Sunday, January 9, 2011

Birthday Cake Impromptu

You know those minor crisis' that always pop up when you're doing something important (like preparing for a birthday get together)?  Here is ours from the other day.

My sweet husband has been doing the grocery shopping for me occasionally.  I have a hard time managing three kids and a full grocery cart, so one of us will run out for groceries in the evening or after kids are in bed.  This week I had "birthday cake and frosting" on my list.  I forgot to tell him to look for an organic one.  He brought home Betty Crocker (probably remembering this time when I sent him with specific instructions for just that).

I didn't want to complain, after all, he had done the grocery shopping for me!  On Esther's birthday I opened the mix, poured it into the bowl, and read the ingredients.

Enriched flour (white flour),
corn syrup,
partially hydrogenated oils,
baking soda with aluminum,
and four or five other words I couldn't even understand.

I had a flashback to the day before at the chiropractor's office and a pamphlet I had seen.  It said in no uncertain terms that hydrogenated oils and partially hydrogenated oils were poison.  I already knew that, but the little poison skull illustration had stuck in my head.  I couldn't make this for my child's first birthday!  There was absolutely nothing good or natural in it.

I picked up the white frosting.  More hydrogenated oils, food coloring (in white frosting?!), and lots more junk.  Ugh.  There wasn't exactly time to send Ross back to the store.  I did a quick search at Tammy's Recipes and Heavenly Homemakers for vanilla cake.  Eventually I decided that this would be a great excuse to buy the recipe cards What To Do With the Vanilla In Your Kitchen.  They contain a recipe for vanilla cake and vanilla frosting, among other things.

So... crisis almost averted.  I didn't have quite enough powdered sugar for the frosting, but used my blender to make some from cane sugar.  I also used rice milk instead of regular because we were out of that too.  The cake turned out pretty dense, but tasty.  I even avoided having to put yucky colored sprinkles on it by using some birthday picks we had in the house.  We thought the frosting was too sweet (but there is a cream cheese frosting recipe that looks delish).  In the end though, Esther enjoyed her birthday cake.  Phew!

Now I have plenty of cocoa recipes and vanilla recipes to try out!  Anyone want to come over for dessert?  It seems I have some practicing to do.


  1. Wow, that's a really clean birthday girl! How did you manage that? ;)

  2. Lol, she was cute, she just kept taking tiny pieces off and eating them. She liked it though! :)