Cause for Celebration

Murphin Ridge Inn shares a recipe for a sweet, buttery cake.

Nestled on 142 acres in the Appalachian foothills of Adams County, Murphin Ridge Inn is the epitome of secluded tranquility. And, just as the stylish accommodations and scenic vistas are unforgettable, so too, is the menu.

“For us, food is more than just food,” says Murphin Ridge innkeeper Sherry McKenney, who along with her husband, Darryl, has owned the establishment since 1997. “It’s about building relationships. About the sense of community that comes when you sit down at the table together.

“We call our cuisine ‘country-inn fine dining,’” she adds. “It’s good food, simply prepared.”

And dessert is no exception. Sous chef Josh Catone, who specializes in the inn’s luscious finales, says there’s nothing like classic flavors to cap off a meal.

“I believe in using fresh, local, seasonal ingredients and making something special.”

Which is why, he says, Lucy Cake is so popular.

“It is a twist on traditional Texas sheet cake — buttery, soft and delicious,” Catone explains.

The dessert is named after the McKenneys’ 12-year-old granddaughter, who celebrates her birthday every July at Murphin Ridge Inn with her parents and 7-year-old sister, Maggie.

“Lucy loves strawberries,” Sherry says, “and since she lives in Calgary, Canada, they are hard to come by. So, we always serve it with the berries when she’s here. That makes it especially yummy.”


Lucy Cake
Courtesy Murphin Ridge Inn | Serves 16 

2 cups butter
2 cups water
4 cups flour
4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup Greek yogurt

1 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
9 cups powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour four 9-inch pans. Bring the butter and water to a boil, then
remove from heat. Combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. Stir this into the hot butter mixture. Add the eggs, sour cream and yogurt and stir until smooth. Divide the batter among the cake pans. Place two racks in the middle of the oven. Bake two pans on the top rack and two on the bottom for 20 minutes, or until done. Rotate pans halfway through baking.

While the cake cools, make the frosting. Combine the butter and milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Remove from the heat. Add the powdered sugar and whip until soft and creamy.

For more recipes, or to purchase a copy of A Taste of the Murphin Ridge Inn cookbook, visit