Monday, February 14, 2011


At the risk of getting way too cutesy on Valentine's Day, I'm sharing with you these searingly pink desserts I made a year ago. You see, they were made for kids. And kids, I hear, favor searing pink over "rustic," my usual MO.

These dressed-up Rice Krispies treats are among a few baked things (I hope they've been "goods") that I've contributed over the past year or so to an organization called Free Cakes For Kids. It's basically a nonprofit made up of volunteers around Austin who love any excuse to bake, and the best part is that the homemade treats that often make bold use of color are delivered to children who, for various reasons, otherwise wouldn't get a birthday cake.

Miguel wrote a story about the organization when it was first coming together, and the group's director said she received 74 e-mails from potential volunteers by 10 a.m. the day it was published. Free Cakes For Kids has grown a lot since then and now even offers volunteer-led classes on decorating techniques — something I could benefit from since I can barely frost a cake without a crumb disaster.

With hot pink frosting and holiday-colored M&Ms, that dessert was a far cry from the so-called Grown-Up Birthday Cake I discovered just in time to bake for my 30th birthday, which I celebrated this weekend with dear friends I've been lucky to collect over time — perhaps the biggest perk of acquiring 30 years.

I cannot recommend this cake — not pictured because photos taken at midnight in the middle of a birthday party are not the best — enough. I'm even tempted to say it's the tastiest I've ever made. I don't know what role the white wine plays, but I'm pretty sure it's the cup of olive oil that makes it deeply yellow and moist. And I might never make another frosting recipe again — this one was super easy to spread onto the cake, and not one crumb made its way to the surface. It must be magic. If you like magic and moistness and chocolate or just fall for recipe titles as easily as I do, please bake this.

Pink-frosted and M&M-coated or not, I hope your day is sweet!


  1. that was the best birthday cake i've ever had. i've been thinking about it a lot since saturday. and those are very sweet treats.

  2. These are treats darling, and for such a fantastic cause!

    Happy belated to you!

  3. I work at an residential treatment center and the kids get cakes from Free Cakes for Kids. You guys are awesome, the girls love love their cakes every time.

  4. Anastasia, that's great to hear! Because volunteers don't get to see the kids, it's really nice to get feedback from the people who work with them.