Friday, October 15, 2010

Author Kathleen Ernst: Chloe's Maple Blueberry Cake

Welcome again to mystery author and good friend Kathleen Ernst! I've had this lovely guest before, but for new readers:  I met Kathleen on a panel at Bouchercon several years ago and we discovered we both love history, mysteries and a similar sense of humor. She also knows I love maple and found me a wonderful recipe. We have met at many conferences since, and I am so excited that this award winning youth mystery author has a new adult mystery series out. I can't wait to read mine (or make this cake...)!  Kathleen will draw a winner from the comments so be sure to drop us a line! -AA

I’m grateful to Amy for allowing me to be a guest here on Vintage Cookbooks. And I’m grateful to readers! I love my work, and I’d be nowhere without you. Leave a comment here, and your name will go into a daily drawing for one free book. The winner can choose any of my sixteen titles. Old World Murder, one of my American Girl mysteries, a Civil War novel—the choice will be yours!

Chloe’s Maple Blueberry Cake

Chloe Ellefson, the protagonist of my new mystery Old World Murder, is not an autobiographical character. We do have a lot in common, though! She’s a curator at Old World Wisconsin, a large living history museum where I was once a curator. She attended West Virginia University; I’m also an alum.

And we both spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Like me, Chloe is a vegetarian who (when she’s not stressed and having popcorn for dinner) loves to cook and bake. And she’s a huge fan of local, organic ingredients.

This easy and luscious cake is a great way to celebrate the publication of a new book—or any other special event! I use whole wheat flour, farmers’ market blueberries, free-range eggs from a local farm, and maple syrup from my favorite sugar bush in Door County. Substitute as your options dictate; the cake will still taste great.

Chloe’s Maple Blueberry Cake
2 c. blueberries, fresh or frozen (unthawed)
3 c. flour
½ c. butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
¾ c. maple syrup
2 t. vanilla
3 eggs
1 t. baking soda
½ t. salt
6 oz. vanilla yogurt
2 T. lemon juice

Glaze (optional)
½ c. confectioners’ sugar
4 t. lemon juice

In a small bowl, combine blueberries and 2 T. flour. In a separate bowl, combine the baking soda, salt, and remaining flour.

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and cream cheese. Add maple syrup, lemon juice, and vanilla, and beat until mixture is light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add the dry ingredients to creamed mixture alternately with the yogurt. When everything is well blended, fold in the blueberries.

Transfer to a 10-inch fluted pan well coated with butter or cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 65-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes. Remove from a pan to a wire rack.

If desired, whisk glaze ingredients until smooth and drizzle over cake.

Kathleen Ernst is celebrating the publication of her first adult mystery, Old World Murder (Midnight Ink). She has also written eight mysteries for young readers. Several have been finalists for Edgar or Agatha awards. For more information see her website,, or her blog,


Cleo Coyle said...

Wonderful idea to combine the flavors of blueberry and maple syrup. Thanks for a delicious recipe, Kathleen, and big congrats on the publication of Old World Murder!

Kathleen Ernst said...

Thanks so much, Cleo!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Kathleen, for sharing this healthy and tasty recipe. Any chance of sharing the recipe's "back story" or will I find that in your Old World Murder book? Kori said...

Looks like a good recipe to me. I'm excited to read Old World Murder. Is the recipe in the book? Good luck. Vicky

Molly MacRae said...

Hi Kathleen, I'm so glad your protagonist is an Ellefson and a curator. I've always loved the name Ellefson and I enjoyed my time as curator of a small history museum in Tennessee. I also love blueberries and maple syrup, so now I'm looking forward to reading your book and eating cake!

Molly MacRae said...

Hey, I just checked the library catalog and all copies of your book are checked out. Cool!

Kathleen Ernst said...

Thanks, Vicky. The recipe isn't in the book, but I have printed it on a card to give as little thank-yous at programs. The plan is to build a whole set of topical recipes as the series progresses.

Cleo, you have a book coming your way! Send me an email with your postal address and book choice (Old World Murder or one of my backlist titles) and I'll get it in the mail. k.ernst @

Kathleen Ernst said...

Molly - cool! Where did you work in Tennessee? I'm always on the hunt for a new spot to visit!

Kathleen Ernst said...

Kori - I didn't put the backstory or recipe in the book, although I'll have Chloe serve it some time! This is a recipe I adapted in order to make use of maple syrup instead of sugar.

Janet Spaeth said...

Both the book AND the recipe sound yummy! I'm excited to try them both!