Happy Birthday to the Mr

Since I’ve known him, the Mr’s favorite dessert has been yellow cake with chocolate icing. Something so simple and yet I’ve attempted to complicate it with various incarnations most years. One year, I even made the cake using all hazelnut meal in the place of flour to make it “healthier.” It was… “mealy” to say the least.

This past Christmas I was gifted a copy of Alex Guarnaschelli’s The Home Cook. It conveniently had a recipe for yellow cake with chocolate frosting! It had a slight twist (pun intended) with the addition of lemon zest and juice that intrigued me far too much to pass up! I encountered an issue when I went to compile the ingredients and discovered that I had forgotten to get the lemon at the store and I was not going back out. We had some limes on hand, so I used that instead. You know what? It worked just as well and there wasn’t much difference!

If that was the only issue, that would’ve been amazing. It sadly was not. The recipe was a wet one and my cakes didn’t set properly in the middle. I am slightly suspicious that my oven needs a new heating element… I wound up with unstable cakes and when I went to assemble and frost the layers, I felt like I was in an I Love Lucy episode. The cake literally kept falling apart as I was trying to frost it. I eventually had to stick it in the freezer to get it to firm up in order to finish it. I ended up topping it with so much extra frosting to give it shape that it had a solid 3/4in of frosting on top while still being lopsided in total. You can’t make this stuff up. At least it tasted good!

Tools: If you’re wondering which cake pans I use, I actually use these inexpensive ones by Rachael Ray. I think we use them just about daily for a variety of different uses too! I also highly recommend a long serrated knife like this one for carefully slicing layers, a turntable like this one to help when frosting, and a cake board like these to anchor the whole cake to one spot and still be able to move it from your turntable to your container/stand. I got this cutest cake stand for Christmas. It’s a Magnolia Hearth & Hand one from Target and I absolutely love it! It’s currently discontinued, so you’ll have to find it on Amazon, or you could check out this similar one they currently have…

What is your favorite cake?

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