It is not chocolate cake season nor is it healthy (very healthy to our souls) but it is my father’s birthday (Rachel) and this is what he wanted. He doesn’t ask for much, so when he asked for anything with cream cheese frosting I was relieved because a) I love baking! b) I didn’t have to go mental finding him a perfect gift, though a lot of times I enjoy doing this. It’s a pretty random request but it all began when we were talking about cream cheese vs whipped cream frosting on cupcakes. I went for whipped but clearly he did not. So I pulled out a cookbook called Sugar Sugar. I love this book for three reasons: everything I have made in it has come out great, Sara Remington, the photographer, is one of my favorites, and the concept of the book is brilliant (yes, I just said that and wish I could use it regularly in my American vocabulary). The book is a collection of hand-down recipes that are submitted from people around the nation. How many chefs, cooks, bloggers have started their stories with my mom, or my grandma gave me this recipe? Hand-down recipes from your old folks have to be delicious, and the stories behind them are also fascinating, which equates to a good book.
The cream cheese frosting recipe is part of the Hummingbird Cake submitted by a lady from Baton Rouge. She grew up in the early 1950s eating this cake that her aunt made her, but from a sudden death she never had the chance to ask her aunt why it was called Hummingbird. It still remains a mystery! The chocolate cake was submitted by a lady in Jackson, Mississippi. In the south birthday celebrations are a big deal and she always asked for this moist and rich chocolate cake. This book proves to be a bit of a cultural exchange, too!
Happy Birthday Father, and the Friday question for you to ponder about is: whipped or cream cheese? I say this would be a great ice-breaker game, too. TGIF! Have a great weeekend!
*Adapted from Sugar Sugar*
Yields 12 pieces
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup water
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup chopped or whole walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
2. Grease and flour 9×13″ baking dish.
3. Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking soda in the bowl of a stand mixer. Set aside.
4. In a separate, medium bowl, whisk eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Set aside.
5. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine water, butter, oil, and cocoa powder.
6. Remove pan from heat and slowly pour over flour mixture.
7. Blend on low speed.
8. Slowly add egg mixture.
9. Pour batter into pan and bake for 25- 30 minutes.
Creamy Cream Cheese Frosting
4 -ounce package of cream cheese
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
8 ounce (1/2 box) confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
In standard mixer combine cream cheese, and butter on medium speed until smooth. Turn mixer to low speed and a little bit at a time add confectioners’ sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla.
My father likes to watch old movies and TV shows. I don’t think he’s seen this, but it’s old, I like it, and it was in a commercial that I saw today.