Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Happy Birthday Maura!

Maura turned 8 years old today! We took her to Hershey Park over the weekend and did some celebrating and had lots of fun there. And tonight, my mom and my brother and sister came over and we had a really nice dinner and really yummy cake. Maura's new favorite meal is the Caramelized Baked Chicken from This is the first recipe in my blog and definitely one of the best chicken dishes I have ever made. So she requested it for her birthday dinner. It was delicious and everyone loved it. I think my brother had about 4 pieces. He's a big eater!

I made Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake and let me tell was perfect! It was seriously the best chocolate cake I have ever had. It was rich and moist and "perfectly chocolate" I can't say enough about it. I made a frosting that I found on allrecipes that uses Cool Whip and vanilla pudding mix. It was much lighter than most traditional frostings, but still very sweet and good. I will say that next time I think I will stick with a buttercream icing. I just like a richer, denser frosting. But the frosting tasted wonderful and the cake was amazing. It was my first attempt at cake decorating, so it's a little droopy. But I did the best I could and I think it turned out pretty well! So here are the recipes for the cake and frosting.

Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake (source:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with "PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" CHOCOLATE FROSTING. 10 to 12 servings.

ONE-PAN CAKE: Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350° F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Frost.

THREE LAYER CAKE: Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost.

BUNDT CAKE: Grease and flour 12-cup Bundt pan. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost.

CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.
Cool Whipped Frosting
1 8 ounce container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 3.4 ounce package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, combine pudding mix with milk and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Gently fold in whipped topping until no streaks remain. Spread evenly over cake.

Everything was wonderful tonight and Maura had a great time. I'm so glad that my family could come and share everything with us tonight. It made the night extra special for all of us. My dad was sorely missed. This is Maura's first birthday without him and that is very hard. So I'm gonna put a picture of him in here too, cause I know he was here in spirit! (it's a very old picture, but it really captures his wonderful, funny personality :) )

Oh! And this post would not be complete without a picture of the birthday girl herself! I couldn't get a picture of her tonight because she just wouldn't stand still long enough and my phone camera isn't good at action shots. So this is the best I can do!


  1. Looks like a great meal... Happy Birthday to her!!!

  2. Aw, honey, you look so much like your Dad! I know it's had to be so hard for you this year...I can't even imagine.

    Glad this weekend went well. Was the smell of chocolate lingering in the air there? Dinner looks fabulous (gonna have to try the chicken!). Glad you guys got to spend the evening together. Happy Birthday Maura!

  3. The cake looks amazing!!!! Good job! It looks like Maura had a great birthday dinner! I love the picture of your dad too :)

  4. YAY, Happy Birthday cutie pa-tootie Maura! Your mom sure spoiled you this year.

    Great wonderful job Kayte. Everything looks wonderful. I would love a piece of that cake right about now. :)

    And I know your dad would be very proud of you also. ::hugs::

  5. It was a great meal - in celebration of Maura ~~~ and it was great to be there and have a great meal and wonderful dessert - homemade instead of restaurant style. And in some way "he was there", I just know it. Always proud of you!! Blessings, Momma Maureen

  6. Happy Birthday Maura!! That cake looks to die for!


    Your cake looks awesome! I can't wait to try it!

    And your dad was definitely there with you... hey, maybe him and my dad are friends and my dad was there too! Par-tay! :)

  8. Happy Birthday Maura! Everything looks great!

  9. Sounds like a great birthday! The cake looked so good! Pretty decorating too! :)

  10. I think your decorating job looks fantastic!

  11. This post made me smile! I love that you did such a great thing for your daughters birthday. You are a wonderful mother. I can't believe how old she is...

    And your mom is right. He's always there...