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Best Paula Deen Recipes?

I received some of Paula's cookbooks as a gift, and was wondering what are some of her best recipes? Everyone talks about her coconut cake, but what are the other stars? Thanks!

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  1. My friends and I love her baked french toast (which we call the "death" toast due to its obscene Paula Deen amount of butter). It is really really good!

    1. Is there a sense that her recipes are consistent? I haven't ever tried some but I was just wondering if anyone knows what kind of reputation she has...


      3 Replies
      1. re: daily_unadventures

        I find most of her recipes to be very good. However, if you are looking for low-fat Paula is not your girl. She herself has stated that she is a cook "not a dietician".

        1. re: daily_unadventures

          Most of her recipes are tried and true recipes from church ladies, potluck suppers, school functions, etc., it seems to me. There are many, many recipes, or at least variations of, that I recognize from my grandma or my great grandma making years ago.

          1. re: Katie Nell

            Glad to hear it - it was mostly the testing I was concerned about. the low fat portion... well I like fattening things :)

        2. Her Pine Bark recipe is great! When I make it for fellowship at church, people go nuts over it.

          1. her dream pie is great.

            1. Don't make a lot of her stuff because of the high fat/calorie content of most but have made her gooey butter pumpkin cake (something like that) one thanksgiving after my family and I watched her make it on the show and we were drooling. Definitely not healthy but it was delicious.

              9 Replies
              1. re: laylag

                Second this one. Have had people tell me that they hate pumpkin but loved this.

                1. re: bonmann

                  These ooey gooey bars are good in all variations. The pumpkin ones are good at tgiving. The plain ones are good....uh whenever. And then the chocolate peanut butter ones are also good..whenever. Love Paula Deen's warm style and her so fattening delicious recipes!

                  1. re: amyvc

                    My sister made the chocolate peanut butter ones for Easter last year. They were so good we could get people to try the other desserts!

                    1. re: amyvc

                      Does anyone have the recipe for the choc. peanut butter variations on the ooey gooey pumpkin butter cake thing. She had mentioned in the episode we had seen and I have the recipe off the FN web site but had been unable to find info on the variations.


                      1. re: laylag

                        I think this link has it at the very bottom under variations.


                        1. re: bonmann

                          Here's a link to the recipe with even more variations.


                          I've had the plain, pumpkin, chocolate chip (made with choc cake mix), and peanut butter chocolate. All were good, though I rank pumpkin 1st, pb 2nd, choc 3rd and plain 4th.

                          1. re: amyvc

                            I have made this recipe many times and many different ways. I've used Splenda, eggbeaters, fat free cream cheese (which I wouldn't use again), low fat cream cheese you name it. Everyone begs for the pumpkin ones. The only way to ruin these is cooking them too long.

                            I think the thing with Paula's recipes is they're just good old fashion cookin' no high frills, just plain good food.

                            1. re: othervoice

                              Do these need to be stored in the refrigerator because of the cream cheese?

                              1. re: mamaciita

                                I usually do overnight, but they can be out for several hours at a party or whatnot. They also freeze well if you make them in advance.

                2. Her "Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding" is REALLY good. The "tiramisu of the South." :)
                  I also made her version of chicken spiedini which has become a family favorite.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Furgs

                    Second the banana pudding recommendation. That stuff's so good you will end up consuming way more than you planned on!

                    1. re: operagirl

                      And it makes a wonderful filling for banana cream pie. It also freezes well, so you don't have to eat the entire pie in one sitting if you don't want to... although it's awfully tempting.

                      1. re: SundanceKC

                        I have made this banana pudding probably 4 times and my family fight for
                        seconds. so you better get all you want the first time around or your out of
                        luck in our family. its that good and rich, its not for the fit and slim. to me
                        its the best there is. no matter what they say about paula. I like her. just
                        take her for what she is and enjoy life.

