Truvy’s Cuppa Cuppa Cuppa from Steel Magnolias

Cuppa Cuppa CuppaMovie food grabs my attention. One favorite is Steel Magnolias.  I watch practically any time it airs — food has such an active role.  The Easter eggs getting smashed in Truvy’s car trunk starts it off.  Truvy (Dolly Parton) and Annelle (Darryl Hannah) scooping corn and potatoes at the fair while updating Shelby (Julia Roberts) on Annelle’s transformation.  M’Lynn (Sally Field) measuring sugar for holiday baked goods while Shelby is pouring her heart out about being pregnant.  Ouiser (Shirley MacLaine. And until I looked this up, I thought was WEEZER) hacking the tail off the armadillo-shaped groom’s cake to punctuate her feelings toward Drum.  Clairee (Olympia Dukakis) tossing cans of baked beans into the grocery shopping cart as she and Ouiser mull over Shelby’s upcoming surgery.

My favorite… Clairee asks Truvy for the recipe for her Cuppa Cuppa Cuppa.  It haunted me.  (put on your Dolly Parton voice:)  “Oh hell, Clairee, you don’t need a recipe.  It’s just a cup of flour, a cup of sugar and a cup of fruit cocktail WITH the syrup, stir and bake in a hot oven ‘til golden brown and bubbly.  I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness.”

Patti-Londre-Dolly-Parton It occurred to me recently that I had a photo of myself with Dolly from around 1978 when she was visiting LA. Larry was an ad agency guy then, and his longtime radio sales friend Dick McGeary invited us to meet this rising country star, a newbie to me. She was as sweet as Truvy. And very short; I’m bending my knees to scrunch my 5’8” frame down and she was wearing platform heels.

So, back to the movie. Was Truvy’s recipe worth making?  A few other bloggers who followed the recipe said pretty much the same thing.  Hillbilly Food.  That wasn’t enough to deter me so I made a batch and “I can report” (as Clairee would say) it’s more like college dorm food.  Sticky, super sweet, but only three ingredients, so there’s merit.   Annelle would like the fact that I will “Freeze It Beautifully” (the beans scene) until then.

Recipe: Truvy’s Cuppa Cuppa Cuppa from Steel Magnolias

Summary: Is Steel Magnolias one of your favorite movies? I tried Truvy’s recipe, and here it is.


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup fruit cocktail in heavy syrup


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, stir together ingredients. Spray an 8 x 8 inch square pan with non-stick spray and spoon in batter, spread to the edges. Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Allow to cool until warm to the touch, cut into 16 squares.

Meal type: dessert

Culinary tradition: USA (Southern)

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{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

51 alea rose October 7, 2015 at 8:23 am

Wow. Some people are truly direction-challenged!

There are many varieties of the “cuppa cuppa” Southern-type of dessert. Most call it “granny’s cobbler” I’ve learned since moving from the real world down to the deep south alternate universe. There are a few tips I’ve learned from locals – who despite some very unprogressive thinking, still have a quaint sort of hospitality, even to a true-blue-born-and-bred-Yankee gal such as myself.

Of the versions I’ve tried, the most helpful tips I’ve found are:

1. Use self-rising flour
2. Don’t add fruit syrup. Fresh fruit or frozen in a pinch works MUCH better.
3. Not all ingredients should be a full cup – for instance one of the cuppa cobblers called for a full cup of melted butter. Half is more than sufficient!
4. Don’t mix the fruit in with the batter. Blend 1 cup of sugar with 1/2 cup butter first, then fold in a tsp of vanilla and whatever spice you like (I pretty much add cinnamon to everything, so that’s always my go-to dessert spice), then mix in the self-rising flour. The mix is crumbly at that point – when the can of condensed milk is added (NOT sweetened condensed milk!) I thought it was too heavy that way, so I used plain old 2% – but I suspect that an almond milk substitution would be just as yummy. Pour the batter in your pan, and then drop the fruit into the batter – without mixing the fruit in. Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes, and it is more of a cake-like cobbler than anything, but it is super easy, and it’s a dessert that most of the protein smoothie addicts among us will always have ingredients on hand to whip up in a pinch.

52 Marivel August 9, 2015 at 6:47 pm

Wanted something really sweet, remembered this and searched!! Delicious!!

53 Tammie May 31, 2015 at 9:31 am

Yes, it is Ousier. :) Short for the nickname Louiser, because her real name is Louisa.

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