Let Them Eat Cake!

I just received a text from a woman asking me to design her daughters sweet 16 birthday cake. It was clearly from a wrong number since I this is the most creative cake I’ve ever done.

You can say it. It straight up looks like a Home Ec project. I used so much black dye in the frosting, it was practically inedible. But I was determined to make my son’s first birthday cake, so there you have it.

Although it was tempting to keep texting back and forth with the wrong number cake lady just for fun, I did come clean. Sadly, I am not a cake decorator though I do aspire to be. All of this cake talk got me thinking of a very special occasion that is just right around the corner. No, not Valentine’s Day (although I’m saving my plans for the Love Holiday for a later post). My sweetheart is turning 33 this Sunday! Such an occasion calls for his favorite Spice Cake (scroll down for a delicious recipe). Now, there are few things in this world that I love more than cake. Do you remember the scene at the end of the movie Patch Adams where the old woman gets to live her ultimate fantasy of wading in a swimming pool full of noodles? My version of that fantasy would involve buttercream frosting. But at the current moment, I am on a sweets fast. Yes, it is one of life’s cruelties. For several weeks now I have managed to banish refined carbohydrates from my presence, but given the special circumstances, I anticipate the temptation to lick the electric mixer paddle will be great, therefore, I’m enlisting the accountability now. A friend of mine once told me that when you’re tempted to eat something you shouldn’t, you should dump salt all over it and then it won’t be appetizing anymore. In this case, Clark may notice the excessive saltiness of his birthday cake. Does this means I’ll have to suck on the salt shaker while I’m baking?

Clark’s Favorite Spice Cake Recipe:

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups All Purpose flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground allspice

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 cup milk

3 large eggs

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup unsalted butter (softened)

2 cups dark brown sugar

Directions:

Adjust oven rack to middle. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour (or foil) a metal 9″x13″ inch pan. Whisk dry ingredients and spices in a large bowl. Mix milk, eggs, and vanilla extract in a separate bowl. Beat soft butter into dry ingredients on low/medium speed. The mix will form pebble-sized pieces. Add 1/3 of the milk/egg/vanilla mixture and beat on low until smooth. Continue to add the milk mixture in thirds and beat at medium speed until the batter is just smooth. Add sugar and beat until it is just included (about 30 seconds). Pour batter into pan and bake an estimated 40 minutes (depending on your oven). Set pan on a wire rack to cool about 5 minutes. Run a knife along the perimeter of the pan and turn over onto a cake rack to let cool.

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