Birthdays are for cake!

Mom is 80 today! I think she's not exactly thrilled at the 80 part but she's very happy to be alive, well, and still able to get out and about on her own. 

I baked the traditional birthday cake for tonight… yellow cake, chocolate frosting.


This frosting recipe is amazingly tasty and pretty. I got the recipe from an episode of America's Test Kitchen. I'll copy it below in case you, too, need to make a cake! (I will weigh more tomorrow…)

Mom's arm is beginning to heal. She'll have 4 weeks of wound care and hyperbaric treatments. She has to be in a tube for 90 minutes a session, five times a week. The tube is like one you might see in a sci fi movie when a character is in a deep sleep for many years…


Mom is claustrophobic but she says that this is OK since it's clear and she can see out. There's TV and a it's comfortable. 

Now for a cake-related photo. Remember 'glitter pants Martha'? She's back in a new ad. I call this one 'Cake Stand Martha.'


I wonder if she was photoshopped onto the cake stand because it's subtly wrong. If she's really sitting on it, shouldn't she be a little bit higher? It's as if her bottom is part of the cake stand. From the waist up it looks like she is standing, holding the small cake and cake stand. The skirt and legs look a bit like they are from a different photo.

Maybe it's just me, but this photo makes me focus not on the cake stands that they are trying to sell, but rather on trying to figure out where her bottom and thighs are. 

That's the news from my house. I'm leaving tomorrow to teach in Virginia the Virginia Quilt Consortium Celebration 2012. I hope there's enough cake left to take one piece with me :-).


Foolproof Chocolate Frosting

from the Episode: Everyone's Favorite Cake 

This frosting may be made with milk, semisweet, or bittersweet chocolate. For our Fluffy Yellow Layer Cake (see related recipe), we prefer a frosting made with milk chocolate. Cool the chocolate to between 85 and 100 degrees before adding it to the butter mixture. The frosting can be made 3 hours in advance. For longer storage, refrigerate the frosting, covered, and let it stand at room temperature for 1 hour before using.

Makes 3 cups to frost one 9-inch 2-layer cake

20 tablespoons (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter , softened (60 to 65 degrees)

1 cup confectioners' sugar (4 ounces)

3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa 

Pinch table salt 

3/4 cup light corn syrup 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

8 ounces milk chocolate , melted and cooled slightly (see note)

 (about 29 Dove Bites)

In food processor, process butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Add corn syrup and vanilla and process until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Scrape sides of bowl, then add chocolate and pulse until smooth and creamy, 10 to 15 seconds. Frosting can be used immediately or held (see note).

6 thoughts on “Birthdays are for cake!

  1. Yum, I wonder how many Weight Watcher’s Points for the cake and frosting? I totally agree with you about the photo of Martha, I thought she looked out of proportion even before I ready your post. I enjoy all of your adventures.


  2. Great looking cake, congrats to your Mom for reaching 80 and doing so well. Loved the picture of the rose with the water. You are coming to Grand Junction in January, and we are all looking forward to your visit.


  3. You’re totally right on Martha. I was thinking the exact same thing before reading the rest of your post. There was a lot of photoshopping done! She’d better change ad compagny.


  4. Enjoy SML … I’m sorry our weather won’t be so great right now. I’m in Roanoke and wish I would have known, although I have plans to be out of town this weekend. But that’s okay, because you and Linda taught me appliqué in Lancaster, PA years ago so I’ll leave the seat to someone new to you. 🙂


  5. I agree about the picture of Martha also–I thought she was standing & the skirt was just spread on the table–then I noticed the feet. Definitely photoshopped! Glad your mom could enjoy the birthday. My mom will be 90 next January!!! Hope there are no more problems with the dog. I’m a dog person, but the little ones are not my favorites. I’m sure there was so much damage because our skin gets much thinner with age. A young person would not have nearly as much damage.


  6. Thank you. I was thinking the same thing about the picture. I can’t figure out where she’s sitting! Weird.
    Mmmmmmmm. Yummy frosting. Thanks! 🙂


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