Cakes Dessert Recipes

My Go-To Birthday Cake

My go-to birthday cake is my Grandma Arlene’s chocolate cake, iced with 7 Minute Frosting. This is the first cake I can remember making and it’s very tasty. More or less, just dump everything in the bowl, mix it up and put it in the oven. I don’t think it gets much easier than that.


When we planned Irene’s birthday dinner, Sayyad and I decided we also wanted to surprise Irene with a home-baked cake. So Saturday afternoon, Sayyad came over and “we” baked Irene’s cake. OK, well, maybe I baked the cake and Sayyad was the official photographer, but it was a team effort, and both the cake and photos turned out really well. This is going to be a photo heavy post, as Sayyad took so many great pictures that I had a hard time narrowing down which ones I wanted to use! So I used a lot of them!

Chocolate Cake

– 1 2/3 cups flour
– 1 1/2 cups sugar
– 2/3 cups cocoa
– 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
– 1 tsp salt
– 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
– 1/2 cup margarine
– 2 eggs
– 1 tsp vanilla


1. Turn the oven on to 350 degrees to start warming.

cake-1-112. Cream together the sugar and margarine.

Creaming together sugar and butter3. Add in the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla and mix until incorporated.

cake-1-74. Add the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt to the mixture.


cake-1-105. Mix on low for 30 seconds and then on high for 3 minutes.

cake-1-166. Measure and cut out wax paper circles to be laid in the cake pans.

cake-1-197. Grease and flour 2 round cake pans and set the wax paper circle in the bottom.

cake-1-278. Pour the batter into the 2 cake pans and put into the oven to bake for 35-40 minutes. Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting them.

cake-1-229. Make the clean up job a little easier by cleaning off the beater. 🙂


Seven Minute Frosting

– 2 egg whites
– 1 1/2 cups sugar
– 2 tsp corn syrup or 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
– 1/2 cup cold water
– dash of salt
– tsp vanilla


cake-1-421. Place all ingredients except vanilla in top of a double boiler.



cake-1-492. Beat for 1/2 a minute on low speed using an electric mixture, just to blend ingredients.

cake-1-533. Place over, not touching, boiling water. Cook beating constantly, till frosting forms stiff peaks, about 7 minutes.

4. Remove from the boiling water, add vanilla and beat until frosting reaches a spreading consistency, about 2 minutes.


5. Use the icing to frost the chocolate cake.


cake-1-79I was a little short of time and didn’t beat the icing quite enough, so the icing wasn’t as thick as it should have been. Also, the icing wasn’t 100% cool and the cake was sitting on an angle in my car so it ended up looking like a bit of a Dr. Seuss cake… the layers were slightly offset. Oops!

01192599After dinner we headed over to Irene’s house and while she was upstairs we got the cake lit and set-up to surprise her.

cake-1-87The cake may not have looked perfect, but it sure tasted good and it seemed to make Irene very happy!  Everyone ended up having seconds, so I guess everyone else was pretty pleased with the cake too.

cake-1-93Thanks again to Sayyad for your help and company and especially for taking such great pictures. And a special Happy Birthday to Irene! Thanks for being such a wonderful friend!


Happy Tuesday!

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