Applesauce Cake with Caramel Frosting

This moist cake reminds me of a classic spice cake without all the overwhelming spice flavors of some. Delicate and delicious, even better topped with homemade caramel frosting!

Applesauce Cake with Caramel Frosting

For the cake…
1 stick unsalted butter, soft
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup chilled applesauce
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups white all-purpose flour

For the frosting…
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×9-inch square pan with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray containing flour.

In a large bowl, cream together the soft unsalted butter with the white granulated sugar. Add in the chilled applesauce and combine. Will look curdled but that is desirable. Keep working.

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

Pour into prepared pan and smooth out the top. Bake in preheated for 40 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.

To make the frosting combine the unsalted butter, light brown sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Allow this mixture to melt and cook for about 2 minutes.

Add in the whole milk and pure vanilla extract. Cook another 40 seconds and remove from heat. Gently whisk in the confectioner’s sugar.

Evenly pour and spread over cooled cake.

Cut and serve.

CHEW THIS! Chocolate Buckeye Cupcakes

Chocolate Buckeye Cupcakes 

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, March 3rd 2019 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Simply Scrumptious Cupcakes!
Blaise Doubman

I love developing recipes by combining two or more recipes to create one big fabulous recipe! That is exactly where this recipe came from. I took my recipe for chocolate cupcakes, developed a recipe for a smooth peanut butter frosting and combined it with my buckeye candy recipe for garnish and a new and exciting recipe was born! People go crazy when I make these! I have made these more times than I can count and every time I do, they never last more than 15 minutes. People who really know me, know that I cannot decorate a cupcake for anything! I have tried and tried, took a class, checked YouTube channels and just cannot do it! Decorating must not be in my DNA, but I have tried. I have even used fondant, disaster! So, when it comes to decorating, glitter and confetti are my best friends. Ha! Seriously though, I have worked my way around my “non-decorating” skills by trying to be clever about the situation. How?

Well for example, when making strawberry cupcakes, I simply place a huge strawberry on top of each. Malted milk ball cupcakes? I throw on some malted milk ball candy. Whatever is in the cupcake, or in the flavors, I place whatever that might be on top and guess what? People love it and it looks fabulous! I have done this method with Sour Patch Kid cupcakes, raspberry cupcakes and Red Velvet Oreo cupcakes. It is the same method with these cupcakes! Make the cupcakes, frost them and then top each with a big buckeye candy! How fabulous is that!? These must be one of my favorite cupcakes and I really think they will become your new favorites as well! These are perfect for parties, reunions, buffets and more! Whip up a batch today!

Buckeye Chocolate Cupcakes

These are best made and eaten the day they are baked. The buckeye candy, if any leftover, can be kept covered at room temperature for up to 4 days. This recipe is best if smooth peanut butter is used throughout.

For the cupcakes…
1 Devil’s Food Cake Mix
1 cup mayonniase
1 cup water
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules

For the frosting…
¾ cup confectioner’s sugar
¾ cup peanut butter
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup heavy cream

For the buckeyes…
2 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar
1 cup peanut butter
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons solid vegetable shortening

Start by making the cupcakes. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line 2, 12-cup capacity cupcake molds with cupcake paper liners.

In a large bowl whisk together the cake mix, mayonniase, water, large eggs and instant coffee granules until smooth and combined. The batter will be shiny and bubbly.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake in preheated oven, 23 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool. While cooling, make the frosting. In a large bowl combine the confectioner’s sugar, peanut butter, soft unsalted butter, pure vanilla extract and salt until combined. This is best done using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Once combined, add in the heavy cream and mix only until smooth and combined. Do not over mix.

Frost the cooled cupcakes with the frosting and set aside at room temperature.

