chocolate + paper + scissors


Half-birthdays + whole chocolate cakes

Last week we had an extra-special day: Wednesday was our son’s official half-birthday! He is officially on his way to turning three in October, which is hard for me to digest, given I still think of him as our tiny baby boy. I told someone the other day that I think I will still be carrying him on my hip when he’s fourteen.

I hope I will never forget the constant plea of “Mama, ho me up! Ho me up!"

My daughter, who is five and a half (who may have a future in event planning), said upon returning from school that afternoon, “Mommy! We need to bake him a cake. Let’s do chocolate!” And, we fixed the kid’s favorite dinner – meatballs + mashed potatoes. Total comfort food. Yum.

After we got the cake in the oven, sweet girl agreed to help clean up the playroom (also our den) while I cooked dinner. And before I knew it, the playroom was spotless, there were name tags on placemats, fun plates at the table and bubbles at each place setting. It was a perfect way to celebrate our Bubby.

Following dinner: “Cake! Cake!”

I give King Arthur full credit for this Devil’s Food Cake recipe. I’ve made this several times already – but this time I baked it in a 9x13 pan and didn’t use icing to keep things simple.

This is such an easy recipe – there is no need for a box cake when you can put this together so quickly! We had some canned icing in the fridge, so everyone got a schmear of icing on their slice – but I liked that we could control the portion of the icing (since my husband and daughter would really prefer to eat a can of icing, sans cake). Although I prefer homemade icing, personally, convenience wins some days.

It works well as a snack cake, too, without the icing, and even – yes, a breakfast bread. Adding chocolate chips before warming up a slice adds a nice dimension, too.

I made this for my birthday last year and for our son’s second birthday this year. I suppose this is becoming a family staple recipe, which I love.

"Does a half birthday mean a half slice of cake?," Sister asked.


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