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This month heralds the end of the “Wilkin birthday season” – we celebrate everyone in our family between October and March, including my husbands business. My daughter was the only one who wanted a birthday party this year, so it was all very low-key and wonderfully simple. She was also the only one who didn’t want me to make her cake, so the following were all for the boys in the family.


2 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring
1 cup buttermilk
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon maple flavoring

Heat oven to 325F.
Grease and flour 2 (9 inch) round cake pans.
To prepare cake, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg into a medium bowl. Using a mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add maple syrup and beat until smooth. Add eggs one at at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
Add maple flavoring. Divide batter evenly between pans.
Bake cakes 25 to 30 minutes, until a wooden pick comes out clean when inserted in the center. Let cool in pans on wire racks 20 minutes. Invert onto racks, let cool completely.
To prepare frosting, beat cream cheese and butter with a mixer at medium speed until smooth.
Add powered sugar and maple flavoring. Beat just until smooth.
Frost the cake and decorate as desired.

Recipe adapted from Relish Magazine, February 2011


1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 chocolate and creme sandwich cookies (such as Oreos), broken up
2 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350F.
Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
In a small bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, beat butter until smooth. Beat in sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
On low speed, alternately beat flour mixture and sour cream into butter, beginning and ending with flour. Add milk and vanilla, fold in cookie pieces. Divide batter among prepared cups.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until tops spring back when lightly pressed. Remove cupcakes to a rack, let cool.
In a bowl, beat sugar, butter, sour cream and vanilla until good spreading consistency.
Once cupcakes have cooled, spread with frosting, and top with cookie pieces if desired.

Recipe adapted from Family Circle, May 2008


1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cocoa, plus more for dusting the cake
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons vegetable oil

Heat oven to 350F.
Mix dry ingredients together. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Mix well. Pour into an 8 or 9 inch square pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool and dust with cocoa.

Recipe adapted from Relish, January 2013
relish.com › Baking