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Classic Yellow Cake: Dedicated to the Memory of My Mother

My Birthday Cake in Honor of my mother

Today is my birthday. I made a cake to celebrate. It’s a very special cake you see. Not because of some secret ingredient or a particular filling, not because of a gourmet chocolate icing or pretty swirls. Today is not only my birthday, it’s my 45th birthday. That’s an important milestone for me as my own mother died when she was 45. I miss her so much. It’s almost 22 years and I still can’t think about her without sobbing. This is a special year for me making it to her age and still being here. Here with all 4 kids I bore that she never had the chance to meet. Here, cigarette free for the last 20 years because I vowed I wouldn’t let it kill me too.

My Birthday Cake in Honor of my mother

So I baked this cake for her, in her memory. To remind me of her, how special she was to me, and how I longed for her every time I had a parenting question or wanted to know about things I had done as a child.

My Birthday Cake in Honor of my mother

So if you’re willing to endure my blubbering through this blog post I’d be honored if you read along. If not, I completely understand, the recipe can be found at the end. But before you run to the recipe, I have to tell you about something very important. Something that sparked this post to begin with.

My Birthday Cake in Honor of my mother

First, let me make it clear that I lost my mother to heart disease, not cancer. But I still lost her. People lose loved ones all the time to illness and it doesn’t matter what took them away, the only thing that remains is that hole in your heart. Pampered Chef asked me if I would be interested in spreading the word about their Help Whip Cancer campaign. I was more than happy to help. It hurts my heart knowing that people are leaving this earth before their time and if there’s something I can do to help find a cure then I’m all for it.

Each year Pampered Chef offers pink kitchen products for sale and $1 from every product sold benefits the American Cancer Society. Now in its 12th year, Help Whip Cancer has raised more than $10M towards breast cancer awareness and early detection programs.

These pink products will be available from May 1-31 only. Also, if you hop over to their Facebook page, Pampered Chef will be donating an additional $1 to the ACS for every new like and share they receive during the month of May.

They sent me a box of goodies, just like the 5 other boxes of goodies I’ll be giving away to some lucky readers, and it just hit me. I needed to make a cake. A birthday cake. In honor of my wonderful mama who had been taken from me far too early.

My Birthday Cake: Dedicated to the Memory of My Mother

We came here from England in 1969, I was a mere tot at only 2 years of age. This photo was taken on Christmas Day in 1969. I’m the little girl in the white coat, my older brother is wearing the dark coat with the hood, and my mother is holding my younger brother. The other two children were our first friends in America.

My Birthday Cake: Dedicated to the Memory of My Mother

My father was back in England gathering our life together, so we took this picture to send to him and wish him a Merry Christmas.

My Birthday Cake: Dedicated to the Memory of My Mother

My mom was a beautiful person. Not only on the outside, but on the inside too. She was tiny, 5’4″, a full 5 inches shorter than me. I miss her smile and her glow, she was so full of love and happiness.

When she was 39, she suffered a heart attack in a convenience store parking lot. I’ll never forget walking into the Intensive Care Unit and seeing her lying there, tubes everywhere. I was 17 then, a senior in high school. I was so scared, I couldn’t imagine life going on without her. It wasn’t until she was transferred to a recovery room that I found out she was also 5 months pregnant. A triple bypass was performed and the baby was fine. Baby “Johnathon” was a “surprise” that she and her boyfriend had not expected. With her illness she feared she wouldn’t be around very long, so she made the difficult decision to give him up for adoption. I looked into his big, blue saucer eyes through the nursery window one last time. I never saw him again. I only have a few snapshots of him to remember him by.

As time went on there was a minor heart attack, and another, and an angioplasty to widen her blood vessels and prevent the blockage. Over the next few years I began working in the corporate world and didn’t have as much time for my mom. She would call and ask when we could get together and I would often have a reason why I couldn’t. We lived over an hour from each other and I worked full time. I didn’t see my mom as often as I should have and I wish I could do that all over again.

My Birthday Cake: Dedicated to the Memory of My Mother

It was my 21st birthday, so we got together to celebrate. My brothers, my sister in law, my boyfriend (now husband) and my mom. We had a lot of fun and it was great to get together and celebrate! By now my mom was a grandma already as my older brother had a daughter from his first marriage in Germany while he was in the service. Unfortunately though that little girl, Jennifer, was across the ocean and my mom was unable to embrace her grandchild.

