Smith’s Puppy Pawty

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The little rump roast I am always writing about is a full blown toddler these days. He’s walk-running, trying to ride Athena like a miniature pony, throwing tantrums when he doesn’t get his way, and making us laugh on a daily basis. We had a first birthday party for him last month and, boy, did we have fun. Our immediate families and close friends joined us for a little shindig that involved lunch, cake and ice cream, and opening gifts.

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To highlight the adorable relationship between Smith and our dog, Athena, I decided on a puppy theme for the gathering. I kept decorations pretty low key by making some garland with cardstock and colored baker’s twine. My mother-in-law printed pictures of our rump roast and Athena together to display throughout our house.

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I didn’t get any pictures of the non-desserts, but the menu included:

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While this PAWTY was definitely a celebration of our ham ball’s birth, it was also a celebration for the birth of new parents, new aunts and uncles, new cousins, and new grandparents and great grandparents. This past year was definitely not all sunshine and lollipops, but it was an absolutely life-changing and incredibly amazing time that we will not soon forget. It’s difficult to put into words how it feels to be given the gift of motherhood. When I sit and think about the love I feel for my son, I can only describe it as a physical symptom of a combination of butterflies in my stomach and chest tightness. As I type that out, I realize It doesn’t sound pleasant-perhaps it may even sound like I need to find a cardiologist- but it’s a good thing. A wonderful thing. Happy birthday, my sweet boy.

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Birthday Cakes

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My second birthday- 1987

My earliest memory was on my second birthday. Some of my family members don’t think I could possibly recall moments from that early in life, but I absolutely do. There are pictures to prove me correct (see above). I remember it so well because my mom ordered me the most beautiful 2-tiered clown cake the world has ever seen.  It was 1987 and I was wearing purple courdoroy bibs. When I saw the cake, my toddler heart was so full that I wet my pants in pure joy. My body was still testing out the whole “fight or flight” thing. In this case- “faint or void your bladder.”  In an effort to avoid missing out on the magic of the moment, I chose the latter.

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The cake was covered in fluffy white icing and decorated with colorful plastic clowns that were embellished with candy lifesavers. It was so beautiful I could hardly breathe. The only thing that seemed logical at the moment was to kiss the cake, and so I did. And I did it with the tender love and affection that sweet Fraulein Maria and Captain Von Trapp share during their first kiss in The Sound of Music. My sweet darling.

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My clearest memory of that day is of me sneaking into the kitchen in the old farmhouse we lived in and trying to take just “one more taste” of heaven on earth. My mom came in after me and told me no (total buzzkill… it was my birthday, for goodness sake!) and ushered me back into the dining room. But what an impression that cake made on me. To earn a permanent spot deep in the hippocampus of my brain.

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Every once in a while, I get requests to make birthday cakes and/or cupcakes for children’s birthdays. I always feel so honored and I take it very seriously. Childhood birthdays are big.  I’m not talking these out of control, Pinterest-crazed, everyone-gets-a-pony birthday parties. I am talking about the gathering of family and close friends to celebrate another year of life and the hope of a new year.

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When I look back through old pictures of both me and my husband, there are lots of pictures from birthdays. My husband grinning widely while he stands next to a panda cake, me sitting in front of a frilly Barbie cake with my childhood friends smiling on. These are deposits in our memory banks that will last forever and my goal is to provide these kids with a special cake that makes an impression on them. Something that will make them “wet their pants” in excitement, literally or figuratively or both. I hope little Johnny or Susie will be able to someday look back through their childhood photos and see a picture of a birthday cake that I made for them; and I hope they smile fondly and remember what a happy day that was and the love that was shared and felt in that moment. The laughs, the singing, and probably the fights between siblings about sharing a toy. It’s all good stuff. 0Y0A7761

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Funfetti Cupcakes with Whipped Vanilla Buttercream

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This cupcake recipe is one I have been making for a few years now. It’s reliable and classic and I love it so much that I made it twice within the past month. Once on Smith’s actual birthday, and a few weeks later for his birthday party. The first round went over very well with my boo and my little rump roast. Smith gobbled up an entire cupcake with delightful glee (see picture below). The cakes were light and fluffy and had a lovely crumb. The second time around, however, I had to make a lot more cupcakes to accommodate all of the guests we would be having for lunch. In an attempt to save time, I doubled the recipe. And, wouldn’t you know it, the texture was completely different. This time, the cakes were spongier and firmer. I had mixed the batter and used the exact same ingredients. I just multiplied everything by two and the laws of chemistry cursed me.  Oh chemistry. You always win.

