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
For the cake: In large bowl, stir together pancake mix, buttermilk and cocoa.
Cook pancakes in skillet according to package directions, making large-size cake layers about 8 inches in diameter. Let cool.
For the 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.
For the frosting: 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.
For the drizzle: 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.
Try the other quintessential North Carolina cakes that appeared originally with this one:
The Krispy Kreme Cake
The Pimento Cheese Cake
The Nabs Cake
The Pepsi ‘N’ Peanuts Cake