My Birthday Cake: Dedicated to the Memory of My Mother

It wasn’t long after that I became pregnant for the first time. I was elated and the first person I told was my mom. A few weeks later I miscarried and lost that baby. I was devastated but she was there to comfort me and assure me that there must have been a reason. A few months later I was pregnant again, so happy to soon be a parent. But alas, it wasn’t meant to be as I miscarried a second time. Again, my mother was there for me, to comfort me and tell me everything was going to be alright.

September 7, 1990. It was a beautiful, clear day. Not a cloud in the sky. The sun was beaming, traffic was surprisingly light, and I made it home from work in record time. I stepped inside to a ringing telephone. It was my brother, telling me that mom was gone. I dropped to my knees and began to sob uncontrollably. I have never experienced such sorrow and heartache in my entire life. How could this be? I had just talked to her on the phone the day before, how could she be gone?

She had experienced two major surgeries and 6 heart attacks in the last 6 years. She was invincible I thought. I truly believed in all my 23 year old naivety that she would never die. But she did. And she was gone. Stripped from my life. I would never hear her beautiful English accent again or see her lovely smile. Touch her soft face or hug her petite frame. That was it. It was over. Her life was over and she was no longer of this earth.

She was 45 years old when she was welcomed into Heaven’s gates.

September 8, 1990. Through puffy, tear drenched eyes I looked out the window as my husband drove us to her apartment. It was time to go through her possessions and meet with my brothers. Time to decide what to do with her things, who would take what. My mother didn’t have worldy possessions, she had a few trinkets, clothes I would never fit into, and your average apartment full of furniture.

As I looked through her room, sobbing at everything I touched or turned up, I found a letter in her lingerie drawer. Through tears and a torturous ache I’d never felt in my heart before, I opened the envelope addressed to me and my two brothers.

My Birthday Cake: Dedicated to the Memory of My Mother

click for larger view

This letter tormented me for a very long time. It wasn’t until I’d been a mother myself for many years that I realized that it doesn’t matter how good of a mom you really are, you will always find fault in yourself.

“I hope you will forgive me for not being the best mom in the world.”

Oh mom, don’t you see? You WERE the best mom in the world. You loved me, you comforted me, you provided for me. Being a good mom is not measured by the material possessions you give to your children, it’s measured by the love and guidance that you provide. The knowledge that you instill in your children to help them become kind, responsible adults.

One day, out of the clear blue sky you were torn from the pages of my life, just like that. I didn’t get to say goodbye. I couldn’t kiss you one last time or hug you ever again. There were no more chances. I missed out on that and ignored the warning signs. So naive. That day will be forever ingrained in my mind.

I cried for a long time. I mourned and grieved and blamed myself for not seeing her more often. In my head I would hear the pleading in her voice over the phone asking when I would be coming to visit, I can still hear it all these years later. I was so angry with myself for selfishly choosing not to make the time. And then one day it was just too late. I missed the opportunity train and I’m not sure I’ll ever forgive myself for that. I’ve tried, but I still haven’t been able to.

When I was a little girl, every birthday my mom would make me a yellow cake. It’s my favorite. I’d rather have classic yellow cake with chocolate frosting over any other cake. Ever. She would frost it with chocolate, pipe on white stars and write a happy birthday message. I started looking for pictures I could share. I remember one in particular, my 6th birthday, because of the photograph that I’d seen that had captured that happy day in time. Sadly, I couldn’t find it. Even sadder, I discovered that I have very few pictures of my mom in my possession.

My Birthday Cake: Dedicated to the Memory of My Mother

So instead I’m sharing pictures of the cake I made for me and my mom. I baked this cake in honor of my life and of hers. I am celebrating today that while my kids have never met her, I have been able to keep her memory alive with stories and the few photos I have. I have been able to build a picture in my kids’ minds of their grandmother and how much she would have adored them had she be given the chance.