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One of the main rules in baking is that it’s not always possible to double a recipe and get the same product.  The chemical leavening agents- baking soda and baking powder*- are integral in the chemical reaction between the ingredients in the baking process, which means there isn’t much wiggle room. Unless you are using a recipe that has the exact weights of ingredients listed, there is always the risk for a small amount of error when using measuring cups and spoons. That “small” error may not matter as much for a single batch of a baked good, but when that “small” is doubled, it can turn into a more substantial difference. The moral of the story: if you’re thinking about doubling a cake recipe, it’s probably best to play it safe and make 2 separate batches of the batter. The end result will be worth it.

*Interesting side note- baking powder is just baking powder combined with cream of tartar and cornstarch.

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This boy. He fills my heart with love.

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Funfetti Cupcakes with Fluffy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Yield: 2 dozen cupcakes

Cupcake Recipe (plus a mix-in of 1/2 cup of sprinkles)

For the frosting:

Ingredients

  • 3 sticks + 2 tablespoons (375 grams) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
  • 3 cups sifted (475 g) powdered sugar (icing, powdered)
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) heavy cream, or milk
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Sprinkles, if desired

Directions 

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed. The butter will become very pale & creamy.
  2. Turn the mixer off and slowly add in the sugar, one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add remaining ingredients and mix on low speed until combined. Turn mixer speed up to medium and whip for about 2-3 more minutes to allow frosting to become light and fluffy.
  3. Decorate cupcakes as desired. Top with sprinkles. Store unused frosting in the fridge for 1 week.

Source: Cupcakes- Martha Stewart, Frosting- Sweetapolita

S’mores Cupcakes

 

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I made these cupcakes for my beloved childhood friend, Jamie, last week. She turned the big 2-8 and I wanted to make her something special. S’mores are such a ubiquitous summer treat and they always bring back such happy memories. I often think back to those hot and balmy Ohio summer sleepovers spent with Jamie and our close group of girlfriends. The crickets chirping and fireflies lighting up the night sky. It sounds like a cheesy country song, but we had a lot of fun. We’d laugh into the early hours of the morning and talk about the boys we had crushes on and who was the hottest member of The Backstreet Boys (I was always fond of Kevin.) There also may or may not be “lost” footage of our homemade music videos somewhere in the stratosphere. This was the time period when I was under the delusion that I was a good dancer. My signature move was the shoulder shrug.

I remember wondering, back then, how life would be when we all “grew up.” Fast forward almost 2 decades and here we are. Some are married, some have children, and all seem to be doing very well in their respective careers. I still try to keep in touch with most of the group (social media can be productive), but I am closest with Jamie. She is such an exceptional person. I often marvel at her ability to make friends with anyone as well as her intellectual mind and hilarious wit. Whenever I have the pleasure of getting together with Jamie, I always leave feeling enriched and re-fueled. Some friendships withstand, and even strengthen, with the test of time. I am lucky to say that is the case for Jamie and me.

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Celebrate this summer and make these portable campfire treats today!

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S’mores Cupcakes

Yield: 2 dozen standard cupcakes

Ingredients

For the Graham Cracker Crust:

  • 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 5 1/3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

For the Cupcakes:

  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons freshly brewed coffee
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Marshmallow Frosting:

  • 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions

1. Make the graham cracker crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake liners in 2 standard cupcake pans. Set aside. In a small bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter until mixture is combined. Scoop a heaping tablespoon into each cupcake liner and gently press down to pack the crust. Bake for 5 minutes and allow to cool on cooling racks while you make the cupcake batter. Keep the oven on.

2. Make the cupcakes: In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip together the butter and sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium, then add the eggs one at a time until well combined (scraping down the sides as necessary). Add in the vanilla and mix well.

In another medium-sized bowl, whisk together the sour cream, buttermilk, and coffee. Next, in a third bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt). With the mixer on low, add the buttermilk and flour mixtures alternately in thirds, beginning with the buttermilk and ending with the flour. Be careful not to over mix the batter- mix until just combined.

Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners that are filled with the graham cracker crust. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, remove from the pans, and allow to cool completely.

