An independent day school serving grades K-12 | St. Paul, MN

Blue and Gold Day: Spartan baked goods!

In celebration of Blue and Gold Day, Upper School teacher Eric Severson, one of SPA's baking aficionados, challenged all faculty/staff and Upper School students to create Blue and Gold baked goods. Check out some of the Spartan-inspired treats that our community has made and submit your Blue and Gold treats/recipes for inclusion. Happy Blue and Gold Day!

Blue Velvet Cupcakes with "Gold" Cream Cheese Frosting

Eric Severson went full-out festive with his blue velvet cupcakes with gold cream cheese frosting and topped with extra special yellow glitter flakes! #GoSpartans

Cupcake ingredients: 

  • 3 1/3 cups cake flour not self-rising
  • 3/4 c. 12 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp liquid blue food coloring (I used 10-15 squirts of Royal Blue GEL food coloring)
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder (adds an extra "pop" of flavor but is not necessary)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda

Cream Cheese Frosting ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 8 oz. pkg cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk, plus more if needed
  • Edible yellow glitter flakes (optional but festive!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter and sugar and mix on medium speed until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a small bowl, whisk the food coloring, cocoa powder and vanilla(s) together; add to the butter/sugar mixture and mix well. Stir the salt into the buttermilk and add to the batter in three parts, alternating with the cake flour, starting and ending with flour. In a small bowl, stir together the vinegar and baking soda; add to the batter and mix well. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full (DO NOT OVERFILL) with batter and bake in preheated oven for 17-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not over bake. Repeat with remaining cupcakes. Cool completely and top with Cream Cheese Frosting (see below). Makes about 3 1/2 dozen cupcakes.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting: In a large bowl, mix together butter, cream cheese, salt and vanilla until smooth. Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. If frosting is too thick, add a little milk. If you are planning to pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes, you want it thick enough to hold its shape. This makes enough frosting to pipe a big swirl on the top of each cupcake.

Lemon Bars

SPA's Director of Publications Kathryn Campbell and her daughter Victoria '14 made a family favorite recipe to celebrate Blue and Gold Day: Lemon Bars! They pair perfectly with her blue SPA mug.

Shortbread Crust ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp flour
  • Pinch of salt

Lemon Curd Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (preferably fresh-squeezed, ~3 large lemons)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9x9 baking pan with parchment paper. Whisk together melted butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Fold in flour in roughly 1/3 cup increments using a spatula. Press the dough into the prepared pan and bake for 15-18 minutes or until edges turn golden brown.

While crust cooks, make the filling.  Whisk together sugar and flour, then add eggs and beat until incorporated. Finally, whisk in lemon juice. Pour filling onto the crust while it is still warm, then continue baking the bars for 22-25 minutes.  The filling will be set, with no jiggle, when bars are done. Chill for 2-3 hours and top with powdered sugar.

Spartan Monster Cookies

Middle School science teacher Shannon Browne and her daughter Sara Browne '21 made Spartan Monster Cookies. The verdict is in, "Taste-tested and mother approved!" (Recipe courtesy of the blog Live Well Bake Often).


  • 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour spooned and leveled
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (125 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted butter softened
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) brown sugar lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125 grams) creamy peanut butter
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) m&m's
  • 1/2 cup (95 grams) semi-sweet chocolate chip

Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, old-fashioned rolled oats, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar for about 1-2 minutes or until well combined. Mix in the peanut butter, egg, and vanilla extract until fully combined, making sure to stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients until just combined. Add the m&ms and chocolate chips and gently fold them into the cookie dough.

Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Using a 1.5 tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop balls of cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheets, making sure to leave a little room between each one. Bake in separate batches at 350°F (177°C) for 10-12 minutes or until the tops of the cookies are set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container on the counter for up to 5 days.