My Birthday Cake: Dedicated to the Memory of My Mother

I also hope to spread the message that it’s important to relish the time that we do have together and not to take that time for granted. Make time in your busy schedule to visit with your family before that opportunity is gone forever. Pencil them in if you must. Just make sure to do it. Don’t carry a guilt with you like I do.

My Birthday Cake: Dedicated to the Memory of My Mother

I also made this cake because there are people out there diligently working toward a cure. They need our help so that others won’t have to suffer due to a lost loved one who was taken too early. Please, visit Facebook and like and share the Pampered Chef page so they will donate $1.00 in your honor. Visit the Pampered Chef site and buy one or two or more of their amazing products and they’ll donate $1.00 for every purchase made during May.

My Birthday Cake: Dedicated to the Memory of My Mother

Death is an inevitable part of life. But heart disease, cancer and other fatal illnesses take too many people far too soon. I loved my mother while she was here, and I will love her forever.

My Birthday Cake: Dedicated to the Memory of My Mother

Her passing has left a hole in my heart that can never be filled. I can only hope that I have honored her life, created a vision of her for my children, and become the woman that she hoped I would be.

I love you mom. Rest in peace. I will see again someday.

GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED, thank you for your entries! Winners below :) 

THE GIVEAWAY
As I mentioned early on in the post, Pampered Chef is offering prize packages to 5 lucky readers.

The prize package includes:

  • Paisley Oven Mitt
  • Paisley Oven Pad
  • Cake Tester
  • Small Batter Bowl
  • Cake Pan Set
  • Pink Scraper – Exclusive

To enter: Leave a comment on this post.
Eligibility: You must have a U.S. shipping address.
Deadline: Entries will be accepted through May 15, 2012
Other stuff: 5 winners will be drawn randomly and notified via email. Winners will have 72 hours to respond by email to claim their prize or an alternate winner will be drawn. A total of two winners per package will be drawn, if neither winner responds the prize will be donated to a charity of our choice. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery of prizes.

Good luck and thank you for reading. :)

Classic Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 12 servings

Serving Size: 1 slice

Calories per serving: 640.7

Fat per serving: 29.1 g

Classic Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients

    Cake
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • Chocolate Frosting
  • 6 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour 2 9-inch round cake pans.
  2. Combine all cake ingredients at once in your mixer’s bowl. Run mixer on low speed with paddle attachment until combined, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and beat for 5 minutes. Scrape side of bowl halfway through.
  3. Allow the batter to rest in the bowl for a few minutes, then run a butter knife through the batter to remove any air bubbles. Pour batter into prepared cake pans and bake for 22-32 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean and top springs back to your touch.
  4. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes then remove from pans and cool completely.
  5. For the frosting:
  6. Melt the chopped chocolate and butter in a good-sized bowl either in the microwave or suspended over a pan of simmering water. Cool.
  7. Place powdered sugar into the food processor and blitz to remove lumps. Add remaining frosting ingredients and process until smooth.
  8. Spoon about 1/3 of the frosting onto the center of the cake-half and spread with a knife or spatula until you cover the top of it evenly, leaving about 1/2″ from the edges. Sit the other cake on top, normal way up, pressing gently to sandwich the 2 together.
  9. Spoon another 1/3 of the frosting onto the top of the cake. Spread the sides of the cake smooth then spread the frosting on top in a swirly, textured way.
  10. Hint: For my swirled top, I hold the icing spatula over the top outside edge and turn the plate as I go, working my way into the center.

Notes from Amanda

Saturated fat: 17.2 g Unsaturated fat: 10.2 Carbohydrates: 91.9 g Sugar: 64 g Fiber: 1.8 g Protein: 7.7 g Cholesterol: 157.6 mg

http://amandascookin.com/2012/05/my-birthday-cake-dedicated-to-the-memory-of-my-mother.html

 

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130 Responses to Classic Yellow Cake: Dedicated to the Memory of My Mother

  1. 1
    Christeen says:

    Wow, I read your column today and it brought tears to my eyes. Just this morning I was thinking of my own mother who died when I was 30 years old. I’ll soon be 44 and this time of year makes it even harder. This cake looks delicious and look forward to making it for my family. May you be comforted in your memories!

