Julie’s prize-winning Chocolate 
Praline Layer Cake will be served at The Springfield Area Historical Society's summer reception Friday, June 19, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Springfield Museum on Central Street.

Historical Society to hold summer reception Friday

Julie’s prize-winning Chocolate Praline Layer Cake will be served

The Springfield Area Historical Society will hold their summer reception Friday, June 19, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Springfield Museum on Central Street.

This summer’s displays pay tribute to three former Springfield businesses: Springfield Milling Company (Vigorena Feeds), Ochs Brick & Tile Company, and Western Telephone Company.  The “Main Street” windows hold lots of memorabilia from all three businesses and there is more inside the museum. The bright orange jacket in the window is getting a lot of attention from those passing by. Trig Helleloid was the original owner of the jacket that was given to him upon his retirement from Vigorena in 1976.

Also featured inside is an exhibit of bridesmaid dresses from the 1950s – 1970s. To complement the dresses, Cheryl Diede will be at the piano on Friday playing selected wedding and other music for the guests.

A special treat that will be served at the reception is Julie Wohlrabe’s prize-winning Pillsbury Bake-Off cake, Chocolate Praline Layer Cake. Julie won the $40,000 grand prize and a $10,000 kitchen shopping spree from Sears for her layer cake recipe, one of six recipes she entered in the 33rd year competition held in San Diego, California, in February 1988. All of her recipes were developed specifically for the contest. 

Julie’s recipe was also one of 10 selected for the 50-year Bake-Off Contest Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony was held May 25, 1999, at the prestigious National Press Club in Washington, D.C.  Contest memorabilia was then donated to the Smithsonian National Museum.

Julie, daughter of Dr. Don and Faye Wohlrabe, grew up in Springfield and graduated from Springfield High School in 1971. She resides in Bemidji with husband, Paul Bengstson.

Her winning recipe is printed below.


Julie’s Chocolate

Praline Layer Cake

½ c. butter or margarine

¼ c. heavy cream

1 c. firmly packed brown sugar

¾ c. coarsely chopped pecans

1 pkg. Pillsbury Plus Devil’s Food Cake Mix

1¼ c. water

1/3 c. oil

3 eggs



1¾ c. heavy cream

¼ c. powdered sugar

¼ tsp. vanilla

Whole pecans, if desired

Chocolate curls if desired.


Heat oven to 325 degrees.

Cake: In a small heavy saucepan, combine butter, ¼ cup heavy cream and brown sugar. Cook over low heat until butter is melted, stirring occasionally.

Pour into two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans; sprinkle evenly with chopped pecans.

In large bowl combine cake mix, water, oil and eggs at low speed until moistened; beat 2 minutes at highest speed.

Carefully spoon batter over pecan mixture.

Bake at 325 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool 5 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool completely.

Topping: In small bowl beat 1¾ cups heavy cream until soft peaks form. Blend in powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until stiff peaks form.

To assemble cake, place one layer on serving plate, praline side up. Spread with half of whipped cream. Top with second layer, praline side up; spread top with remaining whipped cream. Garnish with whole pecans and chocolate curls, if desired. Store in refrigerator.  Makes 12 servings.

Springfield Advance-Press

13 S. Marshall Avenue PO Box 78 Springfield, MN 56087