Less is More...

Posted by Katy Stager on

Less is More: 3 (or less!) Ingredient Goodies

The holidays are upon us! ‘Tis the season for festive parties and scrumptious treats. With all of the holiday hustle and bustle, it’s not hard to wind up in a pinch, desperately raiding the cabinets and frantically scouring the Internet for a delicious, easy, and (if you’re me) CHEAP recipe to bring to the office party or the family get-together.

Well, folks, it’s no secret - Betty Crocker, I am not. I make an ice cube that will melt in your mouth, and that’s about the extent of my cooking/baking abilities. With that being said, I’ve gathered three of my favorite fail-safe, three-ingredient-or-less recipes to share with the world this holiday season. Since some of the ingredients overlap and can be used for more than one recipe, I like to keep my pantry stocked in case of surprise visitors or last minute get-togethers.

Enjoy these easy and sure-to-please goodies – from our kitchen to yours!

Recipe 1: Pumpkin Spice Cake Cookies










1 (18.25 ounce) package spice cake mix

1 (15 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin

Optional: for a sweeter treat, add 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips



1)   Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheets (I use non-stick cookie sheets instead of greasing…).

2)   In a large bowl, stir together the cake mix and pumpkin until well blended. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet. Note: the cookies do not expand while baking. Once baked, the cookies will come out of the oven in exactly the same shape as they entered.

3)   Bake for 18 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

This is a GREAT cake/pie-alternative for babies and toddlers! Our baby enjoyed this treat on her first birthday.


Recipe 2: Soda Can Cupcakes








1 (18.25 ounce) box cake mix (any flavor)

1 (12 ounce) can room temperature soda (any flavor)

A good rule of thumb is to use clear soda with yellow cake mixes and dark soda (cola, rootbeer, etc.) with chocolate cake mixes. Cherry flavored clear soda (i.e. Cherry 7-Up) and yellow cake mix makes pink cupcakes!)


1)   Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2)   Line muffin pan with liners

3)   In a large bowl, combine cake mix and soda, stirring with a whisk until most of the lumps are gone

4)   Fill each liner 1/2 – 2/3 full of batter

5)   Bake for 18-20 minutes until cupcakes are springy and toothpicks come out clean. Note: baked cupcakes will have a fluffy “angel foodcake-ish” consistency

6)   Let cool completely before frosting


Recipe 3: Mixed Berry Cobbler









1 (18.25 ounce) box white (I have used yellow) cake mix

2 (12 ounce each) bags frozen mixed berries

1 (12 ounce) can Sprite or 7-Up soda




1)   Dump bags of frozen berries in the bottom of a 13x9 baking dish

2)   Spread dry cake mix over top of the berries. Break up any large clumps.

3)   Slowly pour the soda over top of the cake mix. Do not stir or mix. The cake mix is what will form the crust.

4)   Allow it to sit 3-5 minutes

5)   Bake 45-50 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Let cool. I like to serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 


Katy Stager, proud mom and wife, is a fan of all things "active." She's a marathon running, swimming, cycling, hiking, art loving, community volunteering, book reading, Instagraming, Animal Kingdom shopping kind of mom who does it all with her little girl in tow. A Bloomsburg University grad, she now studies homemaking, successful childrearing, and thriftiness through the school of life's successful parenting program. 

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