Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Thoughts of birthday cake

Nothing snarky today, in part because I'm writing about my favorite cookbook. I learned to cook with the 1969 version of Betty Crocker's Cookbook (although my copy is a 1973 printing), so I have a huge amount of nostalgia for it.

I also don't have time to be snarky. I have been grading papers like crazy and I should actually be making the recipes I'm presenting today as a birthday cake.... I know that's not going to happen today, but maybe over the weekend or next week. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Yes, our traditional birthday cake comes from my beloved old cookbook:

It's the perfect size for our small family. I do alter it slightly, though. It's only a brownie cake when I make it since certain people don't like nuts. I also substitute 9 tablespoons of cocoa and three extra tablespoons of butter for the unsweetened chocolate since I never have any on hand. We love the cake-- kind of dense and fudgy, perfect for someone who wants a cake for a special occasion but who would actually prefer brownies or other desserts to cake.

I make a half-batch of this to go on top:

It's so light and smooth! A great companion for the denser cake. (Again, I substitute three tablespoons of cocoa and an extra tablespoon of butter for the ounce of chocolate).

Well, I am off to do more school work and feel guilty about not making the cake today. If you do want to try a real retro recipe, though, I can recommend this.


  1. That book is one of my favorites too, Poppy! I think it is so cool how you have made the recipe your own.

    Fingers crossed that you get to that birthday cake and, thanks for sharing...

    1. The cake is still on hold, but hopefully I'll get it made this week!