It is March break and all the kids are off – but you know that. If you didn’t go away, you probably have them all with you in the house. So keep them busy by getting them to make their own batches of these “caffins” (cake + muffins). I couldn’t think of what else to call these rich and delicious treats. I made them small enough that you could eat one or more and not feel guilty, but deliciously satisfied Blueberries and lemons, they make me look forward to the next season. Spring is after all, only a few days away, (and yes I know we can’t complain about the winter – except for this crazy spell), I am ready to say goodbye to it. Bring on the warmth of spring and the heat of summer.

You can make lots of substitutions to this recipe and that’s what makes it ideal for a kids activity. This is a good time to get them to try different fruits, berries or nuts. Let them pick their own combinations based on a trip to a grocery store or what you have in your pantry. This recipe does not require a mixer so there’s a bonus! I used what I had in my fridge from other baking experiments.  I had mascarpone left over from a cheesecake recipe, and sour cream. But really this is not a recipe you want to spend $12 for on a tub of mascarpone – delicious as it may be, save that purchase for a fancy dessert. Use either yogurt or sour cream or a combo – just as long as you only put 2/3 of a cup in the batter. Remember, you can usually change the flavoring in a baking recipe with good results, just as long as you keep your proportions the same.

Adding fruit will keep it extra moist, always a good thing. But don’t forget about flaked coconut and nuts in general. Whatever you decide, they won’t last long so make sure you try this recipe. Send me a picture and let me know what flavor combinations you/they come up with. As always – enjoy!

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp lemon zest or lemon extract
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup mascarpone
1/3 cup sour cream (full fat of course)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries – or your favorite berry
1 gala apple, diced – or your favorite fruit

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
Using a non-stick muffin tin, spray (I know, but better to spray than risk getting stuck in the tin) or line with cup liners – set aside
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, lemon zest (if using)and salt Place the blueberries and apples in a separate bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of the dry ingredients
In a larger bowl, add the olive oil, sugar, and yogurt, and mix until fully combined
Add the egg, and vanilla (and lemon extract if using), mix thoroughly
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until the dry ingredients are just incorporated
Fold in the blueberries
Spoon the batter into muffin tin/liners, filling 1/2 of the way (3/4 if you want bigger sized muffins)
I got 18 caffins from this batch of dough
Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, until caffins are golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean