Anna Olson shares two cupcake recipes for National Cupcake Day (one for humans, one for dogs!)

By: Chris Daniels

Just call her a cupcake crusader! Anna Olson, celebrity chef and host of Food Network Canada’s Bake with Anna Olson, shares two cupcake recipes – one for humans, and another for our four-legged friends – in honour of National Cupcake Day. The Feb. 23rd fundraiser benefits SPCAs and Humane Societies across Canada.

Hello! Canada caught up with the animal (and cupcake!) lover.

How did you become involved with National Cupcake Day?
I’ve been a supporter of the Ontario SPCA for some time (I had adopted my beagle, Priscilla, from the local chapter years ago), so when I was asked if I wanted to be a "Cupcake Crusader" to help celebrate National Cupcake Day and support animals in need, I didn’t have to think twice before saying yes.

What have fuzzy friends meant to you over the years?
Beagles were part of our life for 16 years, and that special bond made them a part of our family. The giving between pets and humans creates a valuable connection. We care for them and they return the caring.

What’s your favourite cupcake?
That’s a tough question, since my cupcake moods change! In winter, I tend to like lemon or chocolate cupcakes, in fall I like pumpkin cupcakes (cream cheese frosting, please!) and in summer I like berry meringue cupcakes.

Double Apple Pupcakes Recipe

Serves: Your four-legged best friend!
Makes: 48 mini pupcakes


  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ¼ cup fancy molasses
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup chopped dried apples


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease mini muffin tins.
  2. Stir the flour, baking powder and cinnamon together in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the applesauce, water, molasses, oil, and egg together. Add this to the flour all at once and stir until blended. Stir in the chopped dried apples.
  4. Spoon batter into the prepared muffin tins and bake for about 30 minutes, until the pupcakes spring back when gently pressed.
  5. Let the pupcakes cool for 15 minutes in the tin before turning out.
  6. The pupcakes will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Lemon Coconut Cupcake Recipe

Makes: 24 cupcakes


Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups cake & pastry flour
  • 1 ½ cups sugar, divided
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp finely grated lemon zest
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

Coconut Frosting Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4-6 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 6 Tbsp coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp coconut extract
  • sweetened flaked coconut, for décor
  • CHIPITS White Chocolate Chips, for décor


Baking Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C) and line 2 muffin tins with paper cupcake liners.
  2. Sift the flour with 1 cup of the sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the lemon zest.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk, oil, lemon juice, egg yolks and vanilla. Whisk this into the dry mixture until well-blended and set aside while whipping the whites.
  4. Using electric beaters or a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whip the egg whites until they are frothy and then gradually add the remaining ½ cup of sugar while whipping. Continue to whip until the beaters hold a soft peak when lifted (this will take about 3 minutes, and the whites will be very glossy). Fold the whites into the batter in 2 additions until evenly blended.
  5. Spoon the batter (using an ice cream scoop is easiest) into the prepared muffin tins and bake for 15-17 minutes until the cupcakes spring back in the centre when gently pressed (the cupcakes will not brown much).
  6. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the tins before frosting.

Icing Instructions:

  1. Beat the butter and 2 cups of the icing sugar with electric beaters or using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until blended. Add the coconut milk, vanilla and coconut extract and beat in. Add 2 more cups of icing sugar, beat on low speed and then beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, adding more icing sugar as needed until the frosting holds its shape when the beaters are lifted (the variation in amount of icing sugar is due to how soft the butter is, and how warm and/or humid the weather is).
  2. Spoon or pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes and sprinkle with coconut and CHIPITS White Chocolate Chips. Do not refrigerate the cupcakes, if preparing ahead.

Our Food Editor, Chris Daniels, shares his favourite recipes, food trends and more on Twitter: @byChrisDaniels

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