Lora Spivey’s mother, Jean Bennett, started a tradition in her family and has continued it for two generations.

“My mom had all three of my children in the kitchen baking cakes with her since they could get up in a chair,” said Lora. “She’s 81 now, and they still go and help her bake cakes.”

Lora remembers when she was about 5, how she would stand in a chair and help her mother get the ingredients ready and prepare them for baking cakes or other sweet treats. She still has photos from those days, which she cherishes.

Lora said she’s proud of all of her children. Her daughter, Allyson Spivey, 23, graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Atlanta and is now a certified pastry chef. She currently works in Gadsden for Southern Land and Title where she does title searches for mortgage companies.

Madison, 15, is a sophomore, and Carson, 12, is in seventh grade in the Piedmont school system. Both are in the band.

Lora said because of instructions from her mother, she could cook when she and her husband, Joey, married 27 years ago. Lora was 19 and Joey was 23.

Lora said she prefers baking to other ways of cooking.

“Joey does most of the cooking, and I do the fun stuff,” she said.

Lora was born and grew up in Piedmont. Her father is the late Clayton Bennett. Her brother and sister-in-law, Royce and Linda, live in Guntersville.

After graduating from Piedmont High School, she attended Auburn University.

For the past 15 years, Lora has worked at Jacksonville State University. She’s a secretary in the emergency management department where she takes care of all the administration business for the office.

 “I love my job and the people I work with. I’ve been in the same office 15 years, and I wouldn’t go anywhere else.”

Lora is a member of First United Methodist Church, where she helps Joey with the youth.She enjoys baking and reading. She especially likes to read David Baldacci’s books, which are thrillers based in Washington, D.C.

(Contact Margaret at pollya922@gmail.com)



½ lb. unsalted butter (2 sticks)

2 c. sugar, divided

6 eggs, separated

1 t. vanilla

1 c. heavy whipping cream

3 c. cake flour

All ingredients should be a room temperature. Grease and flour a deep 10 inch tube pan or bundt pan.

Cream butter well, add 2 cups sugar, cream until light and fluffy. Add beaten egg yolks and mix well. Sift cake flour 3 times and then measure. Alternate adding cake flour and whipping cream to butter mixture; mix well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until soft peak forms. Gradually add remaining 1 cup of sugar to egg whites to make a stiff meringue.

Fold egg whites mixture into batter. Pour batter into greased and floured pan. Put pan in a cold oven and set temperature at 325 degrees. Bake 1 ½ hours or until cake is golden brown and tests done. Let cake stand in pan for 15 minutes. Invert pan over cake rack.


Makes 3 dozen cookies

2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour

1 t. baking soda

1 c. butter

1/4 c. white sugar

3/4 c. brown

1 (3.5 oz.) pkg. instant vanilla pudding

1 t. vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 (6 oz.) pkg. white chocolate chips

1/2 (6 oz.) pkg. dried cranberries

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets. Combine flour and baking soda in a bowl. Beat the butter, white sugar, brown sugar, and instant pudding with an electric mixer in a large bowl until smooth. Beat the first egg into the butter until completely blended, then beat in the vanilla with the last egg. Mix in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Fold in the white chocolate chips and cranberries; mixing just enough to evenly combine. Drop spoonfuls of the dough 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake in the preheated oven until edges of the cookies become golden brown, 9 to 12 minutes. Cool in the baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.


1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen sweetened raspberries, thawed

1 T. cornstarch


1 c. all-purpose flour

2 T. sugar

½ c. cold butter


4 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened

1 ½ c. sugar

1 ¼ c. heavy whipping cream

2 t. vanilla extract

2 eggs, lightly beaten

12 oz. white baking chocolate, melted and cooled

In a small saucepan, mix raspberries and cornstarch until blended. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Press through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl; discard seeds. Cool completely.

Preheat oven to 350°. Place a greased 9x3-in. deep springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Wrap foil securely around pan.

For crust, in a small bowl, mix flour and sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press onto bottom of prepared pan. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven setting to 325°.

For filling, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in cream and vanilla. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until blended. Stir in cooled chocolate. Pour half of the mixture over crust. Spread with half of the raspberry puree. Top with remaining batter. Drop remaining puree by tablespoonfuls over top. Cut through batter with a knife to swirl.

Place springform pan in a larger baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan. Bake 1-3/4 to 2 hours or until edge of cheesecake is set and golden. (Center of cheesecake will jiggle when moved.) Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool cheesecake on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen cheesecake from pan with a knife; remove foil. Cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Remove rim from pan. Yield: 16 servings.


(A recipe for chocolate bread prepared with a bread machine, and served with chocolate butter)


1 c. warm milk 
1/4 c. butter, softened
1/2 t. vanilla extract 
1 lg. egg
3 c. white bread flour
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa
2 1/2 t. active dry yeast

Chocolate Butter:

1/2 c. unsalted butter
1/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled

For Bread: Place ingredients in the bread machine pan in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Select Basic or Sweet bread cycle and start machine.

For Chocolate Butter: Cream butter with electric mixer, beat in cooled chocolate until well mixed. Spoon into serving container with lid and chill until firm. Serve with warm Chocolate Bread or other breads such as brioche or croissants.

Makes 1 (2 pound) loaf and 3/4 cup chocolate butter.