Bready or Not Guest: CASSANDRA COMPLEX author Wendy Nikel with Chocolate Blueberry Cupcakes

Posted by on May 7, 2019 in Blog, blueberry, Bready or Not, chocolate, guest recipe | Comments Off on Bready or Not Guest: CASSANDRA COMPLEX author Wendy Nikel with Chocolate Blueberry Cupcakes

I’m happy to welcome back author Wendy Nikel for the release of the 3rd book in her time-traveling novella series with World Weaver Press. The Cassandra Complex is out TODAY. Be sure to print out her previous recipes for Continuum Coffee Cupcakes and Grandmother Paradox Cherry Cupcakes.

The third book in my Place in Time novella series, THE CASSANDRA COMPLEX, is now out into the world, which means it is once again time to make some celebration cupcakes!

My original plan was to use one of the original Harvey Girls recipes, which have been collected online by Stephen Fried in the Harvey Girls Cookbook Project. The Harvey Girls were waitresses who worked at one of the “eating houses” (and later dining cars) of Fred Harvey, a restaurant pioneer of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His goal was to serve good food to people traveling west on the new railroad lines, and he was very successful in doing so, thanks in part to the thousands of women who came out west to serve his food – including the protagonist of my story, Cass.

I soon found out, though, that in trying to bake from a classic recipe like this one for Homemade Blueberry Cake, I was biting off a bit more than I could chew. Even after doing all the math to figure out how much 5 ounces of sugar is in tablespoons and how much 1 gill of milk is, my dough didn’t rise as it was supposed to, and I ended up with a sticky mess.

It was time for Plan B. I pulled out a tried-and-true cupcake recipe, made some tweaks, and created a chocolate cupcake, topped with blueberry frosting and fresh chocolate-covered blueberries for my own version of a blueberry cake.

I started by melting down some chocolate chips with a tiny bit of coconut oil. I created my garnishes by dropping a nickel-sized dot of chocolate on waxed paper, then stacking five blueberries together and sprinkling with sea salt before throwing them in the freezer. These are some of my favorite snack treats, so I made a couple extra.

After that, I started on the cupcakes, mixing the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, and baking powder) in one bowl and the wet ingredients (sugar, butter, and eggs) in another before combining them together, along with some milk. These then went in cupcake trays with a couple chocolate chips on top, and went into the oven for 16 minutes at 350 degrees.

While those were cooling, I made up my blueberry frosting. I started by blending a cup of butter until it was smooth and then alternated adding powdered sugar and blueberry pie filling until I had the consistency I wanted. I loved the color the blueberries turned the frosting – a perfect match for my new book!

Then, it was time for my favorite part: decorating! I added two kinds of sprinkles to the top.

And, for the final touch, I pulled my frozen chocolate-covered blueberries out of the oven and plopped them on top. And there you have it: a tasty treat for an afternoon of train riding, reading, or traveling through time.


About The Cassandra Complex:

Cass is a 22nd century university student who – like most young adults – has always believed her parents were a bit stuck in the past. But on her eighteenth birthday she learns exactly how true this is: not only are her parents time travelers, living in an era different than either was born in, but now, to ensure that history plays out as it’s supposed to, she must travel to the year 1914 to live out her adult life.

Cass isn’t the type, though, to just sit back and watch while all the tragic events she’s learned about in her history courses play out in front of her. Not when she’s the only one in the world with the foreknowledge – and determination – to change it.


