Barbara's Birthday

Barbara's birthday cupcakes.
February 7 is Josh's mother, Barbara Young's birthday. One of her favorite things to do is play bridge. She's a tough competitor and Josh invited 6 friends for lunch and an afternoon of bridge.
Barbara Young, 96 years young today.
The grandchildren (Chris and Erin, Erinna and Paul, Suzanna and Chad) sent Barbara a new Ceiva digital photo frame. They download photos every week of her great-grandkids so she can keep up with what's going on in their lives and their photos rotate through the Civa on her desk. Our friend, Cliff, brought 96 carnations and daughters Suzy Young and Carolyn, sent flowers and puzzles. Son, Richard, created a fantastic book of photos from Dingly Dell, the farm where they all spent their summers. I baked the birthday cake.
Barbara's computer and desk, with Cieva frame, next to the red arrow.

Some of Barbara's loot.
96 carnations.

One table of bridge, it looks very intense.
A few folks asked for the recipe for the cake so here it is. Be sure if you make it, taste the batter. It will make you wonder if you should eat it as a pudding and not even bake it! I started with a recipe I found on the Allrecipes website, then tinkered a lot with the ingredients. I believe this is an improvement on an already good recipe. Not being a huge fan of spice cakes, I was surprised how this has become one of my favorites. I chose to bake it as cupcakes this time for ease of serving, but it works well as a layer cake or a pan cake, too. The icing is light and not overly sweet.

Spice Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger (I like grated candied ginger better)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup milk
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup butter, softened (don't substitute with margarine)
2 cups brown sugar
1/3 cup black walnuts
1/2 cup golden raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease and lightly flour 2 round cake pans, or one 9 x 13 inch cake pan. Or, 24 regular cupcakes with enough batter left for you to eat).

Mix dry ingredients in mixing bowl then add the milk, eggs, softened butter and brown sugar and mix until smooth. Stir in the black walnuts and raisins and fill the pans. If making cupcakes, fill to 3/4 full.
Bake until a knife or toothpick inserted comes out clean (about 40 minutes for 9 x 13 inch pan, about 10-12 minutes for cupcakes. Cool then ice with icing recipe below.

Spice Cake Icing
This is a fairly light, not overly-sweet icing for this or any carrot cake recipe.

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar

Combine ingredients in mixing bowl and whip for about 3 minutes with electric mixer. Spread on cooled cake.


aurora1910 said...

I'm an old lady (91) whose bucket list hobby is promoting SOCIABLE bridge so that it survives after I'm gone--serious bridge has the ACBL, sociable bridge??

Anyway, to that end I've written a book--Bridge Table or What's Trump Anyway?--and I have a blog at http://bridgetable.net. I have a Google Alert for "play bridge" to find content for my blog, and that's how I found YOU!

What a nice Idea for a bridge player's birthday! Think I'm going to forward it to my daughter--give her an idea for my 92d on March 14??

Also plan to blog about you in some future issue. If you wish can go there, subscribe (free of course) and you'll automatically get an email when I've added a new blog.


Lynn said...

Sounds like a lovely party! Please send Barbara my regards. I'll be trying out the spice cake recipe very soon. Lynn