spicing up mother's day

When it came to picking a Mother's Day gift this year, I was even more stumped than usual. Ultimately, I decided that baking a cake sounded perfect - a way to treat her without just getting "something." And knowing Mom likes spice cakes, this recipe in Joy's cookbook was an easy choice.

Speaking of spices - they certainly get piled on. Just look at all that yummy flavor waiting to be mixed into something even yummier.

This was definitely a batter that was hard to put in the pan - simply because I would have been happy to sit and eat it out of the bowl with a spoon. (The cocoa and spices meld together delightfully.)

But I was good and poured it into the pan to be baked. When I pulled it out of the oven, though, I had a brief moment of, "wait a second..."

The recipe specifically calls for a round pan - but it wasn't until I pulled my own cake out of the oven that I realized the cake pictured in the cookbook had definitely not been baked in a plain round cake pan.

But any concern I had about that was quickly eclipsed when I flipped the pan onto a plate and it didn't come out. Eventually, after some prying with a spatula, it came out - or rather, most of it came out. Grr.

Thankfully, the rest of the cake came out in one piece, and I was able to patch it back together.  Looking at this, you'd never know something had gone wrong. (Phew!)

My mood was also helped by the music. While I baked, I listened to the new CD I'd purchased during my errands the day before I made the cake...and it was fantastic, of course.

Sunday morning, before we drove over to Mom and Dad's house for the day, I made the glaze. While my little sifter works well, sifting two cups of powdered sugar through it was a small lesson in patience. Powdered sugar also amuses me because it looks like there's so much of it - but as soon as just a few tablespoons of milk and lemon juice was mixed in, it reduced significantly.

In the end, the cake turned out deliciously - and I got the ultimate compliment from Mom, who asked for a copy of the recipe. I don't think I'll ever buy a spice cake mix from the store again.

Where I am: home
What I'm reading: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald


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