Monday, July 12, 2010

Celebration Cake

So much to celebrate... after a Herculean unpacking effort over the weekend, our new apartment finally feels like home.  I love our new neighborhood so much.  Baby J is officially walking.  The heat wave has broken with a glorious summer thunderstorm (love those).  My sister is here!  And life is good.  What better way to celebrate than with cake?   Would you like the hands-down best cake recipe in the world?  Yes?  Well, here you go:
Photo by cake goddess and wine-making genius Haley
Celebration Cake
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup dry white wine (never use anything you wouldn't drink!)
2.5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1) Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour 9-inch round pans.
2) Beat the sugar and eggs together with an electric mixer.  Add oil, wine, flour, salt, baking powder and vanilla and beat.
3) Bake for 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean.
And the best part, the Icing
3 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
1) Melt butter and chocolate together over very low heat, or in a double boiler.
2) Remove from heat, add vanilla.
3) Add sugar, beating gradually until combined.
Allow the cakes to cool completely before removing from their pans and icing them in layers.  I say without compunction that this cake is THE BEST.  It is adapted from the Great Yellow Cake recipe in the Silver Palate New Basics cookbook, that 80s classic which is full of gems from all of our childhoods.  This cake is the best thing to come from all three of their volumes as far as I am concerned.  How often do you find a winning cake recipe that doesn't involve a lick of sifting, obscure ingredients, or undue fuss?  This celebration cake is an all-time crowd-pleaser, delighting even those people who claim to only like pie (I don't believe you).  Try it and let me know what you think... you won't be disappointed!


  1. The famous wine cake recipe?!? Hooray!!! This cake is legendary. Can't wait to make it. Have fun with Auntie Abs.
    Love you! xoxo

  2. This cake has been my official birthday cake for at least fifteen years thanks to my close relationship to SMJ. The ritual goes like this: I gladly share it the first night with whomever is around. Then I finish it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner the next day. It never makes me sick. In fact, I feel extra energized and thrilled for at least a week. This accolade from pretty much of a health nut.

  3. Hi Mama J...
    I know your husband's cousin, Melissa, who lives in Ohio. She told me about your site this week and I'm really enjoying it! You and I sound a lot alike. :) I bought the Morningstar Tomato Basil Pizza Burger today at the store. That was one flavor I had not tried. But I love all those veggie burgers! And like you, one of the reasons I love them is that they are a quick and easy dinner that is relatively healthy.

    I will be trying your cake recipe in the near future for sure. I have a chocolate mayonaise cake that is AMAZING...if you want a really moist thick chocolate cake!

    Anyway, I'm sure you'll hear from me now and then...adding some comments about your posts.

    Lara P

  4. Oh, and nice looking cake by the way...I've been taking pictures of my awesome food creations this summer as well. *smile*

  5. Sooo happy for you guys! I think Andrea is a lucky lady!!! Also, the cake looks delicious!!!!

  6. I love baking cakes, I'll come up with any excuse to bake one, lol! Birthdays, anniversaries, get together, promotions, new pet, you name it! Oftentimes, I'll just make up something, lol! I love it when my kids get all excited and wide-eyed once they see my cake. I've tried this one already and this is actually one of their favorites.

  7. Awesome. We're hosting our Vermont neighbors for a little reunion this weekend, and this will be perfect! Thanks for sharing!