Chew This! Maddie Shelton’s Award Winning Baby Food Cake

Baking School

Thank you to all of those who picked up a copy of “The Courier-Times” last Sunday to check out my newest “CHEW THIS!” column feature and recipe. Your support and dedication really means everything to me!

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, August 5th 2018 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Blaise the Baker Baking School, Blue Ribbon Baby Food Cake
Blaise Doubman

When my best friend, Cindy Shelton, asked if her granddaughter, Maddie Shelton, could bake with my Grandma Barbra and myself for a 4-H project, my answer right away was, yes! For the past several years I have been thinking about offering some type of cooking school or baking school and this was the perfect opportunity to test things out! The baking day went fabulous and even a recipe was born from the project! Maddie went above and beyond my Grandma Barbra and I’s expectations and was a pro in the kitchen. Beating, folding, sifting and pouring, Maddie really did great. The project called for a cake made from baby food and I had the perfect recipe. The addition of baby food in the cake really makes the cake flavorful and super moist. I know, lots of people hate that word but what other word should be used!?

A couple of days after our baking school, Cindy made sure to tell me Maddie had won a blue ribbon from the cake! There was no doubt in my mind that she would win, after all, I knew the recipe was a wonderful recipe because I had made it several times before. Our baking day ended with Maddie’s family stopping by and all of us sharing a piece of cake. Everyone loved it! My Mom, Darla, even stopped in for a little fun, as did my Dad, Jamie and the newest addition to my life, my little 8 week old Sheltie, Penny. Needless to say, wonderful memories were made and I was so proud of Maddie for doing a job well done! In my opinion, she really has a bright future ahead of her. Congratulations Maddie and thanks again for thinking of me!

Maddie Shelton’s Award Winning Baby Food Cake

This cake will last up to 5 days, covered with plastic wrap, at room temperature with no frosting. If using the frosting, cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

For the cake…
2 cups white granulated sugar
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
3 large eggs, beaten
1 4 oz jar applesauce baby food
1 4 oz jar carrot baby food
1 4 oz jar peach baby food
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups white all-purpose flour

For the frosting…
3 ounces cream cheese, soft
3/8 cup unsalted butter, soft
1 tablespoon whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a jellyroll pan, lightly, with solid vegetable shortening.

In a large bowl combine the white granulated sugar and vegetable oil.

Beat in the large eggs. Stir in the baby foods and combine well.

Stir in the ground cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Fold in the white all-purpose flour.

Pour evenly into the prepared pan and smooth out the top.

Bake in preheated oven for 29 minutes.

Cool and then frost with frosting.

To make the frosting combine the soft cream cheese with the soft butter. Beat in the whole milk and pure vanilla extract. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until the frosting is thick but spreadable.

Ask and Answer: Lots of people have been wondering if my second cookbook will be available to purchase in the same locations as my first. The answer is yes! My cookbook is available through mail order as well as at Temptations, Glen Oaks Health Campus and The Book Nook all in New Castle, Indiana. Also available at Carousel Flowers and Gifts in Shirley, Indiana as well as Warm Glow Candle Outlet in Centerville, Indiana.

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BLAISE THE BAKER CELEBRATES!!! Official release of second cookbook!

Today is the OFFICIAL release of my second cookbook, “Blaise the Baker Celebrates”! I am so excited to be sharing it with everyone! There have been months and months and months of constant work on this labor of love and I am so proud of it! And of course I could not have done this without ALL OF YOU! This cookbook is dedicated to not only my friends and family but to my fans and followers. Those who have stuck by me, those who are just now joining me on my journey and everyone in between. There are 200 recipes and every single one has been tested time and time again. My first cookbook “Blaise the Baker Dessert First” is still available to purchase so if you are interested follow the ordering instructions for my new book but we sure to say you would like the first. So many people have already gotten an advanced look at my cookbook and I have already heard so many wonderful things! Thank you all so much! Ordering information is easy. Send $15 total – $12 for the cookbook and $3 shipping and handling to – Blaise Doubman – Box 47 – Kennard, IN 47351. Or pay through PayPal and use the email blaisejdx@gmail.com when submitting your payment. Order 4 or more copies of my cookbook and shipping and handling is FREE for each book. I also can mail out an invoice / pay later if you would require it. Any questions feel free to email me or call me at 765-520-8332. Below is a list of the recipes included. Thank you all again for the continued dedication and support. I couldn’t do this without all of you! Love you all! Thank you ❤️😘🎉

Chew This! Jean Ann Henry’s Chocolate Covered Raisin Cookies

Two Cookbooks

Thank you to all of those who picked up a copy of “The Courier-Times” last Sunday to check out my newest “CHEW THIS!” column feature and recipe. Your support and dedication really means everything to me!

