photograph by Matt Hulsman


1 24-ounce bag Midstate Mills Tenda-Bake Maple Burst pancake mix
2½-3 cups buttermilk
¼ cup sifted cocoa

Ham and Redeye Gravy

2 heaping cups Phillips Brothers country ham trimmings
1 cup Larry’s Beans espresso coffee, brewed strong


1 cup vegetable shortening
¼ cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon almond extract
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1¼ cups cooked Phillips Brothers country ham trimmings

Redeye Gravy Drizzle

1½ cups sifted powdered sugar
½ cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons Appalachian maple syrup
½ cup redeye gravy
¼ cup Carolina Nut Cracker pecan pieces, toasted and chopped


In large bowl, stir together pancake mix, buttermilk and cocoa. 2. Cook pancakes in skillet according to package directions, making large-size cake layers about 8 inches in diameter. Let cool.

Ham and Redeye Gravy

Heat skillet on medium-high heat. Add country ham pieces with about 1 cup water to hot pan, and cook until water evaporates.

Once evaporated, continue cooking ham bits until crispy, about 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.

Remove ham with slotted spoon, and set aside.

Add 1 cup strong coffee to ham drippings, and stir with whisk to scrape up any bits to make redeye gravy.

Bring to a boil, and cook several minutes to reduce by half.

Strain through coffee filter to remove dark bits, and cool.


In the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed, cream shortening and butter. Add almond extract.

Gradually mix in sugar, 1 cup at a time, scraping sides and bottom of bowl several times.

Add milk and syrup, and continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.

With spatula, fold 1¼ cups country ham bits into frosting.

Spread between pancake layers and on top, letting some drip down sides of cake.


Put all drizzle ingredients except pecans into a microwave-safe bowl.

Heat in 30-second intervals, stirring after each, until blended and pourable.

Cool slightly; drizzle over top of frosted cake.

Scatter toasted pecan pieces and remaining ham on top of cake.

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