                      2. re: Furgs

                        LOL! It's so funny you call it that. I loved it the first time I made it, the texture was sooo rich. The second time, I omitted the bananas and layered it with Kahlua-dipped Nilla wafers and called it "Trailer-park Tiramisu." (Disclaimer: I mean no disrespect to anyone living in a manufactured home, as several members of my family live in them. So be assured, my humor is completely self-deprecating! ;-)

                        I also, out of dire curiosity, once made her "Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding" to take to a potluck at work. I was running late, so I came in, dropped it on the table, and ran off to meet a client. When, I came back an hour later, the pan was almost empty, and several of my coworkers were sitting around it , looking dazed. "What was THAT? It was AMAZING!" I managed to grab a spoon and get a taste. I loved it. Since then, I've made it for several get togethers, and it allways gets the same reaction. But, it is so incredibly bad for you, I only make it for big groups of people. That way no one gets enough to have an instant heart-attack.

                      3. I have made her cornbread and her mac and cheese and both had way too much oil in them -- not just in terms of health; the oil literally floated on top of them making a mess and "frying" the cornbread in the oven. I couldn't get the cornbread to absorb the fat. I would make either of these recipes again just cutting down fats, because the flavors were good, but the fat was unnecessary.

                        I haven't tried her dessert recipes -- it sounds like they may be a hit, as per others' posts.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Adrienne

                          I had the same problem with her mac and cheese....It was a disaster that had to be thrown out...

                        2. Pumpkin Bars!

                          Without a doubt and so easy. Everytime I make them people freak out.

                          Double the frosting recipe for extra evil.

                          1. Not sure if the recipe is in her books, but her "cottage potatoes" are really yummy. Just boiled potatoes roughly mashed with her standard "stick of butter" and a pint or so of cottage cheese and baked until bubbly and browned on the top. YUM.

                              1. In the NYTimes yesterday, they had recipes for her pimiento cheese and her saltines egg salad.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: piccola

                                  i make her tomato pie all summer..everyone loves it..it is fantastic

                                2. Her Tomato Pie is unbelievable. Can't wait for tomato season! From the Lady & Sons Savannah Cookbook. For those without the cookbook - you'll probably be able to find it on foodtv.com

                                  1. I use many of Paula's recipes...I find that often the amount of salt used is way too much...but here are are few that are terrific "hits" when I make them:

                                    Orange Brownies
                                    Lady & Son's Cole Slaw
                                    Magic Peanut Butter Cookies

                                    and I've mixed up my own batch of "House Seasoning" which I use on just about everything now!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. Her "Is it Really Better Than Sex? Cake" is REALLY good and simple to make.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. without a doubt "Not yo mama's banana puddin' " is the best thing I've made from her recipes. I always get "please make that banana stuff" when we have family gathers or pitch-ins at work. it's rich, but ever so delicious
                                        Any of the gooey-bars are winners too.

                                        1. Great, thanks! Aside from sweets, what are her savory star recipes?

                                          1. Two of my favorites from Paula are her Black Pepper Shrimp and her Fiery Cajun Shrimp. Both are delicious, and very easy and quick to prepare. I like these recipes because you can prepare the dish for 2 or 10

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Fleur

                                              Second the Black pepper shrimp! I also love her simple Cheesey French Bread. Just about everything is good!

                                            2. She has a sour cream biscuit which we love, also her sugar snap peas with Grand Marnier are excellent, although even I, a major butter lover, have to say that the butter was way too much, it was just swimming in it and diluting the taste or the Grand Marnier.

                                              My problem with most of her recipes is that they call for processed foods and I feel like that goes against the whole reason I cook which is to avoid those things (not that there isn't a time and a place for good junk food).

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: KeriT

                                                Wow, I hadn't thought of that -- but you're totally right, and the way you put it is perfect.

                                              2. "My problem with most of her recipes is that they call for processed foods and I feel like that goes against the whole reason I cook which is to avoid those things "

                                                I have with you, it is annoys me too.

                                                1. Her coconut cake is worth every calorie and gram of fat!

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: CapeCodChowHound

                                                    I whole heartedly agree. I made "Jamie's Coconut Cake" last week for our end of year potluck party... 9 women devoured the entire thing. It is moist, and sweet, with just the perfect amount of coconut flavor. It is a new favorite.... YUM!

                                                    1. re: Mel

                                                      Is that the cake where she you poke holes through each layer and pour condensed milk over? ..If it is, I've wanted to make this cake on so many occasions, but doesn't it have to sit for a few days in the fridge?

                                                      1. re: Mel

                                                        Yes it is the same cake... it is not condensed milk, but sugar, coconut and milk mixture. I made it the night before for a luncheon and it was great. I did not need to use skewers to hold the cake from sliding, but it does make quite an impressive cake when done. It is dense, moist and so delicious.