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, July 15th 2018 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Sue, make these cookies for Jean Ann Henry!
Blaise Doubman

Well, it is official. I am a publisher author, for the second time and I could not be more thankful or thrilled! There are so many people I would like to thank and I have a list of those who have helped me along the way in my newest cookbook, “Blaise the Baker Celebrates”! Your continuing dedication and support means everything to me. There are so many recipes I am excited to share with you that I could simply not wait to share one of my all time favorites! It is a recipe for oatmeal raisin cookies but with the volume turned up by adding in chocolate covered raisins to the hot water plumped regular raisins! Plus an extra dose of vanilla and cinnamon doesn’t hurt anything either! Ha! My friends Ashley York and Anna Coffelt Selvidge especially love these cookies so I just had to make that acknowledgement here.

Several days ago I was over at Glen Oaks Health Campus passing out my latest creations, “Chocolate Covered Raisin Cookies” when two of the nicest ladies approached me to let me know they really enjoyed reading my “Chew This!” columns. We talked awhile and I offered them a cookie, which they willingly accepted. A couple hours later, our paths crossed again and both ladies went out of their ways to let me know how delicious the cookies I gave them earlier were and how wonderful. I thanked them. Jean Ann Henry said she didn’t really cook anymore, although she loved just reading my column, and said that her friend Sue would make the cookies for her only if I would share the recipe! Well, here it is! Sue, make these cookies for Jean Ann Henry! Ha! Thank you both for brightening my day and being loyal readers.

Jean Ann Henry’s Chocolate Covered Raisin Cookies

These cookies are best made ahead! Store the dough, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours before baking. This dough can be kept chilled for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup dark brown sugar, packed
½ cup white granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups white all-purpose flour
3 cups quick cooking oatmeal
1 cup raisins, soaked in 2 cups hot water for 15 minutes, drained
1 cup chocolate covered raisins

In a large bowl combine the softened unsalted butter with the dark brown sugar and white granulated sugar until the mixture is light in color and fluffy in texture.

Beat in the large eggs, pure vanilla extract and ground cinnamon.

Add in the baking powder and salt and stir well.

Fold in the white all-purpose flour, followed by the quick cooking oatmeal.

Stir in the prepared raisins and chocolate covered raisins.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator for at least 12 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Scoop tablespoon size amounts of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart, and bake for exactly 15 minutes in preheated oven.

Remove and allow to cool slightly before enjoying.

Ask and Answer: I have been getting questions about if I have a recipe for a “Sugar Cream Cake” or what I call it, a “Gooey Butter Cake” and yes, I do! I shared a chocolate version here a few weeks ago but here is my original version. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray containing flour. In a large bowl combine 1 stick melted butter with 1 large egg and 1 box of yellow cake mix. Spread evenly into prepared pan. In another bowl beat together 1 stick melted butter with 8 oz soft cream cheese, 2 large eggs, 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract and 4 cups confectioners’ sugar. Pour this over the crust and place in preheated oven for 50 minutes. Remove, cool and dust with confectioners’ sugar.

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Chew This! Celebration Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

Blaise the Baker Celebrates Cover

Thank you to all of those who picked up a copy of “The Courier-Times” last Sunday to check out my newest “CHEW THIS!” column feature and recipe. Your support and dedication really means everything to me!

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, June 17th 2018 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Blaise the Baker Celebrates!
Blaise Doubman

Well, here we go again and it is official! My second cookbook, “Blaise the Baker Celebrates” will be released on July 19th, 2018! In just a few short weeks. I am so excited about this and can not possibly put into words my thankfulness and gratitude that I get to do this all over again. This cookbook is all about celebrations and celebrating even the small things in life. Preorders start now. If you are interested in buying a copy, simply send $15 total, $12 for the cookbook and $3 shipping and handling, to Blaise Doubman / Box 47 / Kennard, IN 47351. You can also purchase through PayPal. When sending payment though PayPal, use the email address blaisejdx@gmail.com If you buy 4 or more copies, shipping and handling is free!

“Blaise the Baker Celebrates” is filled with 200 recipes! I have selected a few of my most popular blog recipes to include in the cookbook as well as some of my most popular “Chew This!” columns. However, lots of the recipes that you will find inside have never before been published anywhere before! I am so excited to share recipes such as Brownie Batter Cheesecake, Broccoli Mac and Cheese Bake, Southern Style Corn Casserole, Delicious Chicken, Chicken Noodle Soup, Creamy Tomato Soup, Hawaiian Ham and Cheese Treats, Brownie Thins, Slow Cooker Cola Roast, Slow Cooker Salsa Treat and Quick Chicken Stir Fry. My Quick Chicken Stir Fry was one of the most talked about recipes between my recipe testers. Some loved it, some hated it, some took their own liberties with it and added what they liked but everyone agreed that it was really something to talk about. They could not believe it! Not all of the recipes I developed though could be used, which leads me to the recipe I am sharing today. These cupcakes are the perfect thing for a celebration and I highly recommend you try them!

Celebration Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

These are a fabulous addition to any summer party! Make these ahead and place them in the refrigerator to chill for up to 2 days before serving. These are fabulous served chilled and even better slightly frozen. They can also be served at room temperature but I find people like them better served cold. I love the looks of the pink frosting with the rainbow sprinkles decorating the tops. Fun, festive and perfect for a celebration!

For the cupcakes…
1 box vanilla cake mix
¾ cup thawed pink lemonade concentrate
½ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup water
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt

For the frosting…
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons thawed pink lemonade concentrate
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
Few drops of pink food coloring
Rainbow sprinkles for decorating

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.

Line 2 12-cup cupcake tins with paper cupcake wrappers.

In a large bowl beat together the vanilla cake mix, thawed pink lemonade concentrate, vegetable oil, water, large eggs, pure vanilla extract and salt. Beat until the ingredients are thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth and glossy.

Divide the batter, evenly, between the prepared cupcake cavities. Place into preheated oven and bake for 22 minutes. Remove and allow to cool before frosting.

To make the frosting, combine the melted unsalted butter, thawed pink lemonade concentrate, pure vanilla extract and salt. Slowly beat in the confectioners’ sugar. Add in the pink food coloring. Just a couple of drops depending on the color of frosting you are wanting.

Frost the cupcakes generously and sprinkle the tops with rainbow sprinkles.

Ask and Answer: I have been getting a lot of messages from people curious as to if my first cookbook, “Blaise the Baker Dessert First” can still be purchased. Yes! Send $15 total to Blaise Doubman / Box 47 / Kennard, IN 47351. My cookbook is also available to purchase at Carousel Flowers and Gifts in Shirley, Indiana as well as The Book Nook, Glen Oaks Health Campus and Temptations in New Castle, Indiana. Also available at Warm Glow Candle Outlet in Centerville, Indiana. Thank you for the continued dedication and support, I really appreciate all of you.

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Chew This! Chocolate Chip Gooey Butter Cake

Chocolate Chip Gooey Butter Cake

Thank you to all of those who picked up a copy of “The Courier-Times” last Sunday to check out my newest “CHEW THIS!” column feature and recipe. Your support and dedication really means everything to me!

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, June 3rd 2018 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

A Chocoholics Dream Come True!
Blaise Doubman

I have made a confession here before and today I am making it again. I am a chocoholic! There is not a day that goes by that I do not eat something chocolate. It could be a piece of candy, a piece of cake, a brownie, a handful of chocolate chips or my latest favorites, these chocolate chip butter cake squares! Gooey butter cakes, or butter cream cakes as they are sometimes called among other things, actually originated years and years ago. The original recipe started off with a fermented dough, believe it or not, but has progressed throughout the years for added convenience and flavor. The most popular method of making this delicious dessert is with a cake mix. Paula Deen started the cake mix method of this dessert and its popularity has risen rapidly over the years. I love the original recipe but wanted to turn things up a notch.

