Picnic-Perfect Desserts
Sugary confections for the charitable heart



By Missy Fournier


Whether you’re heading to Jordan Lake or Umstead Park, the spring weather has you outdoors. They say April showers bring May flowers; in the Triangle, May sunshine leads to June scorching heat.

So, enjoy the warm, breezy days of May with a lazy afternoon in the rays and a sweet surprise in your picnic basket. Dining alfresco should include sinfully delicious desserts!

Here are recipes for the sweetest course from “The BounceBack Kids Cookbook.” A fireball of a nonprofit, BounceBack Kids provides free, year-round recreational activities for children with serious medical conditions. For more about BounceBack Kids, which is based in Chapel Hill, visit www.bouncebackkids.org.

Kids BakingMarshmallow Fudge Cake
From the kitchen of Lisa Brachman, executive director


1 stick butter or margarine, softened
7/8 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup sifted flour
2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled


1 bag mini-marshmallows
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8x8 cake pan.
Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, flour and melted chocolate. Pour into greased and floured cake pan. Bake 20-25 minutes. Check for doneness before removing from oven. Pour mini-marshmallows over cake as soon as it’s removed from oven.

While cake is baking, melt chocolate over hot water or in microwave. Add other ingredients (alternating sugar). Keep beating to retain melting consistency. Add water if icing begins to get too thick. Keep icing hot, and pour over cake right after you’ve added marshmallows. Allow to cool well before cutting into squares. May be frozen.


Blueberry CakeBlueberry Cake
From the kitchen of Ivy Wingate, friend


1/2 cup soft butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 cups blueberries (fresh or defrosted frozen)

1⁄2 cup brown sugar
1⁄3 cup flour
1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄4 cup butter


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour either a 9x9 square or 9-inch spring form pan.

Cream together soft butter, white sugar and egg. Stir together wheat flour, white flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to creamed, alternating with 2/3 cup buttermilk. Stir in blueberries and spread into the pan.

Mash together brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and butter. Drop this topping on the cake's top. Don't worry about spreading it over the whole cake; it will melt and spread. Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out dry.
Variation: You can substitute 2/3 cup milk mixed with 1 teaspoon vinegar for the buttermilk.


Egg Custard Pie
From the kitchen of Mildred Council (aka Mama Dip), Mama Dip's Restaurant, chef and owner


Mama Dip1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons self-rising flour
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 stick butter or margarine, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup milk
1 unbaked, 9-inch pie shell


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a bowl, mix together the sugar, flour and nutmeg. Stir in the butter, vanilla and eggs, and beat for 10 to 15 strokes. Add the milk and mix well. Pour into the pie shell, and bake for 30 minutes or until firm.




Banana-Chocolate Chip Carrot Loaf Bananas
From the kitchen of Pat Blau, friend


1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup peeled and grated carrots
9 ounces chocolate chips, divided


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.

Cream butter and sugar at medium speed with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Mix flour mixture and bananas alternately into egg mixture. Add vanilla and fold in carrots and 6 ounces chocolate chips. Pour batter into pan and sprinkle top with remaining chocolate chips.

Bake 1 hour until tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.

Tip: This freezes well, so consider freezing pre-sliced and then taking out individual pieces.


Elmo’s Diner Cobbler
From the kitchen of Cindy McMahan, Elmo's Diner, co-owner


CobblerVegetable spray
6 pounds fresh or frozen apples, blueberries, blackberries, cherries or peaches
4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 pound butter, melted
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
3 eggs


2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray large (hotel size) baking pan with vegetable spray.

Spread fruit evenly onto baking pan. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of sugar over fruit. Evenly spread melted butter over fruit. Blend well sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Blend eggs with dry ingredients until crumbly. Spread this mixture lightly over fruit. Don’t push down with a spoon.

Cook for 30 minutes, and then sprinkle with sugar-and-cinnamon topping. Cook another 15-20 minutes until crust is firm and golden.


Chess Pie
From the kitchen of Susan Coker, owner, Dina Porter

Chess Pie Ingredients


2 cups sugar
2/3 cup melted butter
3 tablespoons self-rising flour
1 cup buttermilk
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 unbaked frozen pie shells


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all ingredients and pour into two unbaked frozen pie shells. Bake 40-50 minutes until firm.

Tip: If using a convection oven, bake 35-40 minutes at 340 degrees.


Lemon Sour Cream Pound Cake
From the kitchen of Caroline Nichols, A Southern Season

Lemon Sour Cream Pound Cake

3 cups sugar
1/2 pound butter
1/2 cup Crisco
1 cup sour cream
3 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
6 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
2-3 teaspoons lemon flavoring


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Have all ingredients at room temperature and mix slowly when combining. Grease and flour angel food pan or 3 loaf pans.

Cream together sugar, butter, Crisco and sour cream. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Beat in eggs and flour mixture to the cream mixture at the rate of 1 egg and ½ cup of flour mixture. Mix thoroughly after each addition. Mix together milk, vanilla flavoring and lemon flavoring. Add to cream mixture.

Bake for 1-1½ hours until tester comes out clean. Don’t open the oven door before 1 hour.


Cowboy Cookies
From the kitchen of Caroline Christopher, friend


Cookies1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups rolled oats
One 6-ounce package chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream sugars and shortening. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add flour mixture to sugar/shortening mixture, 1/3 at a time. Mix well. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts.

Drop by spoonful onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Cool on wire rack.




From the kitchen of APPLES Service-Learning Program, UNC-Chapel HillUNC Chapel Hill Students


6 fresh apples, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup soft butter or margarine
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Peel and slice apples into thin, long slices. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Put the apple slices in the bottom of a baking dish. Combine all the other ingredients into a bowl. Sprinkle evenly over the apples. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Variations: Our friend Melanie Goldman adds cinnamon to her crisp. Consider using different types of fruit together or individually. Peach, blueberry, plum and apricot are all delicious candidates.