                                                    2. I use her pumpkin pie recipe (w cream cheese) for turkey day every year, it disappears pretty quickly.

                                                      1. Krispy kreme Bread Pudding

                                                        1. Having eaten my grandmother's dressing at Thanksgiving for years, I found Paula's to be the closest I can find on paper (my grandmother doesn't measure the ingredients, so trying to get the recipe from her was impossible!). If you want Southern dressing, that's the stuff!

                                                          1. Shrimp and grits. Echo earlier comments about the gooey bars.

                                                            1. Her gorilla bread is outstanding!! (The recipe is on foodtv.com). I've gotten rave reviews each times I've made it!

                                                              1. perhaps i will be the only dissenter. i got one of cookbooks.....as a joke. i cannot abide by jarred mayo, and this woman's affinity for the stuff is peculiar. i've seen her use it with cranberry sauce. and i've heard her use the phrase "then you frost this layer with the mayonaise" when she was making some god awful cassarole that contained bananas, bacon, peas, and mayo. it was scary.

                                                                5 Replies
                                                                1. re: eLizard

                                                                  made her swiss steak the other day - perfect comfort food.

                                                                  1. re: eLizard

                                                                    You are obviously not from the south. :)

                                                                      1. re: eternalX

                                                                        Well, perfect comfort food for a cold rainy night in Boston. <g>

                                                                        What qualifies in the South?

                                                                      2. re: eLizard

                                                                        Having lived west of Savannah, GA for the first 24 years of my life, I can tell you that the use of mayo isn't just a Paula think. Pick up any community recipe book and you'll see loads of casserole recipes using mayo, cakes, biscuits, and salads. It's almost a staple ingredient in south Georgia. My parents even eat Harvard beets with mayo! My mother (and other friends and relatives) would make pineapple mayo sandwiches for potlucks using canned pineapples. You cut the bread with the cans so it makes a pretty little round sandwich and then you put a maraschino cherry in the middle. We also ate mayo/banana sandwiches.

                                                                      3. I'm not sure if it is in the book, but her green beans cooked with bacon, onions and new potatoes are delicious....real country comfort food, and they go with everything!

                                                                        1. I've never had a failed recipe from any of Paula's cookbooks. I regularly make Nancy's Cole Slaw (from the second Lady & Sons book), she's got a great Corn-Tomato-Avocado salad in the Entertaining book, Hoecakes and Cheese Biscuits are both a snap and so delicious. Amazing pot roast, amazing meatloaf (try the Cheeseburger meatloaf, I'm sure I'll die a year early after having consumed it, but it's delicious). Someone else mentioned Orange Brownies: amazing! And all from scratch. I use less butter than she calls for in her macaroni and cheese, but after that one small adjustment (butter in macaroni?!) it's the best I've ever had. I've been reluctant to try her fried chicken recipe because it can't possibly be as good as that served in her restaurant. I need to take a deep breath... my enthusiasm for All Things Paula is showing!

                                                                          1. For a recent backyard BBQ I made her Red Velvet cupcakes which were amazing (there is a great discussion of these in the Cupcakes thread). I did find a miss though with the other choice. I made her Broccoli Slaw. In concept it was great (broccoli slaw along with crunchy items like sunflower seeds, almonds and believe it or not dry ramen noodles lightly toasted.) The problem was the dressing which was relatively flavorless and too oily. If I tried it again I think I would make my own red wine vinagrette (her recipe looking back had too much oil and not enough vinegar) along with my own seasonings (the resipe only added one packet of the oriental ramen seasoning). COuld be good....maybe....but definitely needs adjustments. I think next up I'll try her gorilla bread....she made it for Jimmy Carter the other day and it looked AMAZING! drool....

                                                                            1. Can anyone give me a Potato Soup Recipe by Paula Deen?

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: astisma

                                                                                Here's one of hers from the FN:


                                                                                It has shrimp, but you can leave that out.

                                                                              2. The "Gooey Butter Cakes" are the best...always a favorite for a party or anytime!

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Neomastiff

                                                                                  Also, I have to agree with the Shrimp and Grits being WONDERFUL...I made them for a girls night dinner and no one could get enough!