Like I said before, I am a chocoholic, so I wanted to create a chocolate version of the original gooey butter cake recipe. Sure I would have to use a chocolate cake mix, that is a given, but I wanted to go beyond just that particular chocolate flavor. I added chocolate fudge to the base, which did not work out. I added chocolate syrup in with the cream cheese mixture and that did not work out too well either. Then I tried sprinkling on some chocolate chips to the base of the dessert, before adding on the topping and guess what? It was wonderful! The chocolate chips melt slightly and create a layer of chocolate in between the chocolate base and the chocolate topping, it was perfect! I highly recommend you give this recipe a try! Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Gooey Butter Cake

This recipe can be made ahead and stored, covered, in the refrigerator overnight. When serving these you can sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, drizzle with additional chocolate or serve as is. These are best served chilled but can be kept at room temperature for several hours. Use a sharp knife when cutting these for serving.

2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, melted and divided
1 box chocolate cake mix
3 large eggs
8 oz cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
3 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray containing flour.

In a large bowl beat together the chocolate cake mix, 1 large egg and 1 stick of the unsalted melted butter. Pour this mixture into the prepared pan and smooth out smooth and even. Sprinkle the crust with the semi-sweet chocolate chips.

In another large bowl beat together the softened cream cheese with the remaining 2 large eggs. Add in the unsweetened cocoa powder and beat until combined. Add in the confectioners’ sugar and pure vanilla extract, beating everything together well. Add in the remaining 1 cup unsalted melted butter and mix everything together until combined.

Pour this mixture over the crust in the prepared pan and smooth out the top.

Place into preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes. Remove and allow to cool before cutting.

Ask and Answer: I have received a lot of emails from people wondering how they could be a part of my “recipe testing” group for my upcoming second cookbook. Unfortunately, the deadline for this particular request has passed. However, if you still would like to become a recipe tester for my other upcoming projects please send me an email. Thank you!

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Blaise the Baker Celebrates! Cover Reveal, Release Date and Preorder Information

Cover Blaise the Baker Celebrates

I am so excited to reveal the cover for my upcoming second cookbook, “Blaise the Baker Celebrates”! I wanted the cover and theme to be “scrapbook” and I wanted it to match in format with my previous cookbook, “Blaise the Baker Dessert First”, which theme was “chalkboard”. I am so incredibly happy with how things turned out with this! Inside there are 200 fabulous recipes that were tested time and time again by myself as well as my family, friends and recipe testers. In addition to the recipes there are family memories I share, kitchen tips and tricks, ingredients and kitchen tool lists and a “Blaise the Baker PRAISE” page which I am SO EXCITED to share with everyone! So many new features with this cookbook!

I have included some of my most popular “Blaise the Baker” blog recipes, as well as some of my most popular and talked about “Chew This!” recipe features, PLUS a ton of recipes never before published anywhere else. There are recipes for appetizers, drinks, side dishes, main dishes, breads, desserts and just about anything and everything else you can think of, all perfect for celebrating! There are recipes for Chinese-inspired favorites, Italian-inspired favorites, Southern-inspired favorites and so much more! There are so many family recipes and memories that I share here with everyone and I am confident that you will love each and every recipe and story. AND your purchase of this cookbook comes with a FREE e-book version! I mean, how fun and fabulous is that!? Love it!

The official release date is JULY 19th, 2018!

You can preorder your autographed copy NOW! How? Simply send $15 total ($12 for the cookbook and $3 shipping and handling) to Blaise Doubman / Box 47 / Kennard, IN 47351. You can also pay via http://paypal.com and use the email blaisejdx@gmail.com when sending your payment. I can also send you an invoice if you provide me your email address. If you want multiple copies, simply send payment for $12 for each cookbook and $3 total for the shipping and handling. If you order FOUR or more copies, shipping and handling is FREE! If you have any questions PLEASE reach out to me. Send me an email, text, message, etc. You can text 765-520-8332 for more information.

Your preorders now mean that you are guaranteed your orders NO LATER than two days after the publication date, July 19th, 2018. Your preorders now possibly even mean you may get your orders before the publication date, according to publishing processes, dates, shipment, etc.

THANK YOU ALL for your continued dedication and support.

