Truffle by Cullen Lacey (9th-10th Grade Category Runner Up)

By: Cullen Lacey ’25

Photo credits: The Merchant Baker Website

What family recipe is closest to your heart? For me, it is my grandmother’s truffle. This simple dessert is more than just a treat after dinner. The truffle holds memories that I share with my grandmother. Ever since I could remember, I’ve been helping my grandmother prepare this dessert. We usually have this dish on Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving, my cousins and I play board games while we wait for dinner to be ready. Everyone is in a good mood, we crack jokes and laugh all day. Eventually, my grandmother will yell down to us from the kitchen saying, “Dinner’s ready!” We all run up the stairs, trying to get a spot at the table. Most of the time the seats at the table are taken up by my uncles and the older people in my family. My cousins and I just eat on the couch which works out because we get to watch football on the TV. My grandmother insists that we go for seconds, then thirds, and if you can still finish your plate, “Go make yourself another plate,” my grandmother says. Once we are grossly full of food, the moment everyone has been waiting for is here. My grandmother takes the truffle out of the fridge and brings it out to the table. Of course, my uncles get the first picks of the dessert. Most of the time, there will be enough left for me. If not, my grandmother goes, “Don’t worry hun, I got a second batch comin’ out.” My grandmother is the sweetest lady I’ve ever known. She makes sure everybody else in the room is fed before she even makes her plate and if there is any kind of food shortage, she is more than happy to make more. Every bite of the truffle is heaven. The outside has a chewy crust, but once you get to the inside you’ll get a savory, melted chocolate surprise. My grandmother is getting older now, and she isn’t as independent as she used to be since my aunt now helps her with all the cooking. But thinking back to earlier times when I used to help her prepare it, almost makes time stand still. Back when she used to make the kitchen off-limits to anyone except her favorite grandson, me.

Truffle recipe


1 box of chocolate cake mix

2 packages of instant chocolate pudding

3 8oz tubs of cool whip

1. Prepare cake batter and follow instructions on baking in 2 8-inch round pans

2. Beat pudding mix with milk and whisk for 2 minutes

3. Once the cakes are cooked slice them in half the long way to give you 4 layers (keep cake crumbs for top of the truffle)

Layers: cake, pudding, cool whip in a truffle bowl. Use cake crumbs for a decorative topping.

Refrigerate until ready to eat

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