3. Make the marshmallow frosting:  Place the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in a bowl set over a pan of a few inches of simmering water. Warm the mixture, whisking constantly, until it reaches 160° F with a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and move the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Begin mixing at low speed and slowly move to medium-high speed until stiff and shiny peaks form. Mix in the vanilla until well-incorporated.  Place the frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a closed star tip and decorate as desired. Toast with a kitchen torch and top with chocolate, if desired.

Source: Cupcakes from Ina Garten, Frosting and Graham Cracker Crust from Annie’s Eats

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert’s 27th Birthday Party

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This past week, Robert officially joined the “late twenties” club. To celebrate we had a group of friends over for homemade pizza, final four basketball (still sad the Buckeyes weren’t there), and birthday cake. The menu was pretty simple and highlighted some of Robert’s favorite foods- pizza (with sriracha sauce and jalapenos), chips and salsa, caramelized onion dip, Jess’s German potato salad, chocolate chip cookies, and dark chocolate cake with dark chocolate buttercream frosting. I noticed that the parties we throw tend to encourage heartburn. Sorry, friends. I think a vegetable party is on the agenda for this summer.

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As usual, the company was the best part of the night; but I unfortunately got swept away in the fun (and wine) and didn’t get a chance to take many pictures. We are truly so thankful for the wonderful people we call our friends.  Our lives are enriched because of with whom we have the honor of sharing life’s experiences.

Jonah and Kate- lovebirds.

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Athena was in heaven with all of the loving Chelsea was giving her.  DSC_8381

Alex and Catie- two of the smartest people we know. Just look at them being so intelligent.

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And then there’s Greg. A father-to-be!

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Athena was exhausted from her late night of partying.

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**Sap-filled paragraph warning**

And, of course, I can’t go without mentioning the birthday boy himself. Robert and I have been married for over 5 years and together for more than a decade. There is no one I love or respect greater. Sure, we drive each other crazy sometimes. Like when he doesn’t make the bed or when I drive a freshly-washed and waxed car in the rain; but with each passing year, I grow to love him even more. He’s loyal, genuine, kind, and driven. While I can be riding high on an emotional roller coaster from day to day,  he is always calm and level-headed. I’m honored to call him my life’s companion. I just pray that he doesn’t wake up one of these days and realize he got the raw end of the deal. Happy birthday, Robert. I love you. Here’s to many more chocolate-filled years.

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Jack’s Funfetti 2nd Birthday Cake

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I can’t believe it’s been 2 years since I got an early morning phone call from my sister telling me her water had broken and she was at the UVA hospital. She was 5 days overdue and we were all anxiously awaiting the baby’s arrival. After I hung up from the call, I was so excited I could barely sleep. It was going to take me 6 hours to get to Virginia and I contemplated just leaving then. Robert eventually convinced me to go back to sleep, but I only lasted until 5am. I made record-breaking time (whoops!) and rolled into Virginia before noon. Little did I know, Selby’s labor would go several more hours. We waited. And waited. And waited. And finally, the physicians made the decision to perform a C-section after Selby had been in labor for 24 hours and developed a low-grade fever. I was lucky enough to get to go into the operating room and see the whole procedure… errr- make that some of the procedure. I stayed behind the curtain after I saw just what was happening to my sister’s lower abdomen. My sister and Kevin designated me to be the one to shout out the gender; and, after a few long minutes, the doctors exclaimed “here’s your baby!” They pulled out little plump ball of pink, we heard loud baby cries, and I peeked around the corner to reveal, “IT’S A BOY!!!” Selby cried. Kevin cried. I cried. It was such an incredible experience and one that I will never forget. What a beautiful St. Patrick’s Day it was.

This past week,  we were so excited that my sister, brother-in-law, and Jack were able to drive up from Virginia and spend a few days with us to celebrate Jack’s 2nd birthday. In honor of this little firecracker turning into a full-blown toddler, I made homemade pizza and a funfetti cake  decorated in Buzz Lightyear colors (one of Jack’s favorites).

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I had an awful time making my normal swiss meringue buttercream frosting the day I was assembling the cake. After a few frustrating hours, I ended up “calling it,” as Kevin so aptly described, and made a regular buttercream that tasted and looked much better . Oh well. When the time came for the birthday boy to blow out his candles, he got a little shy and seemed to be hypnotized by the firery glow. His mom and dad helped him and then he was able to dive right into his cake. The cake was a tasty hit and I sent the leftovers home with the happy family.

