My Birthday Cake

it tastes better then the picture.

it tastes better then the picture.

Happy Birthday to me! This cake had a rough start and was almost never posted. Why? Because my wife and daughter did not like the cake at the first tasting. I liked it and my son liked it and also thought the more for me and my son. BUT, after being in the Frig over night both my wife and daughter now love it. My son and I continued to enjoy it cold and yes it did taste better cold so I knew I had to post this experience.

A little background on how I came up with recipe and even knew before I cooked it that this might get mixed reviews. I was on one of my regular walks enjoying the weather trying to think of a cake to make for my birthday. I wanted something different then I have made before and maybe even try something a bit risky. The risky part was putting strawberry syrup in a white cake which of course is going to make it heavy and not so white. Plus I wanted to use up the heavy whipping cream to make coco frosting, which could make it look bland or like sandpaper.

Well enough chatting, onto the recipe which started out as the recipe found on the back of the Swans Down Cake Flour box and morphed into what you see below.

I used two 9″ round pans which should have been 3. I cooked it longer to compensate.


  • 3 cups Swans Down Cake Flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup Butter, softened
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 4 large Eggs
  • 3/4 cup Skim Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Strawberry Syrup (see my recipe here using all strawberries)
  • Coco Frosting:
  • 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2 tablespoons of Cocoa Powder – I used Nestle
  • 1 tablespoon of Sugar substitute  – if you want it sweeter add more to taste

The steps to a tasty result

  1. Sift flour with baking powder and salt
  2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy in your mixer
  3. Beat on medium speed, adding eggs one at a time, yes one at a time
  4. Add a bit flour mixture then milk and extract until all used up but cream until smooth after each addition
  5. Pour into 2 greased 9 inch round pans then swirl in homemade strawberry syrup (see picture below) using the end of a wooden spoon handle to do the swirl. Don’t swirl to much.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 min using the tooth pick method making sure it comes out clean
  7. Cool in pan for 10 minutes then remove cake from pan and cool completely on racks
  8. While the cake is cooling make the frosting. First things first put the mixing bowl and whisk attachment into the freezer for at least 15 minutes
  9. Remove bowl and whisk from freezer and  immediately pour the heavy whipping cream into the bowl and whisk away starting at a slow speed increasing to a high speed until stiff peaks form. Watch carefully testing often!
  10. Add coco and sugar substitute to the mix and blend well
  11. Spread layer of frosting  onto of a layer of cake then stack the cakes and frost the entire cake.
  12. At this point you can add more strawberries to the cake top to enhance the look but me I ran out of strawberries
  13. Now an important step according to two members of my family, refrigerate the cake before eating
  14. Eat but before you do sing happy birthday to me first
Don't swirl to much!

Don’t swirl to much!

Add some garnish if you want.

Add some garnish if you want.


Coffee Cake Muffins with Strawberry Surprise



I needed to use up the strawberries in the Frig before they went bad. What to make with strawberries? Coffee cake muffins of course!

These are a bit dense with strawberries just under the topping and there is a bit of topping through the center of the muffin forced in with the handle end of a wooden spoon to give that extra surprise in taste. Test taste results was thumbs up around the room and mouths where full enjoying the tasty muffins.

Ingredients for the Muffin Bottom

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cups sliced strawberries or just enough to top all of your muffins

Ingredients for the Muffin Top

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup light brownsugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened I put mine in the microwave for 10 seconds
  • 1/4 cup flaked sweated coconut (optional)

Mix, cook it , eat it

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Grease a muffin pan – makes 12
  3. Beat with electric mixer 1/4 cup butter in a bowl until creamy
  4. Add 3/4 cup sugar and egg to the mix and yes mix well
  5. Add flour, baking powder, and salt together in a separate bowl and mix.
  6. Stir the flour mixture and milk into butter sugar mixture and mix until combined
  7. Using a spoon fill muffin tins
  8. Arrange strawberries on top the batter (see picture below)
  9. Now for the sugar topping
  10. Mix flour, sugar and butter together in a bowl. You may need two butter knives to cut the butter into the mix
  11. Sprinkle topping over strawberries
  12. Use the handle end of a wooden spoon to push a single push of topping into the batter to give that extra surprise (see picture below)
  13. Top with coconut – optional
  14. Bake until a toothpick inserted off  the center of the muffin comes out clean, about 35 minutes
Strawberry topping

Strawberry topping

The wooden spoon step

The wooden spoon step

Before the heat

Before the heat


Heated and cooling for a bit.


That’s some detail

Enough already just eat me!

Enough already just eat me!