The Cassandra Complex: Amazon Barnes & Noble | iTunes/Apple Books | World Weaver Press


About the author:

Wendy Nikel is a speculative fiction author with a degree in elementary education, a fondness for road trips, and a terrible habit of forgetting where she’s left her cup of tea. Her short fiction has been published by Analog, Nature: FuturesPodcastle, and elsewhere. Her time travel novella series, beginning with The Continuum, is available from World Weaver Press. For more info, visit

THE CASSANDRA COMPLEX Chocolate Blueberry Cupcakes by Wendy Nikel

A chocolate cupcake with blueberry buttercream frosting, inspired by THE CASSANDRA COMPLEX by Wendy Nikel
Course: Dessert
Keyword: chocolate, cupcake
Author: Beth Cato



  • 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons milk
  • chocolate chips


  • 1 cup butter
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons blueberry pie filling


  • Blueberries
  • Melted chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Sift together flour, cocoa, and baking powder.
  • In separate bowl, blend sugar and butter.
  • Add eggs to sugar mixture one at a time.
  • Gradually add the dry mixture and milk into the sugar mixture until well blended.
  • Fill cupcake liners half full, add a few chocolate chips on the top, and bake for 15-17 minutes. Let cool.
  • Melt chocolate chips and make nickel-sized dots on waxed paper. Create a pyramid of blueberries on each dot, with 4 berries on the bottom and 1 on the top. Drizzle melted chocolate over them, sprinkle with sea salt, and freeze.
  • Beat butter until creamy. Alternate adding 1c powdered sugar and 2T pie filling, mixing well after each addition, until all ingredients are mixed in.
  • After cupcakes are cool, frost and top with frozen blueberries and sprinkles. Enjoy with a good book!
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Bready or Not: Blueberry Hand Cake

Posted by on Jul 4, 2018 in Blog, blueberry, Bready or Not, breakfast, cake | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Blueberry Hand Cake

If you’re looking for a delicious way to use up summer blueberries, oh, do I have a recipe for you.

Bready or Not: Blueberry Hand Cake

These Blueberry Hand Cake Bars are really easy to make. Seriously, there are only 6 ingredients!

Bready or Not: Blueberry Hand Cake

That said, this is a recipe for a stand mixer or hand blender will come in handy. Eggs are the leavening agent, so they need to be beaten with the sugar for an extended period of time.

Bready or Not: Blueberry Hand Cake

So if you make this by hand, consider this your arm workout for the day.

Bready or Not: Blueberry Hand Cake

The baked bars are just downright summery and fresh. Cakey, light, perfectly sweet. I could come up with more adjectives, I’m sure.

Bready or Not: Blueberry Hand Cake

If you want more of my blueberry recipes, be sure to check out:
Blueberry Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze
Jumbo XXL Lemon-Blueberry Muffins
Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffin Breakfast Truffles
Guest Post: Pat Esden with Old Fashioned Blueberry Cake

Bready or Not: Blueberry Hand Cake


Bready or Not: Blueberry Hand Cake

This simple recipe results in blueberry hand cake that is great for breakfast or snacks.
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Keyword: bars, blueberries, cake
Author: Beth Cato


  • 12 ounces fresh blueberries two pints
  • 3 eggs room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour divided


  • Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Line a 13x9 pan with foil and apply nonstick spray.
  • Gently rinse the blueberries, removing any stems or smashed ones, and set the clean berries in a small bowl.
  • Using a mixer, beat the eggs and sugar for about 5 to 7 minutes, until pale in color and almost doubled in volume. The eggs are the leavening agent in this recipe, so it's important they are beaten until thickened, with the batter forming a ribbon as the beaters lift up.
  • Add the butter and vanilla, and mix for another two minutes. Measure out 1/2 cup of flour and carefully stir it into the blueberries to coat them, which will reduce sinking into the batter during the baking process. Slowly stir the remaining 1 1/2 cup of flour into the batter. By hand, gently fold the blueberries into the batter.
  • Pour batter into the ready pan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until lightly browned and the center passes the toothpick test. Let cool completely before lifting up contents by the foil to slice into bars. Eat within two days, or freeze for later enjoyment.
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Bready or Not: Blueberry Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze

Posted by on Jul 5, 2017 in Blog, blueberry, Bready or Not, breakfast, bundt, cake, lemon | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Blueberry Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze

Blueberries are in season, so let’s get baking!

Bready or Not: Blueberry Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze

This cake is sheer perfection. This has the tender texture of a pound cake, with added sweetness from dapples of blueberries.

