This past weekend, we celebrated my sweet nephew's 2nd birthday. They grow up so fast and have that young, energetic energy that I feel some of us long for. The simplest things keep them entertained, like chasing balloons around the house or waving them in the air like they're flying a kite. At least I felt like I got a full day's workout in just by running them around the house in airplane mode...after five minutes. And it's the cutest thing when they watch in awe as everyone around sings happy birthday and they burst with excitement when they fearlessly get to dive into cake and rock icing-stained lips for the remainder of the day.
It begs the question of why we don't all eat more cake. We save it for birthdays, special occasions and holidays, but why not set aside these one-off days where we can just let ourselves eat cake, even if for no reason at all.
...Ok to be totally honest, I think I just wanted to dedicate a post to cake. I've seen some gorgeous creations out there that I've been meaning to showcase, all in one place (aka here). A masterpiece of these sorts takes time and flawless executional skills, but I tell ya, I'd rather eat a mound of messy cake chunks that keep me coming back for more as opposed to a work of art that tastes like cardboard. These all just so happen to knock both execution and flavor out of the park. Not that I have tried (yet), but by the flavorfully dense ingredient lists that I deem winners in my cake book.
Since my nephew actually happened to have cupcakes for his birthday celebrations (made by a very dear friend), I'll kick it off with that version of cake. Just a bit more grown up, although I bet there's a minion in us all.
"To be eaten with champagne, surrounded by fresh flowers," this show-stopping Rose Cheesecake screams spring and flavor and beauty...! Also, it requires no baking. What a relief for us perfectly imperfect baking gurus. (Hand raised quite high over here).
The magical three-ingredient cake crust is a combination of almonds, dates and tahini, which is then filled with a smoothly blended layer of rich cashews, lemon, dates, tahini, rosewater and almond milk. All topped with beautiful dried rose petals for an eye-catching and palate pleasing delight.
I've re-visited this one a time or ten before, but I can't help but to keep talking about this clever Crepe Cake that's layered with homemade nutella and topped off with a whipped coconut cream. Dreamy. I say to take the easy way out and grab pre-made crepes so that you can focus your energy on the good stuff. And why haven't I made this thing yet? This is the perfect opportunity for a one-off total splurge day. Grab that bottle of wine and let's get to it.
Oh, matcha. What aren't people making with this rich, potent powder (re: green tea on steroids) these days? Two of my absolute favorite things are married together to make this knock-your-socks-off Carrot Cake with Coconut Matcha Frosting. This is a real ode to the fact that matcha isn't just for your morning sipping rituals anymore. It belongs in your cake. In fact, eat this cake for breakfast, because that idea is sounding pretty good to me right now.
And last, but certainly not least of all the cakes in the world...I had the pleasure of indulging in one of Emily's stunning creations for my birthday last summer, but I'll be damned if she doesn't continue to completely impress. I came across this Naked Cake that she made for a wedding this past fall and fell in love when I found out what those "naked" layers consisted of. Ready for this? Coconut cake with espresso buttercream + salted caramel sauce, chocolate cake with ganache + peanut butter buttercream, funfetti cake with cream cheese icing and lemon cake with vanilla bean buttercream. Not naked at all, actually...
Now let's all eat cake, shall we?