Sunday, December 3, 2017

Welcome guest author Paige Shelton w/ book #giveaway!

After moving many times during her childhood, Paige finally settled in Salt Lake City, where she got married and raised a son. Once the son was off to college, she and her husband moved to Arizona, where they’re having a great time. For more about Paige and her books, see:

Take it away, Paige! GIVEAWAY below! 


Happy Holidays! There’s so much I love about this time of year, but one thing that sits high at the top of my list is a good rolled up cake. I first discovered cake rolls only a few years ago when I made the recipe on the Libby’s can for the pumpkin roll. I believe I uttered something like, ‘Oh cake rolls, where have you been all my life?’ when I tasted it. 

Over the years I’ve experimented with a few different recipes, but until this year I haven’t found something worthy of that first pumpkin roll delight. This year, I decided to create something with one of my favorite holiday flavor combinations: chocolate and orange. Yum. 

Side note – this recipe has nothing to do with my December book, COMIC SANS MURDER, but I’ll add a little blurb about it at the end. For now, it’s all about the cake roll.


3 eggs, separated
½ cup plus 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
½ cup All-Purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cake roll pan (cookie sheet with sides) 10 ½ X 15 X 1

- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease the pan then line with parchment paper and grease the paper too.  

- Beat egg yolks in small bowl, gradually adding ½ cup sugar. Beat until light and lemon colored.

- In another bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, 1/3 cup sugar, baking soda and salt.

- Add flour mixture, alternating with water and vanilla, to egg mixture, beat on low speed until smooth.


- With clean beaters, beat egg whites until foamy, gradually adding one tablespoon sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form.

- Carefully, fold beaten egg whites into batter.

- Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.

- Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until top springs back when lightly touched.

Here’s where I think I’m different from most cake roll bakers. If you have a preferred method for removing the cake and then rolling it to cool, feel free to do it that way. I like to flip the cake directly onto some wax paper that I put on top of a clean dish towel, then I remove the parchment paper on the back before I gently roll the cake (wax paper included but NOT dish towel) up to cool. It needs to cool completely before you add the filling or frosting.


This is the good stuff. You will have enough to cover your cake in an thin, even layer, but thin layers are okay because it’s a roll and there’s cake and filling layers in every bite.

½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 to 3 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons orange extract
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice

- In a bowl, combine the butter, 3 cups of confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, and orange extract and mix on medium speed until blended.

- Add the orange zest and orange juice. Beat until smooth and creamy. 

Once your cake has cooled all the way, carefully unroll it. Spread the filling evenly over the cake and the re-roll it. (Note that in picture, my filling is not spread evenly. I forgot to take a final picture of the evenly spread filling.) 

Last step is the frosting. My favorite is this chocolate whipped cream frosting. 

Ingredients: - 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 8-oz. package of cold cream cheese
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Sanding sugar to sprinkle on the outside. Orange if you can find it, but clear is fine too.

- In a large bowl, stir together the cocoa powder with a couple spoon fulls of the cream until it forms a creamy paste.
- Add cream cheese to the bowl and beat until softened and mixing in with the cocoa mixture. About 30 seconds.
- Add sugar, salt, and vanilla. Continue beating until fully combined. You can pinch some with your fingers to make sure sugar has “melted” enough and there is no grit.
- Slowly drizzle the rest of the cream down the sides of the bowl while continuing to beat (I use a hand mixer and it works just fine). Beat until the mixture is combined and forms stiff peaks.

Frost the outside of your cake roll immediately, sprinkle sanding sugar over it, and store remaining frosting and cake in the refrigerator.


Okay, about the book. COMIC SANS MURDER is the third book in my Dangerous Type series. The series takes place in Star City, Utah, which is a lot like Park City, Utah. Clare Henry and her grandfather own and operate The Rescued Word, a shop on Bygone alley, where typewriters and books go to be repaired and stationery from all over the world is sold. The mystery in COMIC SANS MURDER is revolved around Clare’s old high school friends, some extremely valuable old typewriters called Hoovens, and a disembodied foot found in an abandoned ski boot on the slopes.

Thanks to everyone at Mystery Lovers Kitchen and everyone stopping by today. Wishing you all the best, and may your holidays be filled with family, friends, peace, and lots of good books.


Paige is giving away to one winner  - all three books in the series: TO HELVETICA AND BACK, BOOKMAN DEAD STYLE, and COMIC SANS MURDER.  Answer this question: what is your favorite holiday dessert?
Remember to include your email should you win!

You can find Paige online here: