @ 5:20 pm

    This looks amazing! I can’t wait to make it! Thanks for sharing!

  18. 18

    Jessica@AKitchenAddiction — April 19, 2013 @ 5:26 pm

    I’ve never heard of this cake but it sounds amazing! Love how easy it is!

  19. 19

    shelly (cookies and cups) — April 22, 2013 @ 10:12 am

    How have I never heard of this cake?? This is SO my kinda thing. Definitely trying this!

  20. 20

    Tina | My Life as a Mrs — April 22, 2013 @ 1:02 pm

    WOWZA! This looks SOOOOO good.

  21. 21

    Doris Blankenship — February 2, 2014 @ 10:01 pm

    Could you also use coconut in this cake? Sounds like it would be good in it.

    • Jessica replied: — February 7th, 2014 @ 2:04 pm

      I am sure coconut would be a great addition!

  22. 22

    Gayle Smith — November 8, 2015 @ 1:53 pm

    I would love to make this for my husband and son, it is ok to switch out 2% milk for the whole milk? We only use 2%. Thank you.

    • Jessica replied: — November 23rd, 2015 @ 11:13 pm

      Hi Gayle! Yes, 2% would be fine. :-) Hope you enjoy it!

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