I am SO EXCITED to finally be able to share these recipes with you!

CELEBRATE!

Blaise

Chew This! Jeanie Irwin’s Famous Cake

Blaise Doubman and Paula Irwin

Thank you to all of those who picked up a copy of “The Courier-Times” last Sunday to check out my newest “CHEW THIS!” column feature and recipe. Your support and dedication really means everything to me!

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, May 20th 2018 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

A Special Cake with Special Meaning
Blaise Doubman

I love sharing recipes that also evoke and carry special meanings. I have so many recipes that I consider my personal favorites, lots of them by my Grandma Barbra, Grandpa Max and my Mom, Darla that I go to when I am looking for comfort and warm memories. One of my dear friends, Paula Irwin, sent me a text message a few weeks ago with a picture of a cake she had made for her daughter, another dear friend of mine, Shelby. The cake looked delicious! Paula told me that she usually tries to make the cake for Shelby around her birthday. The original cake recipe came from Jeanie Irwin, who was Paula’s husband, David’s Mother. Jeanie was known for the cake and Shelby has such fond memories of her Grandma making it.

Jeanie passed away in 2008 right around Shelby’s birthday, which was especially difficult because Shelby and her Grandma Jeanie were really close but memories and recipes like this one has helped in the grieving process. As soon as Paula shared the story with me, I immediately asked for the recipe. As soon as she gave me the recipe, I knew that I had to make it. I hesitated to change anything in the original recipe, given the sentimental nature of the recipe, but guess what? No changes needed to be made! The recipe was perfect just the way it was. I loved the flavor of the almond in the cake and in the frosting. The taste was very familiar to me and very comforting. Shout out and special thanks to Paula and Shelby Irwin for allowing me to talk about and share such a special family recipe with all of my readers.

Jeanie Irwin’s Famous Cake

This cake can also be made in a standard 9×13-inch pan but needs to be baked a little longer. Be sure that if you are using this size pan, to check the cake for doneness around the 25 minute mark. This cake can also be made ahead, wrapped in plastic wrap and chilled in the refrigerator for up to three full days. Serve chilled if desired.

For the cake…
2 cups white all-purpose flour
2 cups white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup water
2 large eggs
½ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon almond extract

For the frosting…
1 cup unsalted butter, cubed
¼ 2% milk
4 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
½ teaspoon almond extract
1 cup chopped walnuts

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray containing flour.

In a large bowl whisk together the white all-purpose flour, white granulated sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In a small saucepan combine the cubed butter and water. Bring to a boil, over medium heat. Once at a boil, remove from heat and add to the flour mixture.

In a small bowl whisk together the large eggs, sour cream and almond extract until thoroughly blended together. Add this to the flour and butter mixture and whisk together well.

Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top evenly.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean with no crumbs attached.

Remove from oven and cool for about 20 minutes while you prepare the frosting.

To make the frosting, combine the butter and milk in a large saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once at a boil, remove from heat and add in the confectioners’ sugar and almond extract. Beat until smooth and combined. Beat in walnuts.

Spread the frosting over the warm cake. Serve warm, room temperature or chilled.

Ask and Answer: Several people have asked me about the chocolate chip cookie recipe that “The Cake Bake Shop” in Indianapolis uses for their cookies, so I am sharing it here. Beat together 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter with 1 cup light brown sugar and ½ cup white granulated sugar. Add in 1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk. Beat in 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste. Add in ½ teaspoon each salt and baking soda. Fold in 2 cups white all-purpose flour. Fold in 1 ¾ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips and ¼ cup bittersweet chocolate chips. Place 2 tablespoon size dough balls onto parchment lined baking sheets and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake in preheated 325 degree F oven for exactly 15 minutes. Remove, cool and enjoy! These are delicious!

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Blaise the Baker Celebrates!

I AM SO EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE the official TITLE of my SECOND COOKBOOK!!! “Blaise the Baker CELEBRATES”! This cookbook is all about celebrations big and small! Who says it has to be a Holiday to have a celebration!? I’m a big believer in celebrating the everyday in life! Celebrate LIFE in general! I am SO EXCITED for this cookbook! So many wonderful recipes including some of my most popular recipes featured on my website, some of my most popular “Chew This!” recipes AND A TON of recipes never before published anywhere! Official release date is coming soon so STAY TUNED!!! The image here is NOT the final cover. The final cover will be revealed later. This cookbook is for YOU!!! My fans, followers, subscribers. My friends and family. Love you all and thank you so much for the continued support and dedication!