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It’s amazing how much love I have for my little 2 year old nephew. I am looking forward to celebrating many more birthdays with my favorite lucky charm.

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Funfetti Cake

Printable version

Yield: Two 9-inch round cakes

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 4 egg whites from large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk, divided
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, very soft
  • 1/3 cup multi-colored sprinkles

For the icing:

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk or cream

Directions

1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two 9-inch round cake pans.  In a small bowl mix the egg whites, 1/4 cup milk, vanilla and almond extract. Set aside. In a medium-sized bowl,  whisk together  the cake flour,  baking powder, and salt. Mix for 30 seconds or until well-combined.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the mixer on low, alternately add in the flour mixture and 3/4 cup of buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides to ensure batter is evenly mixed. Gradually pour in the egg white mixture, mixing for 30 seconds after each addition. Mix for one more minute. Gently fold in the multi-colored sprinkles.

3. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cake springs back after being gently pressed on.

4. Remove from the oven and place the pans on baking racks to cool for about 10 minutes. Turn the pans over onto the rack. Flip the cake layers over and let them cool completely before icing.

5. Make the icing: in the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed until smooth and light, about 3 minutes. Carefully mix in the powdered sugar, about 1 cup at a time, scraping down the sides as necessary. Add in the extracts and salt, followed by the milk or cream and mix until well-combined. Tint with desired food coloring and decorate away.*

*To decorate with the “cloud” method:

Frost the cake with a thing layer of icing. This is the crumb coat. Put the cake in the fridge and allow to chill for 20-30 minutes until the buttercream has hardened. Meanwhile, place icing in a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip (I used a Wilton #12). Pipe large dots in a vertical row.

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Using a small cake spatula, carefully smear the dot to the right. Pipe more dots to overlap the smeared dot and repeat until the cake is covered.

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Source: Cake-  Adapted from The Kitchn; Frosting- Lolly’s Sweet & Savory Treats

Selby’s 30th Birthday Cake

Today is my sister, Selby’s, 30th birthday. It’s the beginning of a new era in her life as she closes the chapter on her twenties and embarks on the exciting adventure that her thirties will bring. Although she has been dreading this new number, her future looks very bright. She has an adorable 16 month old boy and her husband, Kevin, is over half-way done with his anesthesia residency.

To ring in this big milestone, we celebrated a few weeks early when my sister and her family were in town at the beginning of the month. My sister is a serious lemon-lover and she requested the same cake I made her last year: lemon curd cake with lemon Swiss meringue buttercream frosting.

The only difference from this year compared to last is that I made my own lemon curd for the cake batter and to sandwich between the layers this time around. I followed this helpful YouTube video and the resulting curd was scrumptiously tart and addictive.

The cake didn’t make it through the weekend and the birthday girl gave it great reviews.

Happy 30th birthday, Selby. I love you!

Selby’s beautiful family

I can’t believe how big this boy has gotten compared to this photo from one year ago…

Butter-Nut Whole Wheat Blondies

Last week was one of my very best friend’s, Jamie’s, birthday. Jamie has been my partner in crime since junior high. Even though we live 2 hours apart and don’t get to see each other as often as I would like, Jamie will always hold a supreme spot in my heart.

I don’t think anyone has made me laugh as much as Jamie has. She has a special spark that causes people to gravitate towards her. Very few days go by that I don’t think about the fun memories we have had together. Outgoing, kind-hearted, generous, hard working, and accepting, Jamie has blossomed into a wonderful adult whom I feel honored to call my friend for life.

I made these blondies to drop off at her family store when Robert and I were in town a few weekends ago. The butterscotch and butter rum extracts come through and pair well with the salty walnuts and I think they would be a great treat with a morning cup of coffee.

Happy belated birthday, Jamie! I love you dearly.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Butter-Nut Whole Wheat Blondies

Yield: 2 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups (15 ounces) packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon butter rum extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon butterscotch extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (5 5/8 ounces) chopped walnuts

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13 inch pan (lining it with tin foil makes for super easy clean-up and serving).

2. Melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Add in the sugar and mix well until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and allow it to cool slightly.

3. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each egg. Mix in the vinegar, vanilla, butter rum, butterscotch, baking powder, and salt. Gently fold in the flour and nuts.

