It’s Blueberry Season…Time for Muffins

Several years ago a neighbor of my parents brought my mom a bowl of freshly picked blueberries and a recipe for blueberry muffins. That recipe has become a favorite and one we look forward to making every year during blueberry season.

IMG_8137Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk (approximately)
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

 

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Line 12 muffin cups with liners.
  • Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a medium-size bowl.
  • Pour 1/3 cup vegetable oil into a 1 cup measure; add the egg; and enough milk to fill the cup.
  • Mix this with the flour mixture and continue to stir just until all of the ingredients are fully incorporated.
  • Fold in blueberries.

Batter will be very thick. Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full.

Crumb Topping

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Place all ingredients into a small mixing bowl and mix together with a fork until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over muffins before baking.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

 

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These muffins aren’t good for a quick breakfast, but worth the time on a weekend morning when you have a little more time. And really, how could they not be delicious with a butter, sugar and cinnamon crumb topping?

It’s time to pick some blueberries and make some muffins and maybe even a Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake!

June Pound Cake of the Month: Lemonade

One of my goals for 2014 is to bake a different pound cake each month of the year.

Lemonade Pound Cake. What could be more perfect for a summer pound cake recipe! After all, lemonade and summer are a match made in heaven.

I found several recipes for pink lemonade pound cake and finally decided to try one that uses a box cake as the base. This worked well for the Red Velvet Pound Cake I made in April so I decided to give it a go.

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The recipe called for lemon cake mix, lemon pudding mix, and the special ingredient: pink lemonade frozen concentrate.

After removing the cake from the oven, I poked holes in the bottom of the cake before removing it from the pan and poured the thawed lemonade concentrate mixed with sugar over the cake.  According to recipe this not only adds flavor but makes for a moist cake.

It did make a moist cake, but it was not a dense cake like you’d expect from a pound cake.

I found three frosting/glaze recipes, and obviously I didn’t choose the best one since it had to be microwaved to thin enough to pour over the cake. Worst of all, the flavor was just ok.

I ate one slice of the Lemonade Pound Cake, but it wasn’t worth the calories for a second. Definitely a disappointment, but this is the first of the six pound cakes I’ve made this year that’s been a disappointment. Not too bad.

I’ve included the recipe, but I’d suggest the Lemon Lime Pound Cake or Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake as better alternatives to a yummy summer cake.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box lemon pound cake mix
  • 1 small box lemon instant pudding mix (I used sugar free since that’s all I could find.)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup frozen pink lemonade concentrate
  • red food color (about 15 drops to get desired pink color)
  • 1 cup frozen pink lemonade concentrate mixed with 1/2 cup granulated sugar (set aside until after cake is baked)
  • Reserve remaining lemonade concentrate for frosting/glaze.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and spray 10 cup bundt pan with no stick baking spray.
  2. Combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, oil, milk, and lemonade concentrate until smooth.
  3. Pour batter in prepared pan and bake for 45-60 minutes. (The original recipe called from 50 minutes and that was too long for my oven.)
  4. Let cool for about five minutes and then poke holes throughout the cake with a skewer and pour or spoon the lemonade/sugar mixture over the cake. (DO NOT REMOVE CAKE FROM PAN. YOU WILL POKE HOLES ON WHAT WILL BE THE BOTTOM OF THE CAKE.)
  5. Remove cake from pan after about 20 minutes and then frost when completely cooled.

Frosting/Glaze Directions:

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 Tablespoons lemonade concentrate
  • red food coloring

Mix 1 stick of softened butter with 2 cups of powdered sugar until smooth. Add 2-3 Tablespoons of lemonade concentrate and 5 or 6 drops of red food coloring. Add an additional cup of powdered sugar.

I had to heat in microwave so I could spoon glaze over cake. Next time, I’d melt the butter first and then add powdered sugar and lemonade or look for a different recipe.

But to be honest, this isn’t a cake I’ll bake again. I’m sharing only because it’s part of my goal of baking a new pound cake every month this year, and it seems reasonable to share the failure as well as the success.

If you’ve baked this cake with success, please share your secret in the comment section below. Maybe you can convince me to try your recipe!

 

 

 

 

May Pound Cake of the Month: Lemon Blueberry

After picking nearly five pounds of blueberries, I knew I’d be using blueberries in this month’s pound cake. After searching many magazines, cookbooks, and websites, I settled on a Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake for May’s pound cake of the month.

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However, when I started preparing a shopping list of ingredients needed for this month’s baking, I noticed a problem with the recipe I’d chosen. While the finished product pictured in the recipe clearly showed the cake filled with berries and while they were listed in the ingredient list, there was no mention of using blueberries in the directions.

I decided to scrap the chosen recipe fearful other mistakes may turn my hard work into a disaster, but I had my mind set on Lemon Blueberry and after a little more research, I found just what I was looking for.

Ingredients

Cake

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour OR 3 cups plus 6 Tbsp. Swans Down cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups blueberries

Glaze

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon buttermilk
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice (add one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency and taste is acquired)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Spray 12-cup Bundt pan with baking spray or grease and flour pan.
  3. In a large bowl, sift 3 cups flour, baking powder, and salt. (Confession: I did not sift!)
  4. In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, vanilla, and buttermilk.
  5. In another large bowl (preferably the mixing bowl of a stand mixer), beat butter, sugar, and lemon zest until fluffy. Continue beating while adding eggs, one at a time.
  6. Add 1/3 of flour mixture, and then 1/3 of buttermilk mixture, repeating by alternating dry and liquid mixtures until combined.
  7. Pour mixture into prepared cake pan.
  8. Bake approximately 1 hour until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.
  9. Let cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes and then remove and place on cake plate.

Glaze

  1. Mix confectioner’s sugar, buttermilk and 2 Tbsp. of lemon juice stirring until smooth.
  2. Add lemon juice a little at a time, until it reaches desired consistency. Glaze should be able to be poured.
  3. Pour half of the glaze over warm cake.
  4. Then after an hour, pour the remaining glaze over the cake and serve.

I skipped the final step because I was baking late at night and that was a mistake. Much of the glaze pooled on the cake plate since I poured it all on the warm cake. I’ll have to start earlier next time. The delicious glaze needs to be on the cake, not on the plate!

I know I’ll bake this cake again next year during blueberry season!

Click here to see the Lemon-Blueberry Bundt Cake recipe I used on my recipes.