Thursday, November 4, 2010

Baking Together

 We bake a cake together, him and I.  He pulls a chair up, blocking my way, so he can help better.  His hands over mine, we sift the dry ingredients.  While I check the recipe, he adds milk to the flour and flour to the milk.  But I smile instead of sigh because he is so proud to be helping.

 Hand over hand, we blend the butter and sugar, crack the eggs and blend them too.  I could do it faster, easier all by myself, but this little one desires to be useful.  I know that feeling well, so I bite my tongue, breathe a little deeper and pledge to enjoy him instead of getting frustrated.  He adds, pours, stirs and mixes "just like Mommy".  Then when the batter is finished, he smoothes it out and licks the beaters.  "Dis is disgusting!" he declares loudly, but that's okay too.

 Much later, we serve the cake to our small group.  Kian proudly announcing that he helped make it.  And our friends eat it with enjoyment, declaring it to be delicious.

I'm linking up with Emily today.

Sweet Potato Pound Cake
(from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott)

3 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
4 eggs
2 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes

Heat the oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.  Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl, and stir with a fork to mix well.  Combine the milk and vanilla in a small bowl.  Set aside the milk and flour mixtures.

In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and brown sugar together with a mixer at high speed until light and well combined, stopping once or twice to scrape down the bowl.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well each time.  Add the mashed sweet potatoes and mix at low speed for 1 minute, or until the batter is evenly mixed.

Add about half the flour mixture and beat gently, using a wooden spoon or a mixer at low speed, only until the flour disappears into the batter.  Add half the milk and mix gently to combine everything well.  Mix in the remaining flour and then the remaining milk, beating gently only until you have a thick, smooth batter.

Scrape the batter into the prepared tube pan, and bake at 350 degrees for between 60 and 75 minutes, or until the cake is evenly browned, springs back when touched gently in the centre, and a wooden skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Cool in the pan on a wire rack or a folded kitchen towel for 20 minutes.  Then use a table knife to loosen the cake from the pan.  Turn out the cake onto a wire rack, place it top side up, and cool to room temperature.  

Recipe taken from:


  1. you smile instead of sigh... this convicts me, as i sighed many times today, my little boy not wanting me to leave his side. but these are the moments that make up life, no? how well you mother, friend. and thank you for the recipe! e.

  2. Making memories, so precious. The cake sounds delicious. Blessings!

  3. hmmmm I need to bake with my son!! I haven't done this is SO long. He makes me smile instead of sign too.

  4. this brings back memories of my first son, who loved to bake with me. he called himself 'Able Baker Charlie', a character from the Richard Scary books. that recipe looks yummy.

  5. I wish I had smiled instead of sighed today. That will be my mantra for tomorrow. "Dis is disgusting" made me laugh.

  6. Oh! I remember the days of baking with my oldest. He was under 2 years old, standing on a chair next to me. I must have been crazy--because of course I expected it to be done perfectly! It took forever and the whole counter was covered in flour dust. But I remember those days sweetly and with longing every time I make holiday cookies.

    Enjoy the blessings with your little ones.


  7. I feel like there is a story in you saying this is a feeling you know too well... I hope you tell it someday!
    This reminds me exactly of my nephew. He loves baking too. And he also isn't a fan of the taste- actually he disavows all sweets. Unlike myself, who LOVE cake batter.

  8. Ahh, I remember those days of baking with my little one. I wasn't always as patient as I should have been. But we did have our moments of fun, and made some good memories. How nice that you included the recipe! It sounds delicious!

  9. Pledge to enjoy.....this echoes my very heart cry! It is a choice, yes! Thank you. I love the free flow way you write. It makes the whole act of baking with a youngster seem rather relaxing....not all tense like it is here sometime. :O) Thank you for the reminder to just shrug away the milk in the flour and the flour in the milk. And thanks for the recipe! I love baking with sweet potatoes. I made sweet potato biscuits last week. Yum-o!