Today is the beginning of the best 6 months of my year. For the next 32 weeks of this year, Daniel and I will be the same age. I don’t like being the older spouse. In fact, I found my FIRST WHITE HAIR a couple of weeks ago. Yes, you read correctly, white. Anyways- today marks Daniel’s 23rd birthday. I wish I could say we’ve had an awesome day solely dedicated to celebrating his birth, but instead, we went through our mundane daily tasks and we’ll wrap up our evening with a special meal (cough*wehaveacoupon*cough) at Qdoba. Even though we’re not really doing anything special today, we celebrated plenty over the weekend!
I tried to throw Daniel a surprise party, but the whole “surprise” aspect was a complete flop after I left my e-mail open on Daniel’s computer. You see, my computer is suffering from the virus of death, so I’ve been using Daniel’s laptop for all of my odds and ends. Despite not being a surprise party, it was still a great treat to have our friends and family over to celebrate his birthday.
Even though the surprise didn’t work out- I managed to bake a cake, WITH substitutions/adjustments AND without burning anything, AND it even received compliments!
Here’s how the no-added oil cake went down:
- Boxed “white cake” mix
- Boxed “devil’s food cake” mix
- Dump the cake mix into a bowl.
- Lightly beat 3 egg whites, dump into bowl
- Add in 1 1/3 c. water to eggs and mix
- Mix everything together and pour into 2 9” pans. Bake 25-30 minutes at 350 (or follow baking instructions on box)
Devil’s Food Cake
- Dump the cake mix into another bowl
- Lightly beat 2 eggs, dump into bowl
- Add 1 1/3 c. water to eggs and cake mix
- Mix everything together and pour into two 9” round pans. Bake 30-35 minutes (or follow baking instructions on box)
Now, things get interesting. Let the cakes cool in their pans, and transfer to plates. Put the cakes in the fridge for 20-30 minutes. You’re going to be cutting out circles of the cake, and refrigerating the cake helps it to stay together.
Find two circular objects of 2 different sizes (both smaller than the cake). Use your “medium” sized object to cut a ring out of all of the cakes. Use your “small” sized object to cut out the center of each cake. Basically, you’re cutting concentric circles into the cakes.
Why? Well we’re making a checkerboard cake!
You’re going to start building your cake, starting with the bottom layer: use a large ring of chocolate cake, a medium ring of white cake, and a small circle of chocolate cake. For the next layer, use a large ring of white cake, a medium ring of chocolate cake, and a small circle of white cake. Alternate your layers until your cake is as big as you want!
IMPORTANT: Don’t be a dummy like me- smear a little bit of frosting between the layers, you’ll see why later…
Now onto the frosting recipe:
Dummy Proof “Light” Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 block Neufchâtel cheese (or reduced fat cream cheese)
- 1/4 c. butter, softened (1/2 stick)
- 4 c. powdered sugar (1 lb)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Dump everything into a stand mixer, start your mixer on a low speed, and whip until everything is combined. Make sure to taste test as you go along, quality control matters.
- Refrigerate until you’re ready to use!
Give your cake a ‘crumb coat’ of the frosting (just slather it on), and then put on a “nicer” layer. Again, BE SURE TO PUT FROSTING BETWEEN THE LAYERS!
When you’re done frosting your cake, store it in the fridge until you’re ready to have the birthday boy blow out his candles, all 23 of them!
I also whipped up some gluten free cupcakes, and while they were tasty, I’d like to play around with the recipe before giving it out to anyone!
The night was filled with family and friends, the men played a little bit of Frisbee while the ladies chatted away. Mrs. Coop and Woody shared their stories of their Italian adventure with our friends, and we all enjoyed each other’s company!
I wouldn’t leave you without a final picture of the CHECKERBOARD CAKE!
We had a great time celebrating with everyone!
Happy 23rd Birthday Husband!