Well she’s not a baby anymore. I can’t believe my daughter is 8. Turning 8 also coincided with finally being 48 inches. I say “finally” because she has been waiting for that height. 48 inches opens many doors to kids, such as the slide at the community pool, a host of carnival rides and being able to drive an indoor go cart. This is what she wanted to do to celebrate her day. That and making a birthday cake of course.
I went to my trusty Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook that I’ve had for 20 plus years and found this recipe for a Busy Day Cake (aren’t they all?). This was a super easy single layer cake that was perfect for last minute making and decorating. We omitted the broiled coconut topping and went with a classic buttercream frosting. Which of course we needed multiple colors. The birthday girl and brother did it all by themselves. They did a lovely and tasty job.
Busy Day Cake
Makes 8 servings
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cups sugar
2 teasponns baking powder
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a bowl combine flour, sugar and baking powder. Add milk, butter, egg and vanilla. Beat on low speed with electric mixture till combined. Beat on medium speed for additional 1 minute. Pour batter into greased and floured 8 x 1 1/2 inch round baking pan.
Bake in 350F oven for 25 to 390 minutes or till a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove cake from pan. Cool thoroughly, then frost and decorate.
So if you read my blog this time last year you’ll be reminded that both my children’s birthdays are in July. Last year was the quest for the perfect cupcake. I had some success and some failures. This year as it approached my daughter’s birthday I asked her what she wanted to choose for her special dinner. She said Thai food. Yes, she is quite decisive and specific for a newly turned two year old. We made plans to go to a new favorite Thai Restaurant without any problems.
Then I asked about the dessert (or as she pronounces “dirt”). I was kind of cringing at the cupcake request, but I lucked out and she said chocolate cake. My husband was happy too as he quickly said how about the flourless chocolate cake. This is such a quick and easy (yet very rich) cake. The recipe is from Gourmet Everyday. I felt a bit guilty since it would not have frosting (just too over the top) so I decorated with powdered sugar. Instead of a simple dusting or using a pre-made stencil, I thought of a way the kids could help. Remember making snowflakes out of paper? I folded a piece of wax paper (careful not to crease) and my son and I used the scissors to cut shapes. When we unfolded it we placed our own snowflake stencil on top and sprinkled the confectioner’s sugar over the cuts. Voila!
My daughter didn’t really notice the decoration. She liked seeing the candle and loved eating the cake.
4 oz. fine quality bittersweet chocolate (I use at least 65% cacao), chopped into pieces
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted organic butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 large cage free organic eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 375°F and butter an 8-inch round baking pan. Line bottom with a round of wax paper and butter paper.
Melt chocolate with butter in a double boiler (or microwave) and stir until smooth. Whisk sugar into chocolate mixture. Whisk in eggs. Sift cocoa powder over chocolate and whisk until just combined.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in middle of oven for 25 minutes or until top has formed a thin crust. Cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes and invert onto a serving plate.