Congratulations to Martha  Butler of Grosse Ile  for winning not one, not  two, not three, but four gold metals . . . plus a silver medal . . . for her sugar-free recipes in the recent Downriver Senior Olympics hosted by the  Southgate Recreation Department.

The gold medals were for her triple chocolate Bundt cake, pumpkin bread, a white-chocolate pumpkin cookie (her grandson’s favorite) and an apple pie made with ricotta cheese. The silver medal was for her sugar-free fudge.   

Martha, who started baking when she was 10 years old, said her first attempt was a chocolate mayonnaise cake. A diabetic, she said she is now experimenting with a recipe for sugarless salsa. 

  More than 500 seniors from the age of 50 to 99 took part in the Downriver Olympics, vying for 563 gold, silver and bronze medals in categories ranging from baking and cooking to pinochle and ping- pong. 

The competition was climaxed by an awards  banquet at Crystal Gardens.  

I baked Martha’s Gold Medal Sugar-Free Bundt Cake and was surprised that a cake without sugar could taste that good. But don’t even think of using a Bundt pan smaller than 10½ inches with a 12-cup capacity, or the batter will overflow. And the simple glaze is simply amazing.


  • 16-ounce box Pillsbury Sugar-Free Devil’s Food Cake Mix
  • 1.4-ounce box Jell-O Sugar-Free Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1¾ cups water
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla  
  • ½ cup sugar-free chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.     Spray a Bundt pan generously with Pam or other baking spray. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes. Then on low speed of an electric mixer, mix in the beaten eggs, water, oil and vanilla.

 Increase the speed to medium and mix for 2 more minutes. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the Bundt pan and bake for 60 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick tests done in several places. Cool completely before removing from pan. 

Turn out onto a serving plate, then pour Sugar-Free Chocolate Glaze over the cake, allowing the glaze to run down sides.


  • 1 cup sugar-free chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup butter
  •  ½ teaspoon vanilla

Add chips, butter and vanilla to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir ingredients and repeat until the desired consistency is reached, approximately 1½ to 2 minutes.

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I tore the following quick-and-easy fruit-crisp recipe from a cookbook a few years ago and have enjoyed making it numerous times (I use Gala apples).  Apologies to the publisher and the author, as I didn’t write down the names of either. With apples now at their peak and blueberries always available, this is a perfect time to make the crisp.


  • 4 medium-size tart apples, such as Granny Smith or Pippin (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans   
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

Set oven  at 400 degrees. Peel and core apples; then cut lengthwise into slices about ¼-inch thick. In a 2½-quart casserole, mix apples, blueberries and the 1 tablespoon flour, granulated sugar and cinnamon.

In a small bowl, mix oats, the ¼ cup flour, brown sugar, pecans and butter until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle topping evenly over the fruit and bake until topping is nicely browned and apples are tender when pierced, about 30 minutes. Serve warm or cool. (I like it with vanilla frozen yogurt or ice cream).   

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