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Detroit Faves from Michigan Café

May 18, 2020


Do you have a favorite dish — or dishes — from Michigan Café? With a diverse menu ranging from Falafel Dogs to Corktown Burgers, it may be hard to choose just one! If you’re in the mood for some Detroit-inspired recipes, try two of our most popular Café selections featuring unique tastes of Detroit: Vernors Ginger Soda and Better Made Potato Chips.


Vernors Cake
1 12-ounce can Vernors Ginger Ale
6 ounces unsalted butter, softened (let sit at room temperature)
1½ cups sugar
2 eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1½ cups flour

Heat oven to 350 F. Empty Vernors into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce by at least half, so ginger ale is syruplike. This should yield ¼ cup of syrup for the cake batter, plus extra for brushing on top. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Combine eggs and vanilla in a separate bowl and add slowly to the butter mixture. Combine ground ginger and flour in another bowl and add alternately to the batter with ¼ cup of Vernors syrup.

Bake in a paper loaf pan or cupcake pan with liners for 30 minutes. Yields 8 loaves.

Brush with reserved Vernors syrup while warm. Cool completely before serving. Top with vanilla icing.

Looking for more Vernors recipes? Try this 1950 recipe book from our digital collections.

Better Made Chicken Tenders (gluten free)
1 pound (about 12 pieces) chicken breast tenderloins
Salt and pepper
1½ cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten with ¼ cup water
2 cups crushed Better Made Potato Chips

Arrange chicken tenders on a sheet pan and pat dry with paper towel. Season with salt and pepper. Place the flour, beaten eggs and chips in separate bowls. Dredge tenders individually in the flour, shaking off excess. Then dip floured tenders in egg wash and finally coat with crushed chips. (Can be made a day ahead to this point and refrigerated.)

When ready to eat, heat frying oil to 350 F. Gently place breaded tenders into oil and fry until they are golden brown and reach an internal temperature of 165 F (about 4-5 minutes).

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