Birthday Cooking

In honor of my sweet mother’s birthday (we’ll leave her birthday number out), I decided to make her a delicious dinner, with the help of my dad on the grill, of course. I spent an excessive amount of time obsessing over what type of cake she would like. She likes chocolate ok, but it’s probably not her first choice. This always makes me wonder if I could truly be genetically half of this woman – if a dessert does not have chocolate, then don’t bother. Anyway, my mind was quickly made up during an afternoon viewing of Ina Garten on the Food Network Channel. What a classy, sophisticated chef she is. Love so many of her recipes.

Sticky Toffee Date Cake (aka the cake that changed my life because amazing desserts not longer have to have chocolate as the main ingredient) 


My first “oops moment” during making this cake is that I did not remember that I was just going to boil the dates in water. I was so worried about how sticky they were that I rolled them in flour to prevent them from sticking. Obviously this did not change anything about the cake, but was a lot of unnecessary time. I’m not sure why I expected anything other than excess time in the kitchen – I’m notorious for taking twice as long to make any recipe. 


Loved being at my parent’s house for the Kitchen Aid! 


The finished product 🙂 

A few mandatory notes: The recipe does not specifically say to stack the cakes. I debated freezing one for later, but there is plenty of sauce (with some left over) for both, so I got creative and stacked them. The cake isn’t overly rich, so I suggest stacking them. I went ahead and took both out of their baking pans, iced the bottom and then tried to transfer the top cake over. The top cake cracked on the way, so I suggest icing the bottom on your serving dish first, then directly transferring the top layer from its baking pan. 2nd note: the recipe says to ice the cake in the baking dish, then flip so that the bottom is the stickiest part. I chose not to do it this way, but I guarantee deliciousness either way.

The recipe from the Food Network can be found here.


I served the cake with (well, after I guess), medium rare filet, butternut squash stuffed pasta (found at Southern Season in Chapel Hill-the best stop for gourmet foods) topped with a simple brown butter sage sauce, and roasted asparagus tossed with olive oil and a dash of Italian seasoning. 

Success! And I didn’t even have to use any chocolate. 

Happy Birthday, Momma! And happy cooking to you!




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