Citrus Tea Cake with Blackberry Maple Syrup


This tangy tea cake mops up the blackberry maple syrup


During the warm summer months, I still want dessert (of course), but I want it to be lighter and brighter, just like the season. My tea cake fits the bill with its sweet orange and tangy lemon and blackberry flavors. Serve it warm with the syrup drizzled over the top and a generous amount pooled on the plate as well, so the cake can soak up the syrupy goodness from the bottom. Whipped cream is essential. It can be enjoyed for breakfast too – I may have experience in that regard.

Quick tip: When cooking or baking, it’s very helpful to read your recipe through and have all of your ingredients, bowls and pans assembled prior to starting. In French, the term for this is: mise en place.



Mise en place keeps you organized in the kitchen


What are your favorite ways to eat blackberries?  Are you a “mise en place” kind of cook? Please comment below and let me know if you try this recipe.

Enjoy and Happy Summer!


Citrus Tea Cake with Blackberry Maple Syrup


3 T lemon juice

¼ C (approx..) whole milk

1 t vanilla extract

1 T orange zest

1 ¼ C flour

¾ C quick-cooking oats

1 t baking soda

½ t salt

½ C + 6 T butter (14 T total), softened

2/3 cup firmly packed, light brown sugar

1 egg


Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray an 8” X 8” pan.

Create flavored buttermilk by mixing 3 T lemon juice with enough milk to make ½ cup total. Swirl in vanilla extract and orange zest and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix together flour, oats, baking soda and salt. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together until well blended, 1 – 2 min. Beat in egg and flavored buttermilk. Stir in dry ingredients at a low setting for 1 – 2 min.

Spoon cake mix into pan and spread evenly. Bake for 25 – 28 min. until toothpick in center comes out clean. Do not turn off oven because you will use it for the blackberry maple syrup.

Let cake cool and serve warm with blackberry maple syrup and whipped cream.


Blackberry Maple Syrup


2 C fresh blackberries

½ C Pure Vermont maple syrup, dark

2 t lemon juice

1/8 t ground cinnamon

¼ t orange zest

1 T butter, cut into 4 pieces

Oven should already be preheated to 375°F from the cake. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and place blackberries in the pan.

Using a small bowl, mix together remaining ingredients and pour over blackberries. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and place in the oven for 15 minutes.

Remove pan from the oven and remove the foil.  Stir the blackberry mixture with a spoon. Leave the pan uncovered and place it back in the oven for 15 more minutes.

Allow to cool slightly and serve warm with warm citrus tea cake and whipped cream.







Strawberry Chocolate Truffle Ice Cream

Refreshing and decadent strawberry truffle ice cream!

Strawberries are in abundance this time of year and, as a dietitian, I should really tell you how they are high in vitamin C, antioxidants and an excellent source of fiber too.  I should also tell you some healthy ideas for enjoying strawberries, such as adding them to your morning yogurt or oatmeal.  Problem is, all I can think about is dessert and how I might incorporate strawberries into something sweet and decadent.  Did I mention I have a sweet tooth?  Well, I’ve managed to combine fresh strawberries with creamy, vanilla ice cream and bits of homemade, chocolate truffles.  I could tell you about the antioxidants in the chocolate or the calcium in the ice cream to try to justify it all, but let’s just call it what it is – a special treat that tastes as sweet as summer!

Prepare the truffles ahead of time as follows:

1/3 cup heavy cream

6 Tbsp. salted butter, cut into small pieces

1 3/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Bring the cream to a gentle simmer in a small saucepan and add the butter until melted.  Add the chocolate chips and stir until completely melted.  Remove from heat and pour into a shallow bowl.  Allow to cool for at least two hours in the refrigerator.  Use a melon ball scoop to form truffles into balls and refrigerate again until ready to use.

Prepare the strawberries ahead of time as follows:

1 pint container strawberries

1 Tbsp. Vermont maple syrup

Rinse the berries under cold water and pat dry.  Slice off the tops and slice the berries into a small bowl.  Add the maple syrup and stir gently to coat.  Lightly cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Ice cream preparation (milk and cream should be well chilled):

Puree enough of the strawberries in a blender until you have 1/2 cup, set aside.   Finely chop the truffles until you have 1/2 cup, set aside.

1 cup whole milk

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 cups heavy cream

2 tspn. pure vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar and whole milk until all of the sugar is dissolved (3-5 minutes).  Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla.  Add the mix to the freezer bowl of your ice cream maker.  Add the strawberry puree and truffle bits during the last 5-8 minutes of mixing, following the directions for your specific machine.  Allow ice cream to freeze several hours or overnight – waiting is the hardest part!

Delicious in a cup, cone, or as a thick frappe

Let us know what you think – what’s your favorite ice cream flavor?  Click on the title of this post and scroll down to leave a comment.