I know I know. This sounds scary but I assure you: I have not baked Lily and 9 into a cake!


But if you did we could nibble our way out!


You’ve become pretty handy with Betty Crocker ™ cake mixes as I recall, 9.


And I love decorating them with frosting rosettes!


At last, a topic 9 can really sink her teeth into.


You don’t have room to snark about this, Lily. You bake a lot, too. When you’re sixteen you’ll enter so many cakes and cookies and quick breads in open class Home Arts at the Jefferson County Fair you’ll place third overall. And that’s against adults!


The topic of cake is relevant this week because, for the first time in a long time, I baked one. From scratch.


Because that’s the way we roll.


Yes! We’ve freed ourselves from cake mix bondage and have advanced to actual recipes. And this one is a dandy. It’s called Festive Cake. The batter is oil-based, like a carrot cake, but instead of carrots you fold in chopped bananas, crushed pineapple and toasted chopped almonds.


That sound like something only grown-ups would like.


They do, 9. Especially when you factor in the cream cheese frosting with a hint of unsweetened cocoa.


I don’t remember exactly where I found this recipe, probably in a women’s magazine like Good Housekeeping. I wrote it out on lined paper. By the rounded, looping quality of the cursive I’d guess this happened in my late teens to early twenties. The first time I baked it was for my Sullivan grandparents on their anniversary. The additional note on the recipe shows that I also made it 15 years ago:


A great cake starts with a great recipe. . .


It’s a great cake, a fabulous cake- –


A Festive Cake.


But it is also a very big cake. I made it for dessert when I had a friend over for dinner on Tuesday. One friend. I should have invited 12 to 16 friends. Check out what was left:


Wow, that’s a lot of left-over cake!



It’s a stupendous cake, and also a very sweet, rich cake. The kind of cake you want one slice of, once every fifteen years. With the cream cheese frosting, it won’t freeze particularly well. I had landed myself square in the middle of a cake crisis!



Time for the Great Cake Giveaway! I’ve endowed friends and neighbors with hunks of the stuff, between one eighth and one quarter of the original circumference depending on household size. I have now whittled it down to this:


A quarter of a cake on a dinner plate. It just doesn’t look right. . .



The plate size, though. Something is off with the aesthetic. Better downsize it to:


A quarter cake on a luncheon plate. Much better!



Caught you! You licked some of the frosting that was left on the big plate.


Well, sure, 9, I don’t want it to go to waste.


Now you need to even up those jagged edges to make it more uniform.


Not before dinner, Lily. I need to eat my broccoli.


No you don’t.


Four generous pieces can be carved out of what’s left. What was I thinking when I started this project?


At least it solves an age-old problem.


Which one, Lily?


You can have you cake, and eat it, too, for days to come.

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