Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me

I won't tell you the exact date, but I will tell you that my lovely and talented daughter has given me a trip to Seattle for my birthday so there will be few posts until next Monday. I'm really excited! We will be seeing Avatar in IMAX and I've been waiting to see it with her. I'll get to meet one or more of her friends, do some glass fusing, do some shopping and eating out and walking around her neighborhood. She and I are also slated to have breakfast with two of my favorite bloggers...Lynn of Cookie Baker Lynn (now a blogazine author at Simple Bites) and Peabody of Culinary Concoctions by Peabody, one of the most drool worthy sites you will ever find and home to excellent photography, too. Even if it rains...and it probably will...I will be having a blast!

As far as birthdays go, my take on it is every year I celebrate a birthday means that I have lived and experienced another year...and usually learned wonderful things and had fun with great people and often helped some other human beings along the way.
Bread has been baked, delicious dishes cooked and photographed and posts made on this blog. Other blogs have been visited, often with delight and laughter...most bloggers seem to be far funnier than I am. Walks will have been taken with Sweetie and the bread baker's dog. Project will have been undertaken and time spent in hardware stores (almost as much fun as cookware stores :) Books have been read and conversations taken place. This year has included a new haircut, too, after many years of more or less the same old same old. Life is a never ending source of amusement and fascination to me. Ever year I want another one, so here's to my next birthday, too!

Some days at work I get a surprise like I did today. I didn't bake my birthday cake, or even a Valentines cake, but I did get to bake a cake for Walter. He wanted a cake with pineapple and whipped cream. I went online and looked at a lot of pineapple cakes. Although some were similar, none were exactly like the one I ended up making, so I'm calling it Walter's Pineapple Cloud Cake.

Since I wasn't expecting to bake today I didn't bring my mixer with me. It seemed best, since all the batter would be hand mixed, that I use cake mix from a box. I changed it a bit by using melted butter and Greek yogurt instead of vegetable oil. That provided both moisture and fat. Considering all of the whipped cream, it was probably gilding the lily, but should taste wonderful that way!

Speaking of the whipped cream, I'm here to tell you that a whisk will do the trick quite well, but my wrist was tired by the time I did two batches. If you are using an electric or stand mixer, you can beat it all at once and then divide it.

This cake is a vanilla cake baked in a baking pan (normally I would use a 9" x 13" pan, but this was going to the home of an ill man and I didn't want them to have to worry about keeping track of the pan). A can of crushed pineapple in juice is drained while the cake bakes, and the juice is used to moisten the baked cake while it is still warm. The remaining pineapple is folded into half of the whipped cream (one of my batches) and spread over the cake...it ends up being about an inch thick. Then the remaining whipped cream is spread over the pineapple mixture and given some pretty swirls. Once it has chilled for a while it is ready to eat.

Since I didn't have an opportunity to either cut a piece of this cake or to photograph or taste a piece, you'll have to go with my photo of the top of the cake and the assurance that it is a delicious cake, simple and elegant and light as a cloud!

Walter's Pineapple Cloud Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 pint Greek style yogurt, plain
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 1/4 cups water
1 can pineapple in it's own juice (about 15 oz)
1 pint heavy whipping cream, chilled
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Prepare the cake mix according to package directions, but use the yogurt and butter in place of oil. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven about 30 minutes, or until cake springs back when you poke the center.

While cake is baking, drain the pineapple, reserving the juice.

When the baked cake is removed from the oven, use a skewer to poke holes all over the top, about 1/2 inch apart. Pour the drained pineapple juice evenly over the cake, letting it seep into the poked holes. Set pan in the refrigerator to cool while you whip the cream.

In a large bowl whip the cream. Divide in half.

To one half of the whipped cream add the drained crushed pineapple and fold in with a spatula until well blended. Spread this mixture over the top of the cake and smooth the top evenly.

To the second half of the whipped cream, add the vanilla extract and beat that in until combined.
Place dollops of the whipped cream over the pineapple mixture on the cake and spread over the cake, making decorative swirls or peaks as desired.

Chill cake for at least an hour to combine flavors and set the whipped cream. Keep refrigerated if there is any left to store after serving.


  1. Happy Birthday Elle! Many happy returns of the day. You'll be having a great one with that program you sketched... enjoy!!

  2. Can't wait to see you!
    That's my kind of cloud.

  3. Congratulations on making another successful trip around the sun! I would *LOVE* to be in Seattle - or somewhere tropical - just now, and look forward to hearing about all the fun! Hope the weather is nice! (For a given value of "nice" in the winter!!)

  4. Happy birthday, dear! I can't wait to see you. It will be great fun.

    The cake does look just like a delicious cloud. I'll bet every morsel was enjoyed.

  5. Thank you all of you! Wet but relatively warm Tanita, a bit colder in Seattle :)
    Peabody & Lynn, so looking forward to seeing you! Peabody has my cell # for getting in touch.

  6. Happy birthday dear Elle! :)

  7. Happy Birthday Elle! Have a great time in Seattle!

  8. HAppy Birthday Elle! And happy Valentines day too!!!!

  9. Thank you Anh, Mimi and Dharm! Happy Valentine's Day to each of you :)
    XOXO Elle

  10. I am glad for your present :)
    Happy Birthday Elle !!