you're reading...
Food for thought

Let me eat cake

So with this week’s flip of the calendar started the stream of email and snail-mailbirthday” marketing tools — you know those coupons and well-wishes from different stores and services you do business with.

My birthday is in a couple of weeks and DSW  thinks I need a new pair of shoes, so they’ve sent me a coupon good all month. I like this.

It’s still early in the month, but one of the more notable greetings to come across the transom so far is from Solution Seekers, Real Simple magazine’s consumer survey arm. I agreed to join Solution Seekers in a moment of weakness — maybe it was the promise of a chance to win some cool organizer stuff — on a Saturday when it was simpler to click the computer mouse than it was to wrestle with the vacuum. Now I mostly set aside their messages in my email inbox, meaning to get to them. More often than not the survey deadline expires before I find time to respond.

Anyway, in honor of my upcoming birthday, Solution Seekers sent me a perky greeting and a fairly elaborate recipe for Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting and Strawberries.

It looks good. Chocolate is my favorite (how’d they know?!), and I’m all for adding fruit to the party.

It is kind of the good folks at Solution Seekers to have their email marketing program think of me.

Still I’m left wondering:

Do they expect me to bake myself a birthday cake? 

Because that’s not the sort of solution I’m looking for on my birthday. Just sayin’.

In case, however, you’d like to bake it for me, here goes:

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting and Strawberries
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan(s)
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for the pan(s)
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup whole milkFrosting:
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
¾ cup sour cream
Pinch kosher salt


Part 1: Cake
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the pan(s), line the bottoms with parchment, butter again, and dust with flour, tapping out the excess. (For cupcakes, there is no need for parchment or rebuttering.) In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla, then the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary.

Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix just until combined (do not overmix).

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan(s) and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake(s) in the pan(s) for 15 minutes, then turn out onto rack(s) to cool completely.

Baking Times:
For two 8-inch rounds: 25-30 minutes
For two 9-ince rounds: 22-25 minutes
For one 9-by-13 inch rectangle: 25-30 minutes
For 24 cupcakes: 15 to 20 minutes

Part 2: Frosting
To prepare the frosting, heat the chocolate in a double boiler or medium heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water, stirring often, until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and let cool, 10 to 15 minutes.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter on high until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add the sugar and beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Add the chocolate, sour cream, and salt and beat to
Part 3: Strawberries
Top it all off with chopped strawberries and enjoy!

Recipe from the October 2011 issue of Real Simple magazine (p. 242)

About Terri S. Vanech

Wife, mother, communications specialist, Jazzercise instructor and recently reunited adoptee. I'm living out loud -- and trying to make it all work -- in midlife. Having a sense of humor sure helps.


2 thoughts on “Let me eat cake

  1. Hmm, maybe I’ll make one between our birthdays (mine’s 3/8) and we can celebrate together…

    Posted by Karen Waggoner | February 2, 2013, 8:11 pm

Leave a 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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: