Trinity’s Barbecue, Bake Sale, Craft Fair Scheduled April 2

Two thousand marinated chicken halves will be cooked over a 50-foot custom grill for the Mission Barbecue, Bake Sale and Craft Fair at Trinity United Methodist Church on Saturday, April 2 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Barbecue can be enjoyed in the fellowship hall or taken home. All proceeds go to children and youth ministries. Photo Contributed To The Observer

By Ann Cipperly

Billowing smoke from a 50-foot custom grill drifts through the parking lot at Trinity United Methodist Church as they cook 2,000 chicken halves for the Mission Barbecue, Bake Sale and Craft Fair on Saturday, April 2 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. With a guarded secret chicken recipe, the perfectly cooked barbecue is served with homemade slaw, chips and bread. Scrumptious desserts and a variety of quilts and other handcrafted arts will also be available. Proceeds from the event will benefit mission trips, camps and retreats for children and students.

“The last two years have been a struggle in many ways,” said Youth Minister Steve Bass. “One thing that has helped us get back to feeling normal is when things that were taken away come back into our lives. One of the many things that COVID-19 took away from us was our annual church barbecue that we are excited to announce will be back on April 2.

“This has been a tradition of ours for well over a decade and it is not only a fundraiser for our children and student ministries, but it also is a great event that brings our whole church together for one cause. We will also have a huge selection of baked goods from our church members, including all sorts of cookies, pies, cakes and more. You’d better get here early because the bake sale completely sells out every year.”

Many of the perfectly baked cakes and other baked treats are ideal to purchase and freeze for Easter. If you are having company for the day on Easter, having yummy homemade baked goods tucked in the freezer will allow you to enjoy the day with your family instead of being in the kitchen.

You can also enjoy a dessert with your barbecue plate. Ticket holders can dine in the fellowship hall and enjoy complimentary sweet or unsweet tea with their half of a marinated grilled chicken and sides. If you prefer, the plates can be taken home to savor. A variety of cookies will be offered as well as cakes by the slice.

Trinity’s quilting ministry, “Prayers and Squares” meets every Friday morning, and the expert seamstresses will be offering beautiful homemade quilts, blankets and other items at the Craft Fair. Other talented artists at the church will be selling decorative crafts.

A couple of days before the barbecue, a group of men from Trinity will construct a 50-foot cement block pit in the parking lot across from the church. On Friday afternoon, the men will fire up the grill and start cooking 2,000 chicken halves that have been marinated in a vinegar based sauce. The specialty chicken recipe is a tightly guarded secret, which was found on the back of a portrait in an old country church in Chambers County.

It will take all night to cook all of the chickens. As the chicken grills, it will be brushed every ten minutes with the sauce when the racks are turned. Each chicken half is slowly grilled for three and a half hours. Then, the chicken is placed in coolers to steam to keep it tender and moist. Generally, 40 to 50 men assist with grilling during the night.

Steve invites the community “to support a fantastic cause and enjoy a fabulous meal at a great price.” 

Advance tickets are $10 and can be purchased through a church member selling tickets or at the church office located at 800 Second Ave. in Opelika. All proceeds go to children and youth ministries. For further information, call 334-745-2632.

Plan to take a break from the kitchen on April 2 to enjoy a delectable meal with your family and take home desserts for the weekend or to freeze for Easter. The recipes feature heavenly desserts from cooks at Trinity over the years.

Hummingbird Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Beth Brewer

This is a delicious and lovely cake for spring, especially for Easter.

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups white sugar

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1¼ cups vegetable oil

3 eggs

8 oz. can crushed pineapple with juice

2 cups diced bananas

1 cup chopped pecans

1 tsp. vanilla extract


8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened

1/4 lb. butter, softened

1 lb. confectioners’ sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line your cupcake pan with liners.

Measure flour, sugar, soda, salt, cinnamon, oil, eggs, and vanilla into mixing bowl. Beat until smooth. Stir in pineapple with juice, bananas, and pecans. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for about 20 minutes.

While cake is baking, make frosting by mixing together cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth.

Cool, and ice with cream cheese icing.

Granny Jackson’s Chocolate Pound Cake

Martha Hill

2 sticks butter or margarine, room temperature

½ cup shortening

3 cups sugar

5 eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

½ tsp. baking powder

4 Tbsp. cocoa

1 cup milk

1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream butter and shortening; add sugar and eggs. Sift dry ingredients; add alternately with milk to creamed mixture. Stir in vanilla.

Bake in a greased Bundt pan for about 80 minutes or until test done. Can bake in two loaf pans. Cool and frost.


¾ stick butter or margarine, room temperature

5 Tbsp. cocoa

6 Tbsp. milk

1 box 10x sugar

Cream butter and cocoa; add sugar alternately with milk. Mix until blended and smooth.

Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

Melinda Jackson

2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

2/3 cup vegetable oil

2 cups granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 cup 2% reduced fat milk

1 cup brewed coffee (cooled to room temperature)

1 tsp. vanilla extract


8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened

¼ cup creamy peanut butter

2 cups powdered sugar

2 Tbsp. 2% (or 1%) reduced fat milk

½ tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 13 x 9-inch glass baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. To prepare cake, sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.

Combine oil and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer beat at medium speed until well combined. Add eggs; beat well. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of bowl. Stir in coffee and vanilla (batter will be thin).

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cake cool completely.

To prepare frosting, combine cream cheese and peanut butter in a large mixing bowl. Use electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. If frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar, if too thick, add a little more milk. Make sure cake is completely cooled before adding frosting on top.

Lime Cupcakes with Lime Icing

Jean Lenard

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 cups sugar

3 large eggs

1/4 cup thawed frozen limeade concentrate

1 Tbsp. fresh lime zest

1/2 tsp. vanilla

3½ cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1½ cups sour cream

1 recipe Lime Icing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two (12-cup) muffin pans with paper liners. Set aside.

In large bowl, beat butter and sugar at medium-high speed with mixer until fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well. Add limeade, lime zest, and vanilla, beating well. Set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin pans. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 18 to 22 minutes.

Remove from pans and cool completely before frosting. Makes 24. Can place Lime Icing in a pastry bag with large star tip to pipe icing onto tops of cupcakes. Can garnish with additional lime zest, if desired.

Lime Icing:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup thawed frozen limeade concentrate

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

In large bowl, beat butter at medium-high speed with mixer until fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Add limeade concentrate, beating well. Gradually add cream, beating until smooth.

Coconut Cake

Jennifer Jones

1 box butter yellow cake mix. Follow directions on box, except substitute milk or half and half for water. Add 1 Tbsp. vanilla and 2 Tbsp. sour cream. Bake as directed on box.


1 large carton sour cream (16 oz.)

12 oz. coconut, canned or frozen (save some for garnishing the cake)

2 cups sugar

1 small carton Cool Whip

Mix all ingredients together and spread on cooled cake. This cake will last several weeks in the refrigerator. Sprinkle plain coconut over icing.

Ilah Dean’s Pound Cake

Good served plain or with whipped cream and strawberries

2 sticks butter, room temperature

1/2 cup Crisco shortening

3 cups sugar

5 eggs

3 cups Swan Down cake flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 1/4 cups milk

Cream together butter, Crisco and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Beat well. Add baking powder and mix. Add flour slowly to mixture. Mix well; add milk and mix.

Pour into greased and floured tube pan. Bake at 300 degrees for 1 1/2 hours or inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Easy Sour Cream Pound Cake

Judy Doorenbos

My dear friend and her aunt Martha always made this cake for special occasions.

1 box Duncan Hines Butter Recipe Golden Cake Mix

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup oil

4 eggs

8 oz. (1 cup) sour cream

1/2 tsp. vanilla

Mix all ingredients except sour cream and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes at medium speed. Add sour cream and vanilla. Mix thoroughly. Bake in greased and sugared Bundt pan at 350 degrees for 55 minutes.

Special Strawberry Cake

This was the specialty cake that Sharron Robinson Fuller would bake every year for the bake sale. At times, she would bake 32 cakes. After her tragic loss, others at church have continued to bake this cake in her honor.


18.25 oz. box white cake mix

3 oz. box strawberry flavored instant gelatin

10 oz. pkg. frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed

4 large eggs

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 325. Lightly grease 9 x 13 cake pan.

In a large bowl, combine cake mix and gelatin. Add strawberries, eggs, oil and water; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer.

