On the day of his birthday (party), Johnny decided he wanted a robot cake. We had talked, and talked, and talked about different cakes, and finally he settled on a robot cake with a “4” on its tummy. I normally like to make fancy cakes, but this time I decided to simplify. Johnny wanted a simple birthday with family only, and I didn’t think he wanted me spending all my time decorating – fun for Emma, not so much for him.
I baked hot water chocolate cake (recipe at the bottom – it’s a favorite in our family), lined the pan with cocoa (so that it wouldn’t have flour streaks when I turned it out of the pan), and outlined a robot with icing – using tic-tac candies to make “fancy” eyes. Very easy, and Johnny was thrilled.
The real hit with the cake, though, was handing it over to Mike to serve. Johnny asked for the tummy with the “4”, so Mike cut out the entire tummy and handed it to him. Sounds like a disaster, but Johnny doesn’t really eat cake. So it sat on his plate and made him very happy. He ate the “4” off, and left the rest.
Then Emma wanted the head, and Mike was inspired. He gave Lily an arm, my sister the other arm, my brother a leg, my sister-in-law the other leg, and he and I each got an antenna.
That was the most laughter I’ve ever seen at a birthday table! The cake went perfectly with homemade vanilla ice cream courtesy of my brother B.
And here’s the cake recipe – it really is good enough to eat without icing, in my opinion. Especially if you have homemade vanilla ice cream to go with it! No idea what the origin of the recipe is, but we’ve been making it in my family for well over two decades now!
½ cup butter
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup milk
½ tsp. salt
2 cups flour
½ cup cocoa
2 tsp. soda
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp. vanilla
After batter (first eight ingredients) is beaten, add boiling water and vanilla. Grease pans well. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.