Summer Foraging Recipe: Elderberry-Blueberry Jam with Chia Seeds

In the woodland valleys of Central California, Elderflower trees have been in bloom all spring with their prolific, lacy white blossoms.  I've enjoyed making Elderflower syrup, candied elderflowers and sweet Elderflower Tempura.  A few days ago, I noticed that some of the trees are starting to bear fruit -- diminutive, tart little berries, deep purplish-blue growing in heavy clusters.  

Inspired by a love of biscuits and jam, foraging, and adapted from a recipe from Simply Beyond Herbs, I whipped up a simple and delicious jam made from the foraged Elderberries, fresh blueberries and using chia seeds for a perfect jammy consistency.

Enjoy and Happy Foraging!
PrintWith ImageWithout Image Elderberry-Blueberry Chia JamYield: One half-pint jarAuthor: Jenn Erickson Prep time: 10 MCook time: 10 MTotal time: 20 M An easy and delicious sweet-tart jam to make from foraged Elderberries. Ingredients:1 1/2 cups elderberries, rinsedPinch of salt1 cup blueberries, rinsed2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds1/2 Tabl…

Cupcake Take Out...It's Cake Out (™) !

Before I went on hiatus from the creative cakery business, one of my most popular offerings (besides the sculpted cake art) was my fun and funky spin on the traditional cupcake:  THE CAKE OUT™.  Demand for these unique desserts has remained high, so although I'm no longer accepting commissions for 3D cakes, The ever-popular Cake Outs are still available for special order.

What is a Cake Out™ ?

Dreamed-up and developed by Jenn Erickson, proprietor of Flour Shop Boutique Cakerie in 2007, The Cake Out™ is a cupcake baked right in to a Chinese take-out container. The perfectly square little cake is layered with delicious mousses and fillings, and topped with the perfect amount of frosting and artful edible embellishments. Unlike the traditional cupcake, this chic little treat is designed to eat with a spoon for a perfectly balanced bite every time.  Open the lid and they're ready to eat.  Close the lid and they're ready to go...


(central California only)
Email inquiries to:
Pricing ranges from $4.50 - $6.50 per piece

The CAKE OUT™ is versatile ~ the flavor combinations are limited only to your imagination!  Here is just a sampling of some of the creations available for order:

Heart of Darkness:  Chocolate Cake layered with chocolate mousse and a single red raspberry, topped with a whipped chocolate raspberry ganache and raspberry dust

Mexican Chocolate:  Chocolate Cake layered with a Mexican cinnamon chocolate mousse and drizzled with dulce de leche

Zen Monkey: Banana Chocolate Cake layered with a tease of creamy peanut butter mousse and topped with chocolate frosting

Zen Ginger:  Light spice cake layered and topped with a ginger and brown sugar whipped cream

Lemon Meringue:  White cake layered with homemade lemon curd and topped with toasted meringue

Key Lime:  White cake layered with creamy lime curd and topped with a lightly toasted coconut meringue

Tea Garden:  Green Tea cake layered and topped by a fluffy jasmine honey whipped cream and a dash of Macha

Boston Cream:  A classic sponge cake layered with custard and topped with a rich chocolate frosting

German Chocolate:  German Chocolate cake layered with the traditional coconut pecan confection

NYC:  Classic sponge cake cake layered and topped with a light cheesecake mousse and topped with a dollop of Cherry compote

Gianduia:  Chocolate cake layered and topped with a whipped hazelnut chocolate ganache and sprinkled with toasted hazelnut pieces

Cookies & Cream:  Chocolate cake layered with an oreo truffle cream, topped with a swirl of buttercream and sprinkled with oreo crumbles

Grasshoper:  Chocolate Cake layered with a mint cookie truffle cream, topped with a swirl of buttercream and sprinkled with mint cookie crumbles

White Christmas:  White cake layered and topped with a light eggnog cream and garnished with slender mint reception sticks

Crème Brulee:  Classic sponge cake layered and filled with crème brulee custard and finished with carmelized sugar sprinkles

Not in Central California?  Here are some tips for making some CAKE-OUT magic of your own:

  • Yes, you can bake in Chinese Take-out containers.  To prevent burning, do not bake above 325 degrees.
  • Portion batter as you would a regular cupcake (about 1/4 cup - 1/3 cup's worth).
  • Lighter cakes (like white cake and sponge cake) bake better when the lids of the containers are closed during baking.  They must be opened immediately after removing from the oven, however, or condensation will form and cause the cakes to sink.
  • You can pipe your frosting to look like noodles with a pastry bag fitted with a Wilton or Ateco 5 Round Plain tip, or by placing frosting in a ziploc bag and snipping a small hole in one end.  
  • Pocky Sticks make great "edible chopsticks".  Pocky Sticks can be found in the international section of many major grocery stores.  Pocky Sticks come in several different flavors.  If  inserting the biscuit end first, make sure to seal it in melted chocolate to prevent sogging.
  • You can use cake mix or your favorite cake recipe.  Cupcakes typically take 18-23 minutes. 
  • To purchase the take-out containers, check your local restaurant supply, some Smart & Final stores, or visit U-line Online.  You'll want the 1/2 pint size. 
  • You can personalize the take-out containers by printing on Avery clear labels
  • Cakes can be filled by simply piping filling directly into the cake.  -- or -- Cakes can be layered by removing cake from the container (just lightly squeeze -- they pop right out), slicing into layers, and layering back into the container with your choice of filling.


Brownies usually bake 28-30 minutes depending on the recipe.
For the recipe for the delicious Peanut Butter frosting, visit HERE.

Cake Out® is a registered trademark with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (Serial Number: 86122080, Owner:  Jennifer M Erickson)

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