Next, make the buckeyes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl combine the confectioner’s sugar, peanut butter, melted unsalted butter, pure vanilla extract and salt. Combine until the mixture is smooth and combine. Roll the mixture into larger size teaspoon sized balls and place onto prepared baking sheet. Place a toothpick into each. Place in freezer for 30 minutes. In a large bowl melt together the semi-sweet chocolate chips with the solid vegetable shortening until smooth and glossy. Remove frozen peanut butter balls from freezer, dip the balls into the melted chocolate, leaving a little space on top, uncovered. Place dipped balls back onto parchment lined baking sheet. Place back into the freezer for 15 minutes. Remove and remove toothpicks from each. Using a knife gently scrap the holes closed on top of each buckeye candy.

Place a buckeye candy on top of each cupcake, pressing down gently. Serve immediately.

Ask and Answer: I have been getting a lot of questions about the new Kennard Senior Living facility in Kennard, located where the old Kennard Elementary School was located. Their “Olde School Café” is officially opened 8am-2pm Monday through Thursday for breakfast and lunch specials. Their pizza shop, located in the same area, is opened from 5pm-9pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday. My “Blaise the Baker” baked goods are baked fresh and available for purchase on the weekends in joint operation with their pizza shop! Please stop by and give everything a try! Call ahead your order by calling 765-781-CAFÉ (2233). Hope to see you all there!

CHEW THIS! Winnie Roland’s Lemonade Party Cake

Winnie Roland’s Lemonade Party Cake

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, January 20th 2019 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Winnie’s Lemonade Party Cake Brings Back Memories
Blaise Doubman

Years and years ago my brother, Damon, played high school soccer. My parents would travel all over for his games and just so happened one year, there was a soccer game on my Mom’s birthday. One of my brothers’ teammates, Shane Roland, found out that one of the away games were going to be on my Mom’s birthday and word spread to his Grandma, Winnie Roland. When we arrived for the away game, we really didn’t think much about it and had planned to have the birthday celebration later that evening, after the game. Low and behold, we noticed Winnie coming across the field holding something. She gave it to my Mom, Darla, and wished her Happy Birthday! It was a cake! We thought that was the sweetest thing ever! I remember looking at it and seeing the white frosting and yellow sugar sprinkled across the top and thinking, “I wonder if that is lemon”! And it was! My Mom and mine favorite! Ha! We took it home and ate on it for three days. It was the absolute best cake I had ever had in my life! We must have talked about that cake for months. It was outstanding. My mouth is watering just thinking and writing about it. It had fabulous flavor and was super moist and tasted so fresh!

Skip ahead several years later and I am still thinking about that cake! Ha! Every time I have a lemon cake, no matter where it is from, I compared it to Winnie’s lemon cake she had made my Mom for her birthday. My family and friends had to get tired of hearing me go on and on about this cake, which remember I have thought about for years! Over the years I tried everything to duplicate the cake, even searched out cookbooks and Google and found nothing even close. Looking back, I should have just asked for the recipe! Why didn’t I? I have no idea and I can’t remember. Maybe the soccer season ended soon after and everyone parted ways – it was my brother’s senior year of high school after all. Anyways, life happened, and I never asked for the recipe. Years passed and somehow, I came across a Facebook friend of mine, Nikki Keith. We started talking and I told her about the cake. She wrote back saying she was sure she could get the recipe from her Grandma and I literally about cried! Ha! A couple days later, sitting there in my inbox, was the recipe! THE RECIPE! I couldn’t contain my excitement. I went to Meijer, bought the ingredients and made the cake that night. It was fabulous! It tasted exactly like how I had remembered all those years ago. My family agreed – this was it! From that very first bite, that familiar flavor came straight back to me. Huge shout out to Nikki Keith for tracking down a recipe I have been craving for years and an even bigger shout out and thank you to Winnie Roland for sharing this delicious recipe with me and for becoming one of my new best friends. Thank you, Winnie, for your thoughtfulness then and your thoughtfulness now.

Winnie Roland’s Lemonade Party Cake

This cake is best made ahead and served chilled so plan accordingly.

1 Betty Crocker Super Moist Lemon Cake Mix
1 cup water
3 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
½ can (12 oz size) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
¾ cup powdered sugar
1 tub Betty Crocker white fluffy frosting
Yellow colored sugar

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 whisk together the cake mix, water, large eggs and vegetable oil until smooth.

Pour into prepared baking pan and smooth out the top. Bake in preheated oven for the time listed on the box for the appropriate pan you are using. Inserting a toothpick into the cake when finished baking, will contain just a few moist crumbs.

While the cake is still warm, using a fork, poke holes all over the top of the cake.

In a large bowl whisk together, the thawed lemonade concentrate and powdered sugar. Pour this mixture evenly over the warm cake.

Cover with aluminum foil and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Remove, spread frosting evenly over the top of the cake and sprinkle on the colored sugar.

Store loosely covered in the refrigerator. This cake is best served chilled.

Ask and Answer: I lot of people have been asking if my recipes can be used in an air fryer. The answer is, yes! I recently got an air fryer myself and have been trying and testing recipes. The machine is really nice and requires little to no oil! I will have more information in the coming weeks on my blog addressing my air fryer and some of my recipes. Stay tuned!

Gooey Butter Cake

I love a gooey butter cake! Try this!

Gooey Butter Cake

For the crust…
1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, melted
1 large egg

For the filling…
1 stick butter, melted
8 oz cream cheese
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar

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

In a large bowl make the crust by combining the dry yellow cake mix with the melted butter and egg. Pat this mixture into the bottom of the pan.

In another large bowl beat together the melted butter and cream cheese. Add in the large eggs and pure vanilla extract. Combine well. Beat in the confectioner’s sugar. Pour on top of crust and spread evenly.

Bake in preheated oven 48 minutes. Be careful not to over bake! The center will still be jiggly when it is done baking.

Let rest at room temperature until cooled. Wrap with aluminum foil and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Remove, cut and serve.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

I remember my ex-boss, Angela, bringing this cake to a team meeting when I worked at a local library and it was seriously fabulous! I have made this cake ever since and it is based off of a recipe from Food Network Star Katie Lee and her debut cookbook. Wonderful!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups white all-purpose flour
2 cups white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
18 oz smooth peanut butter

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

In a large saucepan over medium heat combine the unsalted butter, buttermilk, unsweetened cocoa powder and 1 cup water. Stir constantly until bubbly. Once bubbling slightly remove from heat.

In a large bowl whisk together the white all-purpose flour, white granulated sugar, baking soda and salt. Beat in the large eggs and pure vanilla extract.

Slowly beat in the chocolate mixture and beat until smooth and combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Once baked, remove and while the cake is still hot, spoon the smooth peanut butter all over the top, spreading evenly. Allow the cake to sit for a couple of hours to cool and the peanut butter to harden slightly.

When ready to frost the cake combine 1 stick unsalted butter with 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder and 6 tablespoons buttermilk in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir until bubbly. Once bubbly remove from heat and add 16 oz powdered sugar. Stir quickly together. Pour evenly over the top of the cake and spread evenly.

Allow to sit for an hour before cutting.

No-Bowl Chocolate Cake

I love how you completely prepare this cake in the pan you bake it in! Less mess and let me be honest, more fun! Try it with your kids, or yourself, today!

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No-Bowl Chocolate Cake

2 cups white all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups hot water
3/4 cups vegetable oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Dump in the white all-purpose flour, white granulated sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a not greased 9×13-inch baking pan. Whisk everything together using a wire whisk. Add in the hot water, vegetable oil, pure vanilla extract and white vinegar. Whisk good – being sure to get the bottom and corners of the pan.

Bake in preheated oven 35 minutes.

Remove from the oven and make frosting. In a saucepan over medium heat combine 1/2 cup white granulated sugar with 3 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons heavy cream. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Once at a boil, stir constantly for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips. Stir until melted. Pour over still warm cake and smooth evenly.

Allow to cool completely before cutting and serving.

CHEW THIS! Maddie Shelton’s Award Winning Baby Food Cake

Maddie Shelton’s Award Winning Baby Food Cake

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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.