                                                                                  1. re: Neomastiff

                                                                                    I have made her crab dip for MANY parties and everyone LOVES it (I'm allergic to shellfish and can't justify using fake crab) but people ask me for the recipe....so, there you go. and guess what? This recipe contains NO BUTTER OR OIL (but it does contain pepper jack cheese!

                                                                                2. For lighter fare I highly recommend her shrimp croquettes from the Lady and Sons II. The hour waiting time for them to firm up before cooking is a pain but they are really wonderfully elegant and tasty bites of seafood. The other one is the the vegetable pancakes which are an excellent light lunch. The vegetable pancakes are crazy easy to make.

                                                                                  1. Not sure if it's in her cookbook...but I make the Grandgirl's Apple Cake all the time. Saw her make it on TV and took the recipe off foodtv.com. Super easy and super delicious. I cut the sauce out, halved the oil and sugar so it's more of an apple "bread" and it still gets rave reviews.

                                                                                    1. In the past two weeks, I have made two of her cakes both of which received RAVE reviews: Sweet Baby Jack Carrot Cake and Mama's Pound Cake - both were found on the foodtv.com

                                                                                      1. Some of her recipes have become favorites at our house. I tend to try her vegetable recipes, because she often uses fresh ingredients in those - and I love vegetables!
                                                                                        Here are some I've made and love:

                                                                                        Marinated Tomatoes
                                                                                        Fresh Green Bean and Tomato Salad (like potato salad without potatoes)
                                                                                        Squash Casserole (the BEST squash casserole ever)
                                                                                        Zucchini Custard Bake
                                                                                        Tomato Pie
                                                                                        Brandied Steakside Mushrooms
                                                                                        Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salad
                                                                                        Old-Fashioned Meatloaf
                                                                                        Not Yo Mama's Banana Pudding (unhealthy and absolutely delicious)

                                                                                        I liked her early shows best (these days she uses a lot of viewers' recipes and "recipes from friends" rather than the "tried and true recipes" from family and her restaurant that were in the early shows and cookbook). I guess that happens when you have a tv show and magazine and have to keep coming up with more recipes all the time.

                                                                                        I have that same reservation about all of the tv cooks - who makes their recipes? They may be delegating a lot of this to staff.

                                                                                        My favorite TV cook is Ina Garten. I find her recipes reliable, and she isn't as overexposed as some of the others. She seems to be thoughtful in what she prepares, and, from what she says, develops her own recipes. And, she doesn't come out with a new cookbook every week.

                                                                                        1. Paula Deen's Swiss Steak recipe is delicious. Have also tried her recipe for Mexican Cornbread -- delicious. As someone else mentioned -- not for those counting calories, but great comfort foods. Here's another link for her recipes (BTW -- her cookbook "Savannah Country Cookbook" has some great family recipes.


                                                                                          1. i'm embarrassed to admit this one but she has a recipe for granite steps coffee cake that's quite easy and good. i use (big surprise) less butter and WAY less granulated sugar than it calls for but have used all kinds of fruit variations. i also think it's too sweet for breakfast - more like a cobbler. i renamed it southern berry oatmeal cake when i tell people what it is because i think of it as dessert.

                                                                                            i'm totally embarrassed by it but it uses prefab biscuits as a base. i'm with everyone who that bothers but it does work and all the other ingredients are staples and fruit so if i keep the biscuits in the fridge i can throw it together in a few minutes (good with little kids) when i have to bring it to a potluck or as a "gift".

                                                                                            it's on the foodnetwork site and reading the reviews helps.

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: AMFM

                                                                                              Baked Spaghetti w/ Montery Jack Cheese.....
                                                                                              I add some hot italian sausage along w/ the ground beef......really yummy.
                                                                                              Freezes great and always gets raves.......
                                                                                              You must use the Jack Cheese...gives it a creamy (almost bechamel like) texture....
                                                                                              It's wonderful!
                                                                                              It's my new 'go to' Party dish!

                                                                                              1. re: ciaogal

                                                                                                I've made this a ton too, but haven't tried the sausage, maybe next time.

                                                                                            2. I make her cheesey fudge (the base is velveeta, but you wouldn't know) each Christmas and give it out. It's easy and delicious!


