Saturday, February 28, 2009



Several years ago I was hooked on a series of books written by Jan Karon about a fictional town called Mitford ( . The lead character of the Book was Father Tim and surrounding him were a host of parishioners that were an interesting group of people. One of my favorites was Esther Bullock, Father Tim's church secretary. Esther's signature was her Orange Marmalade Layer Cake. These scrumptious delights were brought to the sick, and infirm, they were brought to funerals, baptisms, weddings, and of course birthdays. You were really considered special if you were on Esther's Christmas list as of course you would be the lucky recipient of one of her famous cakes.

Esther would never give up the secret to that cake and Jan Karon wouldn't either until the book Esther's Gift came out. I just happened to be at the library recently and there sat the small book on a table just waiting for me to pick it up. And that is exactly what I did one cold winter afternoon this month. And after reading it, I thought I just have to make this cake or at least something like it. So I checked out the book and headed to the grocery store.

Since Bob and I are the only ones at home now, and the prospect of eating a whole cake is a bit much, I thought cupcakes! And since cupcakes are popular now if they turned out just the way I hoped they would, I might be able to work them into my cupcake class in the future.

The cupcakes turned out just the way I hoped and everyone who has sampled them agree that they should be included in my cupcake or desserts classes and they will. For a schedule of my culinary classes go to and if you want to read a great series of books and become friends with the Mitford folk as I have then go to the library or a book store and pick up one of the nine books in the series, but I suggest that you begin with, "At Home in Mitford." I hope you enjoy them as much as I have. Don't forget to stop by the grocery store to pick up the ingredients for Carmela's Orange Marmalade Cupcakes. Make yourself a batch and settle back with a good book. Spring does not have to come in such a hurry after all.


1 package Betty Crocker White Super Moist Cake Mix

1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

6 ounces good quality orange marmalade

1 can Betty Crocker Rich and Creamy Cream Cheese Frosting

Prepare and bake the cake mix according the package directions for cupcakes.

( When cooled, with a skewer poke the tops of the cupcakes several times. Gently drizzle the tops of the cupcakes with the orange juice. Wait a few minutes and let the juice soak into the cupcakes. With an apple corer, gently remove a plug out of the center of the cake, making sure that you do not cut through to the bottom.

Put the marmalade in a zip-lock bag and seal tightly. Cut a small corner of the bag and pipe the marmalade into the center of the cupcake level with the top. Save remaining marmalade. Frost cupcakes as you like. With the remaining marmalade, garnish the top of each cake with a dollop.

This is my quick and easy version, for Esther's version pick up a copy of Esther's Gift by Jan Karon.

Buon appetito,

Carmela Turis Hobbins

1 comment:

D Wright said...

I loved your blog. I enjoyed reading about your cooking and cooking classes. You are too far for me to take a class, but I enjoyed reading about Jan Karon's website and her books. The Mitford Cookbook is one of my favorites. Your marmalade cupcakes look yummy!