Recently this blog has been All About That Cake (No Vegetables). I couldn’t really say why — or why I thought it was a good idea to start this post with a line that Meghan Trainor, or your average 11 year old, or MY average 11 year old, might murder me for in the night. Still, it’s true. Cake.
This particular layer cake tastes more sophisticated than it looks with those slightly melted organic lollipops (or are they balloon emoji?) sticking out of the top. It’s The Silver Palate’s yellow cake recipe, and there is wine in the batter, which makes all the difference for both taste and texture. No one would guess the secret ingredient, but everyone will know it’s a little bit special.
In addition to baking cakes, one thing I’ve been doing a lot of recently is insisting I’m way more into statistics than astrology but then saying things like this anyway: So many of my favorite people have birthdays in interesting clusters. Four of my best ladies have consecutive birthdays a direct six month leap across the calendar from mine, and they’re all kinda the yang to my yin (although watch me expunge those terms from my vocabulary now that I’ve seen yin described as “feminine/passive/negative”).
Three other MVPs share the birthday that I made this cake to celebrate. Granted, only one is local, so the others had to subsist on a cheeky text and a photo of the cake, which means it’s lucky they’ve already liked me for a while. We brought the actual cake to the local, and she and I and our kids decided to dig in while her poor husband was out. She’s an excellent sculptor, and though cake and truth aren’t her usual media, that day she sliced off a perfect ring of cake edges for us to eat, leaving a smaller but totally legit-looking round layer cake behind for a family celebration later in the evening. If I tried something like that it would instantly start trending as a Pinterest fail, but in her case no one suspected a thing.
Birthday clusters are one of those life events/non-events that seem meaningful even though maybe technically they aren’t. But then, the more birthdays my friends and I have, the more I realize that meaning exists where you make it — and statistical significance isn’t always the best measure of importance.
See you soon.
The Silver Palate's Yellow Cake
This cake is so unfussy that you won't believe how well it turns out. The wine gives it both a beautiful, tender crumb and a gently elevated flavor.
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
This light and fluffy frosting is heavily adapted from The Silver Palate's chocolate icing. The sour cream lends just the right touch of tang to balance out the sweetness.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate (chips are fine)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2/3 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract