Crazy Cake and Swedish Meatballs: Delicious Holiday Recipes from the Community

by | Dec 2020

Swedish Meatballs

Photo: Rachel Nadeau

Sometimes it’s fun to invite new recipes to the holiday festivities.

Holiday food favorites get dolled up for their annual appearances at celebrations, but sometimes it’s fun to invite new recipes to the festivities. Tracy Hvezda-Lehtola, Hennepin County Library-Excelsior, and Dennis Peterson, PhD., Minnetonka Schools superintendent, weighed in on their favorites.

“My family holiday tradition is Swedish meatballs. It seems like every family of Scandinavian descent has some variation on the recipe,” Hvezda-Lehtola says. “For me, paprika is an essential ingredient because my Swedish grandmother always used paprika. Once in college, I made the recipe and skipped the paprika for lack of any in my apartment cupboard—disappointing results! The meatballs just didn’t taste the same. Using this recipe reminds me of my grandmother and my mother because they both taught it to me.”

Crazy Cake with chocolate frosting is a favorite for Peterson. This holiday-time dessert is especially meaningful to him, as his late wife often baked this lovely recipe.

Note: This is called Crazy Cake because eggs are not called for in the recipe. But, perhaps, the most surprising ingredient is apple cider vinegar in the cake mix!

Swedish Meatballs

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • ½ lb. ground lean pork
  • ½ cup onion, minced
  • ¾ cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp. snipped parsley
  • 2½ tsp. salt, divided
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper, divided
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup salad oil
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 2 cups water
  • ¾ cups dairy sour cream

Mix thoroughly beef, pork, onion, bread crumbs, parsley, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, Worcestershire sauce, egg and milk. Refrigerate for two hours. Shape mixture by rounded tablespoons into balls. In a large skillet, slowly brown and cook the meatballs in oil. Remove meatballs, and keep warm. Blend flour, paprika, ½ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper into oil in skillet. Cook over low heat, stirring until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat; stir in water. Return to heat, stirring constantly. Boil, and stir for one minute. Reduce the heat, and gradually stir in sour cream, stirring until smooth. Add meatballs, and heat through.

Crazy Cake with Chocolate Frosting


  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 2 tsp. baking soda


  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Slowly, add the wet and dry ingredients, and mix until blended. Pour into greased and floured 9×13 pan. Bake the cake at 350 F. for 20-25 minutes. Cool.

Chocolate Frosting

  • 6 Tbsp. butter
  • 6 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 oz. semisweet chocolate chips

Combine the first three ingredients in a sauce pan. Over medium heat, bring mixture to a boil for 30 seconds. Remove from heat, and add 8 ounces of semisweet chocolate chips. Slowly stir for up to 5 minutes. Frost the cake.


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This