This is an easy to make cake.

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I was struck by this fun idea for an April Fool’s entree, and couldn’t resist passing it along. Bob Blumer, who is known for his whimsical presentations as host of the Food Network’s Glutton for Punishment, created Meatloaf Surprise Birthday Cake for a children’s party-themed episode.

Q. Loved reading the gentleman’s note about cooking for one. I’ve been a widower for 15 years, and well remember my first pathetic attempts in the kitchen. Here’s a recipe a woman at church gave me when I confided that I missed home baking the most. It’s a foolproof little loaf cake that you can make in a lot of flavors by substituting the extract you use, such as almond or maple, or by adding some raisins or chocolate chips or whatever. It doesn’t make a lot so it doesn’t go bad before you can eat it up. The texture is velvety and moist so you don’t need icing, but it sure takes to a scoop of ice cream on top. — J.P. Sommers

A. The texture really makes this cake. I like the versatility, too, and can’t wait to try a lemon version. I’d add a teaspoon or more of grated fresh orange or lemon rind to boost the citrus flavor.

Lou’s Velvet Loaf Cake

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Makes 8 servings

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, sliced

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon orange or lemon extract

1/2 cup milk

1. Stir the flour, baking powder and salt together. In another bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and extract. Mix in some of the flour mixture, then some of the milk, until you’ve used it up.

2. Bake in a 9-inch loaf pan you’ve sprayed with vegetable oil. Bake an hour at 325 degrees, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean Per serving: 348 calories (36 percent from fat), 13.8 g fat (8.1 g saturated, 3.8 g monounsaturated), 97.6 mg cholesterol, 6.2 g protein, 50 g carbohydrates, 0.8 g fiber, 306 mg sodium.

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