Happy Birthday Cranky and Fabulous!


Yes, believe it— Cranky and Fabulous is actually one year old!!

After a year of gathering ideas and talking about getting this blog up and running, we are finally ready to go live. To celebrate this momentous occasion we thought we would dedicate our very first blog post to something that is near and dear to our hearts — birthday cake. Knowing that this can be sometimes a very sensitive and personal subject, Sarah and I wrote our top 5 criteria for the perfect birthday cake…

1Simple vanilla cake. Of course I love all kinds of cake but for me my perfect birthday cake is vanilla. Growing up I didn't enjoy the chocolate variety of cakes (no worries blog readers my tastes have evolved since) and I need my birthday cake to give me the feeling of comfort that I would have if I were sitting at my parent's dining room table for my birthday. Of course at times I want frills, but for my birthday cake, please don't add any fruit or fillings. Layering is acceptable if the layers are accompanied by proper frosting...which leads to the #2 priority for a perfect birthday cake. Be some kind of sponge cake – light, fluffy, not too crumbly and definitely vanilla flavoured. I would eat a chocolate cake, but what I really want is a large, two layered vanilla cake. While I have made and eaten some really delicious homemade vanilla cakes, I think that nothing really hits the spot more than a Betty Crocker vanilla cake mix.
2Frosting. A cake is not a cake if there is no frosting. I can also get past an imperfect cake if the frosting is perfect. The frosting should be a delicious melt in your mouth, not-too-sweet vanilla buttercream (Deerfield's Bakery in Deerfield, IL has the perfect frosting if you need an example), however I am also happy to accept and relish in the comfort of a proper can of Betty Crocker cream cheese frosting. Do not attempt to give me chocolate frosting - sure I like chocolate frosting but I do not want it for my birthday cake. Have copious amounts of luscious vanilla frosting!! Homemade buttercream frosting is amazing, but I would be lying if I didn’t say that the canned frosting would not be more than welcome.
3Density (or better yet lack of) to the cake. I want to enjoy as much cake as possible on my birthday so please please give me a cake that is light and fluffy. If it is too heavy I am sure I will enjoy it but I will also be sad that I can only have a small piece. It is homemade (see point #1). Granted I use the term homemade a little loosely here because my birthday cake can come of out of box with minimal effort, I just feel like a cake should be made and not purchased at a store. There is something nice about knowing someone thought of you and put some kind of effort into making something for you even if it is just mixing some water, oil, and eggs.
4Butter. Real proper butter should be used to make the cake. The cake can be a box cake - I grew up with box cakes and still make them to this day, but butter - real (and salted if you need specifics) butter should be used. I am all for trying the latest healthy cake recipes but on my birthday I want the butter to be used. You feel kind of guilty when you have it, but know that a birthday isn’t complete without it. I want my birthday cake to be decadent – it is one of the things that make it special.
5Candles and imperfections. Generally people consider the cake to be finished when it is frosted to perfection and any accompanying messages are written perfectly on the cake, and then you have to figure out where to add the candle and the perfection goes away. Please give me at least one candle and let it be imperfect - in fact I'm more likely to want to eat it if its imperfect, I hate to have to cut into a perfect looking cake and then feel like I ruined the perfection. Simple, simple, simple! I don’t need tons of decorations, or complicated flavours— and most importantly, KEEP FRUIT OUT OF MY CAKE! I want the cake and the icing and that is it. Obviously there needs to be candles but I think we are beyond the point where the number is necessary…

So what are your requirements for the ultimate birthday cake? Let us know!