Bready or Not: Blueberry Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze

Oh yeah, and then there’s the glaze. When I was meddling with the base recipe, that version felt so… naked.

Bready or Not: Blueberry Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze

The lemon glaze adds a bit more sweetness, and a tartness that contrasts perfectly with the blueberries.

Bready or Not: Blueberry Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze

The glaze looks gorgeous, too!

This cake is perfect for breakfast, brunch, or dessert. Whenever the heck you want it, really.

Bready or Not: Blueberry Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze

Modified from Through Her Looking Glass.

Bready or Not: Blueberry Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze

Use your bundt pan to create a luscious blueberry-studded pound cake. The thick lemon glaze adds some lovely, delicious oomph.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Keyword: blueberries, bundt cake, lemon
Author: Beth Cato



  • 6 ounces blueberries washed, drained, and patted dry
  • 3 cups flour divided
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter 2 sticks, room temperature
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar sifted
  • 1 Tablespoon + milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract


  • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Prepare a 10 or 12-cup bundt pan by applying Pam with Flour or buttering well and dusting with flour.
  • In a small bowl, gently stir the blueberries with 1/4 cup flour. This will keep the blueberries from sinking in the batter as it bakes. Set bowl aside.
  • In a medium bowl, stir the remaining flour with the baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla. Beat it until fluffy again.
  • Slowly mix in the dry ingredients until just blended. Follow that by gently folding in the blueberries.
  • Use a rubber spatula to pour the batter into the ready pan. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until it passes the toothpick test.
  • Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes, then invert it onto a rack to completely cool. Once the cake is at room temperature, mix the glaze. Add enough milk to give it the desired pourable consistency. Drizzle it over cake.
  • Store cake in fridge.

Bready or Not: Blueberry Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze


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Bready or Not: Jumbo XXL Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

Posted by on Apr 26, 2017 in Blog, blueberry, Bready or Not, breakfast, lemon, muffin | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Jumbo XXL Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

You could made normal, piddly muffins. Or you can make ENORMOUS HONKIN’ MUFFINS like the kind you get in bakeries. These Jumbo XXL Lemon-Blueberry Muffins taste pretty darn good and will fill your belly, too.

Bready or Not: Jumbo XXL Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

These muffins pans are surprisingly cheap. Amazon has a couple different kinds. Search for “jumbo muffin pan” or “Texas muffin pan.” (Because everything is bigger in Texas).

Bready or Not: Jumbo XXL Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

Confession: one reason I like these muffins is because they are pretty. I add a couple blueberries on top to make sure they don’t all sink, and I add some turbinado sugar to make them glisten.

Bready or Not: Jumbo XXL Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

Then there’s the size. Look at the pictures here and you’ll see that silver cup for size contrast. That’s 1 cup. Yeah.

Bready or Not: Jumbo XXL Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

If that’s too much muffin for you to eat, you can easily cut one in half. Or you can do what I do and freeze most of the batch. Wrap’em up in a few layers of plastic wrap and they’ll keep well in the freezer for a few weeks.

Bready or Not: Jumbo XXL Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

That’s a perfect way to make these cakey lemon-blueberry bombs last a little longer!

Modified from Sally’s Baking Addiction. Shared another version of this recipe in 2013 on my LiveJournal.

Bready or Not: Jumbo XXL Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

Use a jumbo muffin pan to make delicious and ginormous lemon-blueberry muffins, just like the kind you get in bakeries! These muffins are best eaten within a day or two, but they can also be frozen to enjoy later. Eat at room temperature or warmed.
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Keyword: blueberries, lemon, muffins
Author: Beth Cato


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 1 lemon zested and juiced
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup milk or almond milk or half & half
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces fresh blueberries washed and patted dry
  • sparkling sugar optional, or turbinado sugar for the top


  • Preheat oven at 425-degrees. Use nonstick spray or butter on the muffin pan.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, lemon zest, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar. Mix in the milk, oil, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Mixture will be pale and yellow.
  • Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, making sure to scrape the bowl, but don't overmix. The batter will be thick and somewhat lumpy.
  • Carefully fold in the blueberries, reserving some to place on top of the muffins.
  • Pour the batter into the greased muffin tins, filling just about to the top. Add the reserved blueberries and some turbinado or sparkling sugar, if desired.
  • Bake at 425-degrees for 5 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 375. Continue to bake for about 25 minutes. The tops should be lightly golden, and the muffins should pass the toothpick test. Allow them to cool for 10 minutes in pan, then remove to begin eating or to allow them to cool completely on a rack. (If you leave the muffins in the pan too long, they will steam and get soggy.)
  • Muffins are best eaten within a day or two, but they can also be frozen for later enjoyment. Eat at room temperature or zap in the microwave to warm up.


Bready or Not: Jumbo XXL Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

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Bready or Not Guest Pat Esden with Old Fashioned Blueberry Cake

Posted by on Sep 12, 2016 in Blog, blueberry, Bready or Not, breakfast, cake, guest recipe, others books | Comments Off on Bready or Not Guest Pat Esden with Old Fashioned Blueberry Cake

I’m happy to welcome Pat Esden to Bready or Not again. You might recall she visited last year to share a recipe for Popovers as she celebrated the release of her first book, A Hold On Me. Today she shares a quintessential Maine recipe for Blueberry Cake! Her second book, Beyond Your Touch, is a new adult paranormal romance that came out August 30th. We’ll start things off with an interview to learn about her Dark Heart series.


You sent a lovely blueberry recipe. YUM. Can you explain how this ties into your books’ world?

Both A HOLD ON ME (Dark Heart book #1) and BEYOND YOUR TOUCH (Dark Heart book #2) are for the most part set on the Maine seacoast, a prime area for both commercial and wild blueberries. The main character, Annie Freemont, and her family often have blueberry muffins for breakfast. The cake recipe I’m going to share is something they’d have at teatime for sure.

Also Annie’s love interest, Chase, is a blueberry fanatic. He was born in Maine, but was kidnapped as a child and raised in the djinn realm until he escaped in his late teens. During his years of captivity, Chase often went hungry. As a result, having edible berries growing right outside his cottage is not only a tasty treat for him, it’s also emotionally comforting. In reality, he’s a bit of a blueberry glutton.

You do a great job of capturing the new adult voices in A Hold on Me and Beyond Your Touch. Do you have advice for other writers who are working on voice in new adult fiction?

New adult is a category of fiction where the main character and point of view are a person or persons between the age of nineteen and twenty-six. It’s not a novel written through the eyes and sensibilities of someone looking back on that stage of their life. It’s that sensibility that is most vital to remember when you’re writing new adult. The motivations and choices of people in that age range will vary, but they are not the same as a younger teenager who has less life experience in general or an older person who has more experience. It’s important for a writer to put themselves in the mindset of being that age and to look at each choice and reaction the character(s) make to be sure they are appropriate for a new adult.

What has been your greatest challenge in working on your Dark Heart series?

The Dark Heart series consists of three novels. The biggest challenge for me has been swapping between books during the various editing and marketing stages. For example: in the middle of drafting book 3, I received notes from my editor on book 2. I had to put book 3 aside for a month to do edits on book 2. Once book 2 was turned in, I went back to book 3. But I had to swap again and focus on book 1 when it was released. LOL. It’s crazy making!

Thanks again!

Thank you as well. I love visiting.


Blueberry Article_sm

Old Fashion Blueberry Cake

2 eggs separated
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries

Beat 2 egg whites until stiff, and set aside.
Cream together shortening, vanilla, sugar, and two egg yolks.
Sift flour and baking powder together. Add to cream mixture alternating with milk.
Fold in egg whites and blue berries.

Pour into 9” pan (greased and floured) and sprinkle top lightly with sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

This is a traditional New England dense desert or breakfast cake. Just a touch lighter than pound cake. No frosting needed.


