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Sunshine in my kitchen: More birthday fun

We're finished with this year's "birthday season", as my birthday was last weekend. I decided to make Jewish Apple Cake for my birthday cake, partly because we had apples, partly because it's an easy cake that tastes really great, and mostly because I needed to get way better pictures of the finished cake so I could convince more people to make it. ;) (The Jewish Apple Cake recipe was added to this website over 4 years ago!)

The cake can be served with just a sprinkling of powdered sugar on top, and it's near-perfect that way. I had the grand idea of making a frosting instead, this time. I mean, birthday cake does need to have frosting, right? :)

I decided to make a fluffy caramel frosting. Caramel frosting atop apple cake just sounded right! The only small problem was that the frosting called for powdered sugar, and my giant Costco-sized bag of powdered sugar was nearly empty... with no backup bag. All year long, I rarely use powdered sugar -- but birthday season had wiped out my supply!

But, I remembered that both Shirley and Laura make powdered sugar in their blenders, so I decided to try it. I did a cup of sugar at a time, but our poor blender just wouldn't quite powder it. Even after many minutes. But it was partly-powdered, so I hoped it'd work. (And, I'd just used my last 2 cups of organic sugar on this experiment! :P)

Making powdered sugar in the blender... kinda...

Well, for future reference, partly-powdered sugar is not the same as completely-powdered sugar, especially when it comes to frosting. My frosting was gritty, stiff, and more like a greasy play dough than a frosting.

Still optimistic, I used my hands to pat it onto the top of half of my cake. It looked pathetic, and actually tasted so wrong that we peeled it back off when we served the cake! (Maybe I won't be so keen on experimenting with expensive ingredients next time!)

While I was making a half-flopped birthday cake for myself, Joshua was ready to surprise me.

When it comes to presents, I know I can be difficult to buy for because, well, I am picky and don't like to have things I won't love and use. And since I know I'm picky, I don't get upset or offended when I don't get gifts from Joshua on every special occasion. :)

But this year? I opened up all this stuff!

Birthday gifts

Joshua put so much thought and love into picking out these things for me.

Unknown to me, he researched coffee and espresso makers and got me an awesome coffee/espresso press called the AeroPress. And some quality coffee! And a Dr. Laura book that he thought would be an encouragement to me. (Can I just say how awesome it is to be married to a man who supports me fully in being a stay-at-home mom?!)

Psalm CDs

New Psalm CDs! We sing Psalms together during our evening family devotions. It's a fun way to memorize Scripture. :)

So anyway, my birthday was memorable and fun. :) Some day I'll try that frosting recipe again... and do it right. :)

Our other birthday celebrations this year:


Ruth & Moshe


momto9's picture

happy birthday!

happy birthday!

Happy Birthday!

I think we will join you in celebrating by making this cake - we have apples to use up too and I was looking for something new!


happy birthday! the cake looks great!


Happy Birthday!!!

Happy birthday!

What a sweet husband! I hope you had a wonderful birthday!

Happy Birthday

Oh, he makes me cry. What a sweet gift.

I already wished you a happy birthday...

...but Happy Birthday again! What an awesome present. I love presents that are hand picked with love based on the person really knowing what you like. :)

That's an awesome looking cake!


I was given a frosting recipe that is awesome and uses only 1 cup of regular sugar, great for when you do not have powered sugar. You can email me privately for the recipe.

Homeschooling mom to four

asourceofjoy's picture

Happy birthday! Glad you

Happy birthday! Glad you ended up having a good day, despite the flopped frosting...I have plenty of my own failed experiments, too. ;)

And yay for thoughtful and generous husbands! :D

Happy Birthday!!

I have tried to "powder" sugar as well...with no luck. I am not sure what the trick to doing it is, but I just try to have it on hand now. :)

apple cake

your cake pictures look beautiful! now i'd like to make it!


The cake looks delicious--do you suppose one could leave out the baking powder thus making it unleavened?

Tammy's picture

Leaving baking powder ot of cake recipe

I don't think the cake would be very good without the baking powder! The apples are moist and heavy, and I think it would be a gooey flat mess without baking powder! :)

Powdered Sugar

Thanks for linking to my Homemade Powdered Sugar. Bummer that it didn't work with organic sugar. :( I am glad to know that information as my readers often ask and I haven't tried it to know!

Glad you had such a fun birthday!


Tammy's picture

Making powedered sugar with organic sugar

Laura, I really don't see why it wouldn't have worked with organic sugar and I think it could just be that my blender is not the greatest. I only did 1 cup at a time and it still seemed to be having problems...

I should have just tried with regular sugar, which I even HAVE, but I thought the organic sugar (evaporated cane juice) would give a nice caramel flavor with everything else! :)


I have enjoyed everything that I have baked or cooked from your recipes. And, better yet, so has my husband. Being a grandmother, it is wonderful to see a young woman, as yourself, so devoted to God and your family. May you continue to be abundantly blessed.

Tammy's picture

Thank you! :)

Thank you! :)

powder sugar

A coffee grinder will powder sugar. My husband and his brother did it playing around. I used it to make rice cereal out of brown rice when my youngest first started solids, and it is great for pulvarizing flax seed. The only problem is it only does a little at a time. I love a functional gift and books are always a great gift for people of all ages. Happy belated Birthday!

This post saved me from

This post saved me from wasting two cups of my organic sugar. all out of white and powdered. Your labor was not completely in vain!!! Thank you Tammy


powdered sugar

Yes, use a coffee grinder instead of a blender. It works better.


Is there a link to hear clips of the songs on the Cds? I am intrigued by the concept but would like to know more about it. The cake looks great! Thanks for posting.

Tammy's picture

Psalm CD excerpts

Refreshing this page seems to randomly bring up different Psalm albums with excerpts! I'm not sure if there are other places to hear excerpts online... :(

The ones Joshua got are all a cappella, 4-part harmony Psalms from The Book of Psalms for Worship. We have the book so we can also play/sing the Psalms. :)

Happy Birthday!

I have been meaning to stop by since Saturday to chime in with some birthday wishes! I also wanted to say that I gave the blending of sugar in lieu of powdered sugar a try a couple of weeks ago. I was making cinnamon rolls and needed it for the frosting. My blinder did powdered it very good BUT I found it much sweeter than store bought powdered sugar.

I also finally found some organic sugar at costco this past Sunday and bought some. expensive, wow! but worth it!


Tammy's picture

Thank you! :)

Thank you all for the sweet birthday wishes! :) :)

Happy Birthday

I've been reading your blog for years, and I was so excited to see those Psalm CDs! We are members of the RPCNA, and we use the Book of Psalms for Worship at our weekly worship services. I even know some people who sang on those CDs!

For people looking for the CDs & Psalm singing resources, here is a great site:

Warm regards!

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