A Piece of Cake

First and foremost, thank you all for your wonderful comments to Mr. N. He was very excited to hear them all. He had quite a fabulous birthday week and we still have more celebrations to come, so he’s not done yet! Ah, to be a kid again.

As promised tonight we’re going to bring you the special dessert for Mr. N’s birthday dinner. Here’s how it came about: “I think I want you to make me a cake this year mom.”

“A cake? Oh, honey you know I don’t make cakes.”

“But you’re a really good cook mom. You can do it.”

“I’ll make you anything else…cookies, pies, cobblers, brownies.”

“Nah. I want you to make me a cake.”

“Well, as long as you don’t care that it might not look real pretty.”

“I don’t care. It will still be good I bet.”

“Okay, what kind of cake would you like?”

“A yellow cake, with raspberry filling and lemon frosting.”

At this point I nearly drove off the road. Seriously I have maybe made one cake from scratch and that didn’t involve frosting. So not only did I have to make a cake, but this was a multi-step, bakery quality cake that was requested. But it was Mr. N’s birthday and well, I wasn’t going to disappoint.

So it was all hands on deck. First I found a recipe for the “best birthday cake” over at Smitten Kitchen. I knew this couldnt’ disappoint, so I followed the recipe step-by-step. Miss A sifted together the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder for the cake batter.

Next we creamed the eggs, sugar and vanilla and then worked in the eggs and buttermilk.

As it turns out, I can make a cake batter. I was super excited so far. It tasted great and looked about right too.

Now we followed the recipes instructions for pouring the batter which included cutting a piece of parchment to the shape of the pan and greasing it with butter. (You’ll note I don’t have two round cake pans. I wasn’t going to go buy them either as I don’t expect to ever become a big cake maker.)

We then let the cake bake at 350F for 45 minutes. Then while the cake was baking we turned to our raspberry sauce. We used a mixture of raspberries, sugar, lemon juice and water.

We combined it all into a sauce pan and simmered it until the raspberries were good and broken up. Then we ran the mixture through a sieve and discarded all the juice. We returned the raspberries to the sauce pan, added a slurry of water and cornstarch and let it simmer a bit more. Once it was thickened we set it aside to cool.

At this point our cake was done. It rose very well and was a beautiful golden brown.

The best part though, was that the cake slid easily out of the pan to a cooling rack. Not like last time. As the cake cooled we began work on the frosting. We opted for a lemon buttercream. Mr. N was on-hand to supervise this part.

We beat together the confectioner’s sugar and butter. Then we whipped in some lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla. You may want to start with the juice of one lemon and sample. Mr. N’s tastes buds like it super lemony (as do mine), so we went with the juice of two lemons. Now with all the recipes complete it was time to assemble the masterpiece. First I sliced the cake in half vertically. I probably should have done it horizontally, but I figured there was more chance of me screwing that up. I also sliced off the top of one half of the cake to make it flat.

Next we put a thin layer of the frosting on the flat topped piece and Mr. N took care of spreading the filling.

Finally we put the other piece of cake over the top and covered the cake in super lemon buttercream frosting. (We had to make two batches to cover the tower of a cake.) Now this certainly isn’t a thing of beauty. If you’re looking for one of those I suggest browsing through the desserts at Just a Smidgen or First Look Then Cook. Now there’s some beauties. But I will say, the end result wasn’t as bad as I thought and most importantly, the birthday boy was in awe.

He looked at me and said, “See mom, now that you know how to make a cake, you can make them all the time.” I gave him the raised eyebrow look to which he said, “It’s a piece of cake!” I couldn’t help but laugh. You can tell he’s getting older. His sense of humor is certainly maturing.

After making his wish and blowing out his candles, we were ready to dig in. As you can probably guess, Mr. N gave this a definite 4 spoons. Miss A did as well. She said it was a like a cake stuffed with cobbler.

Mike also enjoyed the cake and gave it sound 3 spoons.

While I had a certain sense of pride in having made my little boy happy and actually turning out an edible cake, I only gave it 2-1/2 spoons. I’m just not a big cake eater. It’s never been tops on my list. The frosting, however, I would give 4 spoons. I could have eaten an entire bowl of that sour goodness!

So there you have my baby boy’s birthday meal. Although I guess he’s not much of a baby anymore. While the meal, the celebrations and the family time was absolutely precious, by far my favorite part of the day was bedtime. As I was tucking Mr. N in for the night he gave me a big hug and said, “I’m really happy I’m me mommy. I love you.” I’ll take that over a 4 spoon dessert any day of the week.

Have a great weekend everyone and we’ll return early next week back on track with Romania!

Print this recipe: Yellow Cake
Print this recipe: Raspberry Sauce
Print this recipe: Super Lemon Buttercream Frosting

51 thoughts on “A Piece of Cake

  1. {Santies Sunnyside Up} says:

    OH MY! Kristy this cake looks delish! Two of my favorite flavors together are lemon and raspberry. I love Miss A’s comment about it tasting like the cake was filled with cobbler. This is definitely getting book marked. We aren’t eating as much sweets as we used to be, but this will be on my list of things to make ASAP!! I will be dreaming about this cake tonight! 😉


  2. Rachel says:

    Happy Birthday Mr. N! My son is turning one in 2 weeks and I’ve been wanting to make a cake for him, even though the prospect is scary because I’ve never made one. The cake looks great and I’m definitely wanting to try it out. I’ll tell you how it goes.


  3. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    Happy Birthday Mr N! I’ve never made layered cake…so they are more advanced baker than I am! LOL. Such a beautiful cake. I am sure Mr. N will remember about making this cake together forever. I love that thought, Kristy. 🙂


  4. Three Well Beings says:

    What a great cake! I think it’s so interesting with all the cooking you do that you’ve not thought of yourself as a cake artist! LOL! This looks great, and to see how much the children enjoyed the whole process must have made it so worthwhile. And Mr. N had such a vision that you could do anything…how precious is that! My experience with cakes is that I make good cake and not-so-good frosting! We ought to combine our talents! 🙂 Debra


  5. Profiteroles & Ponytails says:

    I’m with Mr. N.– in awe of this cake. You guys did an amazing job, especially given you came close to driving off the road when this was suggested. Cakes always taste better when they are made with love, so I can only imagine how tasty this was.


  6. Courtney says:

    Kristy – you did SO good!! Very, very nice work – and Mr. N will someday appreciate the fact that you totally went outside your comfort zone for his special treat! I hope the rest of his birthday fun is just as lovely!


  7. Karen says:

    Mr. N. is turning into a real gourmet…not your average cake a young boy would request. A great job on the cake and a four spoon rating by the birthday boy says it all. Actually, he did say it all at the end of the night…so sweet!


  8. Caroline says:

    “It’s a piece of cake!” haha that’s hysterical. What a delicious and gorgeous birthday cake. You’re a natural. 😉 I hope Mr. N had a great birthday!!


  9. ChgoJohn says:

    This cake is perfect in every way, Kristy! It had just what he wanted most — you made it. No matter how accomplished you become as a cake baker, he’ll never forget this one. Now that’s a great gift!


  10. Eva Taylor says:

    What a lovely story; it certainly shows how well you’ve raised Mr. N. Such a sweetheart. And congratulations on the beautiful birthday cake, it looks awesome! Have a great weekend, Kristy.


  11. Charles says:

    Wow, that’s definitely a cake worthy of the little guy’s birthday! That looks amazing and good on him for pushing you out of your comfort zone a bit with his cake request – maybe he has a future as a motivational speaker or life coach or something 😀 – “Challenge yourself a little every day!”. I bet you feel great now you’ve done it, and it looks like it turned out perfectly!

    “I’m really happy I’m me mommy. I love you.” – aww 🙂


  12. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles says:

    What a great story Kristy and to my eyes, this cake is a beauty in every sense of the word. The raspberry filling looks positively gorgeous in those sliced photos but best of all is the fact that you tackled the cake making task like a pro and did it together – a family project that filled your son with joy. You just can’t beat that! Have a beautiful weekend – I wish I lived closer to sample the leftovers 😉 and to give Mr. N a hug!


  13. fati's recipes says:

    Awwh, I really love your posts… this is like the sweetest story ever…that cake isn’t the prettiest, like you say, but the sweet sentimental touch behind it just makes it all the more gorgeous! 🙂 I won’t deny, that raspberry filling looks like a winner! I’m making my sister’s wedding cake because she insists that I do… So I can only hope I can impress 🙂 wish me luck 😉


  14. hotlyspiced says:

    That’s such a beautiful cake Kristy and you did so well with that definite and unwavering brief. I love the look of the frosting and the raspberry layer in the middle would be so delicious. Great that your little man had a wonderful birthday xx


  15. Sawsan@ Chef in disguise says:

    Kristy,Mr N’s words at the end of the day brought tears to my eyes.
    Nothing compares to knowing that at the end of the day you have a happy child who loves himself and is proud of his mum for facing one of her fears and conquering it with flying colors.
    I too am proud of you for taking this on and for making a cake that I am sure tasted heavenly and looked way better than my first filled cake (if you want I will email you the picture 🙂 )
    Happy birthday Mr N, I think you are shaping up to be a wonderful young man


  16. Geni - Sweet and Crumby says:

    What more could you want out of life than healthy and happy children who love who they are? What really more could one ask for? What a memorable and wonderful birthday with your family. I think Mr. N. knew what he was doing Kristy. I have no doubt you can conquer anything…even cakes. I think it looks beautiful as well for your information!


  17. Just A Smidgen says:

    For some reason this post brought tears to my eyes.. I’m such a sentimental mom. I’m always so touched when I read about the love of a mom for her children and the lengths she (you!) go to to show your love… That cake will be remembered for a very, very long time… Happy Birthday to young Mr. N.. no longer a “baby”!! yay!!


  18. sallybr says:

    Happy belated Bday, Mr N!

    I am so sorry I missed it, but I must say I am beyond impressed by your Mom’s skills as a baker!

    Me thinks on her next birthday you, your sister, and your Dad should go out together and buy a complete set of cake pans, several shapes and sizes, and one of those icing bags with the fancy tips….

    Gorgeous cake!


  19. A_Boleyn says:

    Congratulations on your successful foray into the world of cake making from scratch. People will encourage you to make bigger and better cakes in the future. My response would be … “I’ve made one. I have nothing left to prove.” 🙂

    Looking forward to your next Romanian recipe.


  20. Dawn says:

    Happy Birthday Mr. N!!! I still can’t believe you don’t even have two round cake pans? You would just laugh if you saw my kitchen, it is full of baking supplies – making cakes is one of my most favorite pleasures. It turned out great though, and so inventive to make a square cake!! Thanks for link too :).


Leave a Reply to Three Well Beings Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s