Blaise

Chew This! Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Icing

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Icing

Thank you to all of those who picked up a copy of “The Courier-Times” last Sunday to check out my newest “CHEW THIS!” column feature and recipe. Your support and dedication really means everything to me!

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, May 6th 2018 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Lemon Cupcakes Perfect for Spring
Blaise Doubman

I know that the weather for the past several weeks has been very unspring like, but spring is here, and we need to enjoy it before the heat and humidity of the summer lurks in. I have always been someone who loves all four seasons, but spring has always been my favorite, followed by the fall. Spring is a time where, after a long winter, trees and flowers start to bloom and the weather starts warming up, without the humidity, and it feels like Mother Nature is offering everyone everywhere a “rebirth” of sorts. When I think of spring flavors I think of citrus flavors like lemon, orange, lime and pineapple. I also think about lighter feeling meals and lighter desserts that are deliciously tasty but do not weight down your body or stomach. When developing recipes, I often think of the season they will be enjoyed in and some of the seasonal aspects of what is fresh for that time of year. That is where this recipe started.

In the past I have experimented with all types of “fruit brownies” such as orange brownies, lemon brownies, lime brownies, strawberry brownies and even tropical pineapple brownies but this time I wanted to change things up and create a light, but flavorful, cupcake. I also wanted to create a glaze, or an icing, instead of a thick heavy frosting for the top. The cupcakes call for fresh lemon zest and fresh lemon juice, which is very important for the overall fresh flavor. Fresh lemon juice is also called for in my icing. You can decorate the tops of these with a piece of candied lemon, a sprinkling of lemon zest, a dash of lemon sugar or simply leave them undecorated and with a smooth and shiny top. The best part of these cupcakes may be that they are extremely versatile. If you do not care for lemon, simply replace the measurements below with fresh orange, lime or even pineapple! This recipe is simply amazing.

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Icing

These cupcakes can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. I prefer eating these chilled, so feel free to store inside the refrigerator as well. Always use fresh lemon juice and never the bottled variety. There is no substitute for fresh lemon zest or fresh lemon juice. Also remember to zest your lemons first before cutting and juicing. To get the most juice from your lemons, roll the lemons back and forth across your cutting board before cutting or place in microwave for about 10 seconds to get the juices flowing.

For the cupcakes…
1 stick unsalted butter, soft
1 cup, plus 1 tablespoon white granulated sugar
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups white all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup whole milk
2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

For the icing…
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon whole milk
Fresh lemon juice

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-count cupcake pan with paper liners.

In a large bowl combine the soft unsalted butter with the white granulated sugar and beat together until light in color and fluffy in texture. Add in the large eggs and pure vanilla extract and beat until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth and glossy.

In a separate bowl combine the white all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together well until all dry ingredients are combined and free of lumps.

Add the dry ingredients gradually to the beaten butter and sugar until combined, being careful not to over mix the batter. Add in the whole milk, fresh lemon zest and fresh lemon juice and beat just until the batter has come together and is light and glossy.

Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Once baked, remove and allow to cool to room temperature before icing.

To make the icing, combine the confectioners’ sugar and whole milk in a bowl with a whisk. Slowly add in fresh lemon juice until the desired constancy is reached. I prefer a thinner icing for these cupcakes, but a thicker icing can be made by adding less fresh lemon juice.

Prepare the cupcakes by icing the tops, serve and enjoy.

Ask and Answer: I heard from so many of my readers with my previous column dedicated to my sweet fur baby Macy. Thank you all for your kind words and thoughtful messages. So many of you wanted to know if I had any more “doggie recipes” and I have a few but want to remind everyone to check with your dog’s veterinarians and ask about any possible food allergies. Dogs, just like humans, may have food allergies that a person would need to know about before providing or recommending any specific recipes. I will, however, recommend a cookbook for those interested. “Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook” By: The Bubba Rose Biscuit Company is a wonderful resource for those looking for safe and non-toxic “doggie recipes”.

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