BEYOND YOUR TOUCH (book #2 Dark Heart series) was released August 30th

She wants more than he can promise.
His desires could lead to betrayal.
But without each other, neither can survive the dangers ahead.

Annie Freemont knows this isn’t the right time to get involved with a man like Chase. After years of distrust, she’s finally drawing close to her estranged family, and he’s an employee on their estate in Maine. Though she never intended to stay on the estate for long, her father’s illness and the mysteries surrounding her family made leaving impossible. And now with the newfound hope of rescuing her long-missing mother, Annie’s determined to be involved with the family’s plans one way or another.

If only she could keep her mind off Chase and focus on the impending rescue. But there’s something about the enigmatic Chase that she can’t resist. And she’s not the only woman. Annie fears a seductive stranger who is key to safely freeing her mother is also obsessed with him. As plans transform into action and time for a treacherous journey into a strange world draws near, every move Annie makes will test the one bond she’s trusted with her secrets, her desires—and her heart.

Amazon BN BAM Indiebound

Target Hudson Booksellers


PAT ESDEN is an antique-dealing florist by trade. She’s also a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and the League of Vermont Writers. Her short stories have appeared in a number of publications, including Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, the Mythopoeic Society’s Mythic Circle literary magazine, and George H. Scither’s anthology Cat Tales.

Her new adult paranormal novels, A HOLD ON ME (book #1 in the Dark Heart series) and BEYOND YOUR TOUCH (book #2 Dark Heart series) are available from Kensington book. REACH FOR YOU (book #3 Dark Heart series) will be released in 2017.









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Bready or Not: Blueberry Muffin Breakfast Truffles

Posted by on Apr 27, 2016 in Blog, blueberry, Bready or Not, breakfast, gluten-free, healthier, lemon, no-bake dessert | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Blueberry Muffin Breakfast Truffles

Gluten-free. Basic, wholesome, raw ingredients. No added sugar. No baking involved. Tastes like a mini blueberry muffin. Oh yeah.

Bready or Not: Blueberry Muffin Breakfast Truffles

I have posted about breakfast energy truffles before. This is a distinct variation because of the use of dried blueberries. Mind you, those can be an expensive ingredient, but you only need 1/2 cup for the recipe. I thought the blueberry flavor might be overwhelming, but the addition of a little lemon juice does a lot to mellow it.

Bready or Not: Blueberry Muffin Breakfast Truffles

These are super-easy to make in a food processor or high-powered blender (though for the latter, you might need to blend this in smaller batches). It just takes a few minutes to make these truffles.

Bready or Not: Blueberry Muffin Breakfast Truffles

Store them in the fridge for upward of a week or two. They are perfect for a breakfast or snack!

Bready or Not: Blueberry Muffin Breakfast Truffles

Modified from Blueberry Muffin Energy Balls at The Healthy Maven.

Bready or Not: Blueberry Muffin Breakfast Truffles

These healthy no-bake energy truffles use raw ingredients to make a delicious breakfast or snack! Use any combination of nuts you want to equal one cup. This recipe makes 19 teaspoon-sized truffles.
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Snack
Keyword: blueberries, gluten free, lemon, no bake
Author: Beth Cato


  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup almonds or use other combination of nuts to equal 1 cup
  • 1/2 cup dates diced
  • 1/2 cup dried blueberries
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tb lemon juice
  • dash salt


  • Add nuts to food processor. Pulse until they are in pieces. Add the dates and dried blueberries, and process until they are in tiny pieces and starting to stick together
  • Add the lemon juice, vanilla extract, and salt. Blend everything until it forms a big sticky ball.
  • Use a teaspoon or tablespoon scoop to form balls. You might need to stir the mix as you go, as the lemon juice tends to lurk at the bottom. Use your hands to compress each ball. Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to two weeks, or freeze between layers of wax paper.


Bready or Not: Blueberry Muffin Breakfast Truffles

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