                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: puppymomma

                                                                                                Being the good southern belle that I am, :-) I do cook like Paula Deen. I like most of her recipes, in fact I've been making quite a few of the ones in her cookbooks long before we knew who she was. You can tweak most of them so they aren't so unhealthy.

                                                                                              2. Her Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes are absolutely foolproof:


                                                                                                  1. Her hash brown quiche recipe is very good, and easy to make. The original recipe calls for ham and green onions, but I've made it with sausage and mushrooms, and it was just as good.


                                                                                                    1. I'm not a fan of Paula Deen. Actually, she scares me--and it's not because she uses butter. As a TV personality, she is not my favorite. I have a few cookbooks--given to me as a gift from my mother-in-law. I think some of what she calls cooking--is similar to Rachael Ray--is simply just opening up packaged foods and combining it with somewhat fresh ingredients and then heating it up. With that being said, I have two recipes of hers that I have had a lot of success with, and have become staples in my culinary toolbelt.

                                                                                                      Mosaic Chicken Terrine

                                                                                                      Foolproof Standing Rib Roast

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: kimie

                                                                                                        I'm sorry, but most of her recipes are just hand-me-downs from generations of southern and "country" cooks using widely available pantry ingredients. Her schtick is that she's a thoughback to the 50's and 60's so-called comfort food, when people didn't know any better! I see little originality or passion for food (other than in her "I'n it yummy?!" statement.)

                                                                                                        I shudder to think about all the beginning cooks she's influencing with her cavalier attitude about nutrition. Food is foremost for nurturing the human body, not for gross-out-amounts-of sugar-and-fat Entertainment.

                                                                                                        It wouldn't be so bad if she balanced her recipes between rich, special occasion cooking and everyday lighter and healthier fare. But there is no balance. I understand that is her claim to fame, but a major responsibility that comes with preparing food for others is to make sure it doesn't kill them!

                                                                                                        end or rant--sorry--it just seems like this is one of those Emperor's New Clothes moments.

                                                                                                      2. With her recipes-you just have to use common sense. I love all the hand-me-down recipes that are tried and true and I am happy for her that she has capitalized on it. I just made the baked spaghetti using less salt and lean beef. My picky eater actually ate it( I was jumping for joy inside while trying to act nonchalont SP? about it). I don't classify opening a can of chopped tomatoes and sauce using fresh peppers, onion
                                                                                                        and parsley "processed." I don't have time or the resources to grow and can my own tomatos. And I snuck in a cup of pureed sweet potatoe to my "homemade" sauce.
                                                                                                        I must admit, I have met Paula. We were in her brothers restaurant and she came through just like any other employee running a resto. She greeted us and sat down to ask how everything was. She really is genuine unlike some other celebrachefs and enjoys meeting the regular folk.

                                                                                                        1. I love her "Fully Loaded Oatmeal Cookies with Brown Butter Icing". The icing alone is fantastic (and addictive!). I don't know if the recipe is in any of her cookbooks, but it is on the Food Network site.




                                                                                                          1. I am a VERY big fan of Paula's. I have all of her books (some are personally signed) and have received her magazine since it started almost two years ago. Believe it or not, I have tried 192 of her recipes so far (I keep track by putting little marks next to the name of the recipe, then little "hash marks" in the front cover of her first book). Of those 192, I've made several of them many times. My favorites are (to name only a few....I could go on & on) the Eclair Cake, her Fried Chicken, Potato Casserole, Georgia Chicken, Grandmama's Caramel Popcorn, Red Velvet Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, and Buttermilk salad dressing. I honestly have to say that the ONLY one I would not repeat is Bubba's Beer Biscuits. They tasted too heavily of beer for me. I guess I'm trying for a record of how many of her recipes I'll try. Unfortunatley, I can't make ones with shellfish, since I have a family member allergic to it, but I may try substituting chicken for it. Many people complain that she cooks so high fat/calorie, but I've found that moderation is the key and a lot of the times, those "lowfat/lowcal" recipes have many artificial ingredients that are really worse for you than "real" products....like butter...haha. Enjoy her books! I have turned into quite the hostess/cook since getting them, which for me was a life changer since I previously felt that I couldn't do anything for anyone after I had a job, then subsequent car, accident and have been unable to work for the past 15 years. I have NEVER had any complaints, just requests for more!