Pour into prepared pan, and bake for about 40 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Let cool in pan before icing. Spread Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting on top. Garnish with sliced fresh strawberries, if desired.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting:

8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup frozen strawberries, thawed (try not to get any juice)

16 oz. box confectioners’ sugar

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and strawberries at medium speed with an electric mixer. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth.

Note: You can substitute fresh strawberries if you like. In the cake I substitute about 1 cup of fresh chopped strawberries and substitute 1/2 cup fresh chopped strawberries in the icing.

Almond Joy Cookies

Lyndal Curry

1 cup butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups white sugar

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

4 eggs

3 tsp. vanilla

4 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

5 cups milk chocolate chips

2 cups sweetened coconut

2 cups chopped almonds

Pre-heat oven to 375. Lightly grease cookie sheets – parchment paper works best.

Combine dry ingredients; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together. Beat in eggs, one at a time, stir in vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients until well mixed. Then stir in the chocolate chips, coconut and almonds. Drop by rounded tablespoons full onto the prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

This recipe makes 10 dozen cookies so be prepared. I mix all the ingredients together with the mixer then mix in the nuts, coconut, and chocolate chips by hand.

The dough freezes well. Fill a quart bag and squash the batter flat and freeze.

Toffee Crunch Cookies

Barbara Arrington

1 cup sugar or ½ cup Splenda Sugar Blend for Baking

¾ cup butter, softened

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1½ tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp baking soda

½ cup English toffee bits or chips


Heat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl combine sugar, butter, egg and vanilla. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy (1 to 2 minutes). Reduce speed to low; add flour, baking powder and baking soda. Beat until well mixed (1 to 2 minutes). By hand, stir in toffee bits.

Shape dough into 1½ inch balls. Roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheet. Flatten slightly with bottom of glass. (If glass sticks, dip glass in sugar.)

Bake for 11 to 13 minutes or until edges just begin to turn light golden brown. (Do not over bake.) Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet. Sprinkle with additional sugar, if desired.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Estelle Nolen’s Pound Cake

Jennifer Jones

1 stick oleo (margarine or butter)

½ cup Crisco

1 ¾ cup sugar

2 cups plain flour, sifted

5 eggs

5 Tbsp. orange juice

1 tsp. vanilla or almond flavoring

Cream oleo and Crisco together. Add a little sugar at a time. Then add 2 eggs, little flour. Add 2 more eggs, little flour and then 1 egg and more flour. Add orange juice and flavoring. Bake at 325 degrees for about an hour.

Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes

Beth Brewer

3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine (Ghirardelli 60% Cacao)

1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa (Hershey’s Special Dark)

3/4 cup hot, strong brewed coffee

3/4 cup bread flour

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

6 Tbsp. canola oil (1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp.)

2 large eggs

2 tsp. white vinegar

1 tsp. vanilla extract


2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine (Ghirardelli 60% Cacao)

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 Tbsp. powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, whisk until smooth chocolate, cocoa, and hot coffee together. Refrigerate until it’s cool, about 20-30 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine ganache ingredients (chocolate, cream and powdered sugar). Microwave for 20 seconds. Whisk if chocolate still needs to melt, microwave for another 10 seconds. Whisk until smooth. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes — no more and no less!

When removed from refrigerator, you’re looking for a ganache that can be formed into a soft ball with a spoon. It’s not fully solid (or it’ll sink to the bottom of the cupcake) and it’s not still runny, as it will just disperse within the cupcake.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

Remove large bowl of chocolate/cocoa/coffee from the refrigerator. Add the eggs, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Whisk to incorporate. Add flour mixture; whisk until smooth. Batter will be slightly runny, similar to brownie batter.

Divide the batter among the cupcake liners, filling 3/4 full. Top each cupcake in the center with a rounded tsp. of ganache.

Place on center rack in the oven and bake for 15 to 19 minutes, until cupcakes are firm to the touch on top. Toothpick test won’t work due to ganache center. Remove from oven; rest in pan 10 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Makes 12 to 15 cupcakes.

Chocolate Icing

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup shortening

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

4 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 Tbsp. milk

1 tsp. vanilla

Cream together butter with shortening.

Sift cocoa with confectioners’ sugar; add to creamed mixture.

Mix together adding 1 Tbsp. milk at a time to keep mixture smooth.

Add vanilla. Blend until creamy.


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