Zack's Pumpkin Spice Birthday Cake

This is the original recipe. Of course, I had to fiddle with it.

First, no pecans cause my brother is allergic to any nuts except peanuts. He may not even be here for the cake but you never know if plans will change or he could be by and hope for leftover cake the next day.

Other changes: added some vanilla (real vanilla not extract), added cocoa powder and did not have ground cloves. Also, because it’s Thanksgiving we have lots of pumpkin all cooked from fresh pumpkin so I did not use any pumpkin out of a can for this recipe.

I probably won’t serve it with a brick of cream cheese and fruit. It’s a birthday cake! We have candles and I have icing sugar, butter and cocoa powder to make some chocolate icing. 


Serve with a brick of cream cheese (soft, for spreading) and fruit.

1/2 cup soft butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 2/3 cup unsifted flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 cup water
1 cup cooked, mashed pumpkin
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Cream together butter and sugar with electric mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until mixture is light and fluffy.

Sift together dry ingredients, add to creamed mixture alternately with water. Beat well after each addition. Add pumpkin and beat until well blended. Stir in chopped pecans. Turn into greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pan and spread smooth.

Bake in moderate oven (350°F) 60 to 70 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out on rack to cool thoroughly.

Makes 1 loaf.

Did you Bake a Rhubarb Pie Today?

We are making rhubarb pie today. Not this Cherry Rhubarb recipe, I just added it cause it sounds like a yummy idea. Next time.This time we have just rhubarb but have added nutmeg with three pies, ginger to two of them and one with orange marmalade. Will see how they turn out. Only two are getting baked today, the rest are being frozen to be baked later. Good luck to me trying to fit more stuff into the freezer!

Cherry Rhubarb Pie


l lb. rhubarb, cut in l/2 inch slices (about 4 cups)
l lb. can (2 cups) pitted tart red cherries, drained
l l/2 cups sugar
l/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca
5 drops red food coloring (or fresh or frozen red cherries)
recipe pastry for double crust pie


Combine rhubarb, cherries, sugar, tapioca, and food coloring; let stand l5 minutes. Line a 9-inch pie plate with pastry; pour in filling. Dot with butter. (Sometimes I like to sprinkle lightly with cinnamon and nutmeg also)
Top with a lattice crust: From remaining pastry, cut strips of dough l/2-inch wide. Lay lengthwise strips on top of filled pie at l inch intervals. Fold back alternate strips; fold up as you weave crosswise strips over and under. Trim even along outer rim of pie; seal edges. Dampen edge of pie slightly with water and place extra strips around entire rim of pie, covering ends of lattice. Flute edge, pressing well to seal. Bake in hot oven (400 degerees F. 40 to 50 minutes.

Green Tomato Pie

Green Tomato Pie

Pastry for 9 inch pie with cover
3 cups of green tomatoes
2 tbsp. flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup water

Remove the stem end of the tomatoes, but don’t peel them. Slice the tomatoes in thin rings, cover them with boiling water, and let stand for about 10 minutes, then drain them. Arrange them in the unbaked pie shell. Combine the flour, sugar, spieces, molasses, and water. Pour the mixture over the tomato slices and cover with the top crust. Bake at 425F for 15 minutes and then at 350F for 30 more minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or sweetened sour cream. Serves 8.

This recipe was in the book: In a Country Garden – Life at Ravenhill Farm, by Noel Richardson.

Flower Blossom Cookies

These will cheer you up for Spring. Still more snow here in Barrie today. But I did find these in a flyer at the grocery store yesterday.

Flower Blossom Cookies

1 cup [250 mL] butter, softened
1/2 cup [125 mL] sugar
1 egg
1 can [300 mL] Low Fat Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 tsp [10 mL] vanilla
4 1/2 cups [1.1 L] All Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp [2 mL] baking powder
50 lollipop sticks

3 cups [750 mL] icing sugar
4-6 tbsp [60-90 mL] water

food colouring (optional)

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease or line baking sheets with parchment paper.


Cream butter and sugar until well combined. Add egg, condensed milk and vanilla and mix until smooth. Mix in remaining dry ingredients.

Divide dough into 4 pieces. On a lightly floured surface roll each piece to a ¼” (5 mm) thickness. Cut out flower shapes with 2”- 3” (5 cm-7.6 cm) floured cookie cutters and place on prepared baking sheets. Place lollipop stick underneath cookie, lightly pressing dough onto the stick. Gather up scraps and repeat with remaining dough.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until beginning to colour. Cool on racks.


Combine icing sugar with water. Brush a thin coating of glaze over cookies. Allow to dry for 10 minutes. Divide remaining glaze into small containers. If you run out just make a bit more. Add different food colouring to each container. Using a small paint brush, paint each cookie any way you like.

• Sprinkle on decorations such as coloured sugar or sprinkles while the glaze is still wet. They will dry and stick to the cookies.
• Wrap stems of cookies with tissue and ribbon to make a bouquet.

Makes 50 cookies