A Birthday Cake For A Special Man


My darling man turned 50 the other day.

When we were on vacation last week, I sat on the beach watching him and contemplating the upcoming celebration of the half-century birthday of this man who was just 21 (the same age our eldest will turn next month) when we first became a couple. I was suddenly awestruck by the person that he’s grown into, my beautiful husband, who is good and kind, and unfailingly supportive and patient, and is always the voice of reason when I start to lose it (which is often).

By the birthday boy’s request, I combined the components from my two most recent cakes — the Ina Garten chocolate cake from my birthday last month and the Philadelphia cream cheese frosting that we most recently enjoyed on the graduation cake a few weeks ago. This was my second time making this chocolate cake recipe and the results were consistent with the first go-round: chocolatey and moist, but not too heavy. Again, it was fully baked before the suggested time, so I’ll continue to check the doneness early. The cream cheese frosting recipe I’ve used more times than I can remember — it continues to be my go-to cream cheese frosting recipe.  It doesn’t make a ton — I just squeak by when I ice an 8-inch two-layer cake and have enough for some decorative piping if I’m not too generous with the icing when covering the cake. On a 9-inch two-layer cake like the grad cake, I really don’t have enough for anything more than just filling and covering the cake. The purple buttercream was leftover from the grad cake as well; I had stored it in the freezer and it defrosted just fine although I felt like it was a little looser than before it was frozen. It’s worth mentioning that my kitchen was super hot the afternoon I iced and decorated the cake, which always has an impact on the stiffness of the icing, especially with cream cheese.

Once again, happy 50th, PJ. xo

Happy Graduation Cake!


Bonus cake this month! My baby boy (well, the younger of my two baby boys) graduated from high school this evening. I made a devil’s food cake with cream cheese icing to celebrate his wonderful achievement. Plus as it’s been a whole week since my birthday, we were out of cake and in dire need of more. The mortarboard and stars were made from fondant. I’m not super confident freehanding templates so I used this one for the mortarboard. Predictably, we picked the fondant off our respective slices before eating the cake; it’s pretty to look at, but not nice to eat.

Congratulations, CMac!

Busy Not Baking (Much)

No, I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth. The last 2 1/2 weeks have been a head-spinner — the boys went back to school, I went back to school, not to mention jury duty, soccer practices and games, pep band rehearsals and football games, school open house nights… that’s just a small part of the list. Recreational baking has had to take a back burner, for the most part, for the moment. Once things settle down a bit I will be able to get caught up with posting some of the things I did find time to bake. Have patience…