Saturday, January 4, 2014

Baked With Love


Happy birthday to Mommy!

There is a "Part 2" to our New Year's Day traditional meal that I didn't tell you about when I posted our peas and collards meal a couple of days ago. For years, that meal always included birthday cake for dessert. Mommy was born on January 2 thirty-two years ago and her family birthday dinner was alway combined with the New Year's Day meal. Until this year.

Her family left the farm earlier than planned to get home ahead of their snow. So I didn't get to bake her a cake this year. After a couple of sad text messages on her actual birthday about not having a cake this year, I zapped a quick text to son-in-law who said he would try to make her a cake if I would send him a recipe.

I emailed him the recipe that my mother used for our birthday cakes. (Thank goodness for the quickness of email and text communication!) My mother got the recipe from our cousin Jackie, whose cooking was legendary in our family. It is the easiest homemade cake I've ever made. Easy enough for a "non-baker" to make. I included an easy caramel frosting recipe, too, because that's Mommy's favorite.


Last night I received a couple of pictures of son-in-law's baking success. He's a good husband for taking the time to bake a caramel cake after he came home from work. (He gets extra points for making a layer cake—I usually bake it in a 9x13-inch pan because it's easier.) It was the day after her birthday, but that's pretty darn close in the grand scheme of things.

QUICK & EASY CAKE

2 cups self-rising flour 
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
1 cup milk
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Beat until well mixed.  This can be baked in layers or 13x9x2 pan. (Greased and floured, of course; or use baking spray.) Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown and top springs back when lightly touched. 


QUICK CARAMEL FROSTING

2/3 cup butter
1 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
1/3 cup milk
3 cups powdered sugar (sifted)

In a saucepan over low heat add butter--melt. Add brown sugar--stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add milk--stir and cook while you bring it to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat and let it cool for 10 minutes. Slowly add powdered sugar while stirring--keep stirring until thick enough to use as frosting.

(I used a wire whisk to add in the powdered sugar until it got thick and then I switched to a heavy spoon.  This frosting hardens, so ice your cake quickly.)



Family events get harder to observe as we spread out around the country. I just realized that this family drove nearly 4,000 miles to be home for Thanksgiving AND Christmas this year. Bless 'em!

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