4. Spread the batter into the pan. Bake about 26-28 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out with sticky crumbs, but not wet batter. Remove from the oven and run a knife around the edge of the pan. Allow to cool completely before cutting. For an extra smooth texture, allow the blondies to cool for 24 hours before cutting to allow the bran in the whole wheat to soften.

Source: King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking

My 26th Birthday Cake

Yesterday was my 26th birthday. On my way to work, I was thinking about my past celebrations. I used to get so excited the night before my birthday I could barely fall asleep. Now, I don’t get nearly as jazzed up for my day of birth and I am starting to feel a little, well… a little old. Twenty six. Is that still considered mid twenties? I’m saying it is, because there is no doubt that next December, I will be a woman in my late twenties. ;)

Jess, my good pal from PT school, generously made my birthday cake this year. She and her husband, Greg, dropped off the delightful treat at our house last night. Jess baked me a chocolate cake with espresso buttercream frosting and cherry filling. It was a glorious twist on a black forest cake and it was delicious. I froze the leftovers so we can stretch out the time we get to savor the dessert. Thanks so much, Jess- the cake was beautiful!

*Warning: Cheese Alert* As I reflect on another trip around the sun, I’m very grateful for the life I have. I’m surrounded by wonderful people and I have so much for which I am very thankful. My hope is that, in my 27th year, I will take each day one day at a time. I often get caught up in wishing for tomorrow, for the next vacation, to lose those x amount of pounds, for my “dream” house. The list goes on and on and before I know it, I’ve wished away the day. Life is too short to not live in the present. After all, I’ve only got a few years left before I’m officially an old lady, right? ;)

A Happy Birthday Post: Pumpkin Cake with Vanilla Buttercream and Cream Cheese Filling

Today is my baby brother Jack’s 22nd birthday. I guess I can’t really call him my baby brother anymore. He is living on his own and almost finished with his aviation mechanics degree and is also in the process of getting his small pilot’s license. Still, I find it hard to not imagine him as a little blonde-haired boy who I used to be able to pick and throw over my shoulders. Hmm… nostalgia. :)

Jack is an outdoorsman through and through and I imagine it had to be a little tricky growing up with two older sisters. He’s always been a pretty good sport about it, though; and while I don’t know much about the intricacies of fishing and hunting, I do know that Jack loves pumpkin. At the wee age of five, he single-handedly scarfed down an entire pumpkin pie. Not surprisingly it really wasn’t tough to decide what kind of cake I would make Jack this year.

I used my favorite pumpkin cake recipe and then filled the layers with a cream cheese frosting and topped it all off with a vanilla buttercream frosting. The frosting choice changed at the last minute after an extremely frustrating attempt at making cream cheese swiss meringue buttercream. I’ve made swiss meringue a couple of times before and I’ve never had a problem, but the stars did not align on this attempt. I tried and I tried to revive this temperamental icing, but time was not on my side and I had to throw in the towel after nearly two hours. The end result was still a great cake of which Jack gave his 22 year old seal of approval. I sent the leftovers home with him and I think he and his roommate will be enjoying it all week.

Happy birthday, Jack! I love you. :)

The birthday boy and his cake (apparently it’s “no shave November” and that’s why Jack is sporting a crustache)



Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Filling and Vanilla Buttercream Icing

Printable Version

Yield: 16 slices

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 can (15oz) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

For the Frosting

  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 5-6 Tbsp half and half

For the Cream Cheese Filling

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3-4 Tbsp milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2- 9″ cake pans with parchment paper and spray oil. Combine eggs, sugar, oil, pumpkin. In another bowl combine flour, soda, salt, powder, and cinnamon. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture. Do not overmix. Pour evenly into the cake pans. Bake for 30 mins. Remove from the oven and let cool. Invert and carefully cut each round in half. Place on parchment paper to prevent the cake from sticking to a surface.

For the filling, beat together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and milk. Spread a layer of the filling on top of one of the halves of cake. Top with half and repeat until the full cake is assembled.

To make the frosting, beat together the butter, shortening and extracts. Gradually add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time and mixing well after each addition. With the mixer on low, add the half and half one tablespoon at a time until the frosting is combined. Spread a thin layer over the entire cake. This is your crumb layer. Let the cake chill slightly in the fridge (about 10 minutes). Remove from the fridge and spread another layer on top until the icing is evenly dispersed. Decorate as desired. Enjoy!

Source: Cake- adapted from Taste of Home, Frosting- I can’t remember! :(