Chocolate Cake With Strawberries On Top

Happy Birthday Erik!

Happy Birthday Erik!

I wanted to make a cake for my son’s birthday using what I had on-hand. The cake had to be chocolate flavor and of course had to be good. I have not made many cakes in the past and wanted something different then I have made before. So off to the internet search I went. What to enter, I did have Hershey’s Cocoa on hand so lets go with that. First thing to popup was “Really Chocolate Chocolate Cake” from the Hershey’s Kitchens. This has to be good, so I called my son in to see the picture and recipe  and asked if he would like this. He said “YEEEEEESSSS!!!!!”. That was easy! I followed the recipe pretty close only reducing the powdered sugar by a half a cup to 3 1/2  for the frosting, adding the sliced strawberries as a topping  and love to the recipe.

The test taste results:



mmm amma mmmeuumm (I think they said, this tastes great or something like that)

This beats store bought

Leftovers are better then the day before

Ingredients for Cake

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Hershey’s Cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Chocolate Fudge Frosting (see below for the recipe)
  • A handful of sliced or whole strawberries – be creative!

Make the cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans. Don’t leave any loose flour in pan
  3. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in large bowl
  4. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla then beat starting on a low speed (otherwise you will make a mess) increasing to medium speed of electric mixer for 2 minutes
  5. Stir in boiling water
  6. Pour batter into greased and floured pans
  7. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out almost clean
  8. Cool cakes in pans for 10 minutes
  9. Remove cakes from pans to wire racks and cool completely (do not sneak a bite I will know about it!)
  10. Frost with Chocolate Fudge Frosting – see below. Adding frosting to the first cake then top with the second cake and add frosting to the stack
  11. Top with strawberries
  12. Store in cool place as the frosting is mostly butter after all
  13. Sing “Happy Birthday” (the traditional song as I think the copyright was removed)

Ingredients for Chocolate Fudge Frosting

  • 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter, melted
  • 1 cup Hershey’s Cocoa
  • 3-1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Make the frosting

  1. Place melted butter in large mixer bowl
  2. Add cocoa and stir until smooth
  3. Gradually (I mean this!) beat in powdered sugar, milk and vanilla
  4. Beat until smooth
The dark cake and white does not work well with a smart phone camera.

The dark cake and white plate does not work well with a smart phone camera.

Ditto from above capitation.

Ditto from above capitation.

Dipped Strawberries

Just try and eat just one.

Just try and eat just one.

I was not going to post these dipped strawberries but my family went crazy over these after taking just one bite. Yes I will be making these again after that kind of response!


  • Fresh clean Strawberries – you pick the amount you want to make
  • 12 oz – Milk Chocolate Morsels – you will have leftovers so go ahead and make candy bars
  • 2 tablespoons Vegetable Shorting
  • a few table spoons of shredded Sweetened Coconut
  • a few table spoons of Confectioners Sugar

Building – Dipping be creative

  1. In a microwave safe dish add morsels and vegetable shorting. Heating in microwave for 30 seconds then stir. Heat for 10 seconds then stir. Repeat until smooth
  2. Holding the strawberry by the stem dip the tip of strawberry into chocolate
  3. Be creative and dip the chocolate covered strawberry into either the coconut and or confectioners sugar or nothing at all. Repeat this until you have a verity of covered strawberries
  4. Chill in refrigerator for about an hour before serving
Chilled and ready to eat!

Chilled and ready to eat!

Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe

How do I look from this side?

How do I look from this side?

I was looking for a good cake recipe and my friend came to the rescue with this dark chocolate cake recipe. I made this last year for Mothers day and again this year because it was such a huge hit.

Please don’t eat this all in one sitting! Yes it’s that good! You can freeze leftovers if needed.

Also this goes great with vanilla ice cream and coffee.

Note to guys: You must make this for your wife! 

Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 Pkge – Duncan Hines Devils food cake mix
  • 1 Pkge small – Chocolate instant pudding
  • 1/2 Cup – Warm water
  • 1/2 Cup – ccoking oil  i.e. Crisco
  • 4 large  – Eggs
  • 1 Cup – Sour cream
  • 1 small bag – Dark Chocolate chips
  • For dusting  – Confectioners sugar

Mix it all about

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. In a large bowl combine all ingredients except chocolate chips and confectioners sugar
  3. Beat 4 minutes on medium speed
  4. Fold in chocolate chips
  5. Bake in a greased & floured Bundt pan at 350 for 50 to 60 minutes or until done
  6. Cool in pan for 15 minutes
  7. Turn out on wire rack and cool completely
  8. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar – I used a fine meshed strainer taping with my hand