  2. 2
    london ingoglia says:

    Enjoyed reading the post and I plan on making the exact same cake to remember my mom who is also with the angels in heaven. Thanks for sharing.

  3. 3
    Terry says:

    I will make this cake to honor my mother. I am blessed to still have her with me. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. xoxo

  4. 4
    Monica says:

    thank you for sharing your story. it is important to take advantage of the time we have with our loved ones.

  5. 5
    Sheila Shapley says:

    I understand how it feels to reach that age in life when you pass the age your parents died. I was 21 when my parents were killed in an accident. They were only 42 and 47. I was married and expecting my first child.
    They were never able to see their 7 grands and now about great grands. I am now 56.

  6. 6
    Heather says:

    Having lost someone dear, it is with tear riddled eyes that I am typing to tell you that you did an AMAZING job honoring your mother. Enjoy your cake and cherish your memories but above all- have a happy birthday! I am sure she would want you to!

  7. 7
    Connie(stellajean66) says:

    Amanda, I BAWLED when I read this……….my heart truly goes out to you. I am still blessed to have my Mom. She is 69 now. And like you said, I make it a priority to see her at least once a week. Important to not let time be an issue, MAKE the time. I am also sure your Mother is PROUD of you, as I am sure you are the best Mom you can be!!!

    Will be making this cake and will be thinking of YOU as I do it!!!

    Hugs!!!

    Connie

  8. 8

    Hugs Amanda !!!
    Your mom is smiling at you reading this.
    How ironical it is that next Friday will be my daughter’s birthday and she is another angel in the heaven now.

  9. 9
    Katrina says:

    What a great post, Amanda! Happy Birthday! Wonderful tribute and thanks for sharing. I’m on my way to pick up my last preschooler and watch his Mother’s Day presentation (I’ll be out of town next week when the whole class will do it). But next week, I’m going to see my mom in Idaho. I’ve been torn about making the trip, but you just convinced me for sure to get there while she’s here. Thanks!

  10. 10

    This was such a beautiful post. I’m so sorry about the loss of your mom. I’m going to close my computer and go give mine a call! *hugs*

  11. 11
    Kim says:

    I am new to your blog. Not even sure how I got here, but I am thankful that I did.

    I too lost my mother, but to pancreatic cancer on Halloween of 2007. I miss her every day. I hope that knows how much she meant to me.

  12. 12
    melissa b. says:

    truly beautiful and touching in so many ways.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  13. 13
    Ashlie says:

    What a wonderful post (and a delicious looking cake). I am currently coping with my sister’s diagnosis of terminal cervical cancer. Thank you for sharing your story.

  14. 14
    katie says:

    First off, Happy Birthday! What a beautifully written tribute to your mother. You have me sitting at my corporate world desk crying. I am so incredibly close to my mother and cherish every day we have together. Her mother died when I was just 4, and I can’t imagine what I would do without my mom. We talk daily and see each other once a week. She is my best friend and my heart aches for anyone who doesn’t have their mother around to be their best friend. Every woman has their faults and thinks negative about themselves in some aspect or another and like your mom my mom always says that she feels bad she couldn’t be a better mother. I am just like you–she is the best mother anyone could have.

  15. 15
    Michelle says:

    Great post, hugs to you.. I’ll be making this cake in honor of my mom who adopted me 41 years ago and I lost 10 years ago in July.

  16. 16
    Debra Turowski says:

    I lost my father last year to a brain hemorrhage. He was 81. No matter what age, death comes too soon.

  17. 17
    Alta says:

    Amanda, I am here at my desk trying not to bawl. What a touching, beautiful post. Your mom would have truly loved it. She would be so proud of you, of your children, of your successes and the differences you make in the world. I love that you’ve baked this cake. I hope it bring the happiest of birthdays to you. XOXO

  18. 18
    Lorraine says:

    A most special, tender and beautiful post, Amanda! My heart is full after reading about your mom and your love for each other. The cake is lovely and this post is a perfect tribute to her. Happy Birthday to you!

    My mom passed away in August. We had many years with her and though she was up in years, her passing was sudden and unexpected and none of us had a chance to say good-bye. I think of her very often.

    Kindly, Lorraine

  19. 19
    Whitney Baze says:

    Yellow cake with chocolate frosting is my number one choice. Always.
    I would have commented even without the giveaway. This is a beautiful post and my thanks to you for sharing something so sacred. We have all lost someone too soon.

  20. 20
    Sara Woody says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this! Brought tears to my eyes! I live 1500 miles from my mom and hate to think about what it will be like when she is no longer here on Earth with us. I just became a mother for the first time 5 short weeks ago and I think that makes this story stand out even more. Again thank you for sharing this beautiful story! Happy Birthday, and to many more years of making this cake in her memory!

  21. 21
    lisabella says:

    My mom smoked cigarettes for the longest time and, as a child, I worried about her dying because of that. She quit…she never told us she was going to or that she did. I realized it one day when I walked into the house and didn’t smell smoke. I’m thankful she quit because I want her around for a long time.

    <3

  22. 22
    Katy says:

    I wish you a very Happy Birthday! What a wonderful daughter you are.

  23. 23
    Erin says:

    What a special post. I’m so sorry to hear you lost your mother so young. :( This post was a really great reminder to make sure to spend as much time with your loved ones as possible while they’re here because you never know when they’ll be taken from you. My mom is not well either and your post is the kick in the pants I need to get out and visit her more often. Thinking of you today.

  24. 24

    Oh, Amanda. You’ve done something very few are able to do and that is bring tears to my eyes. Bless your heart for keeping your mother’s memory alive for your children and for honoring her life with your words. When I read a story like yours, I have to stop and remind myself how very, very lucky I am. Here I am at the age of 57 with two grandchildren of my own, yet I still have my precious mother and her mother as well who are alive and healthy and a vital part of all our lives. I think I’ll go bake them a cake :-)

  25. 25
    Laura says:

    Amanda, that is the most beautiful post I have ever read about someone’s mother. I’m bawling on this end, and had to stop reading several times. I love that you Mom left you that letter. It was probably something she wanted to say in person or on the phone, but felt most comfortable leaving it in a letter for all of you instead. I’m sure she has watched over you all these years, but I know that doesn’t take away the ache of missing her so much. I wish you much peace today on your birthday. Hugs to you!

  26. 26
    Joann says:

    As a true mama’s girl, thank you for your post!

  27. 27
    Joanne says:

    I cried several times reading your beautiful story. Actually had to take several breaks. Lesson to be learned: life is short, appreciate and love every day as if it were your last.

  28. 28
    Camilla says:

    Amanda,
    That is a beautiful post. I see my mom almost everyday as she and my dad pick my kids up from school and I pick them up from there after work. Sometimes I forget how lucky we all are, that she is here to know me and know my family. I won’t forget to tell her – today when I pick up the boys – how grateful I am to have her. Thanks for the reminder.
    ~C

  29. 29
    Trisha says:

    Happy birthday I hope you have a great day. Thanks for sharing not only your recipe but also your story. I cryed while reading this, very touching and really puts alot into perspective, thanks again for sharing.

  30. 30
    Betty Jo Glaros says:

    Amanda, your post brought tears to my eyes. I too lost my Mother (my best friend) 5 years ago. I miss her so much. What a beautiful tribute to your Mom, she is looking down on you from Heaven and very proud! Happy Birthday!

  31. 31
    Ileen Cuccaro says:

    I have pinned this and also FB, it is a very heart felt story about your Mom, and what a cake to her memory

  32. 32
    Ginny A says:

    Amanda,
    I came across your blog on pinterest, someone had pinned it, more than likely because your blog touched their heart and brought tears to their eyes as it did mine. I too lost my mother. Not as young as you did, but a mother is a mother and dearly beloved by her children no matter how old the children are. What a beautiful tribute to your loving mother! She would be so proud and honored!
    Gin

  33. 33
    Rebecca says:

    So heartfelt. This is how we keep the flame of memory alive for our dearly departed husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, children, or any relative that we hold so close to our hearts, by creating and recreating treasures, yellow cakes for you, chicken and dumplings for me. Thank you for helping me fully appreciate the great importance of the little things I do to keep my late husbands memory burning bright for my children(17-4). Just beautiful.

  34. 34
    Angie says:

    Happy Birthday! I loved your post so so much, the photos and letters, so touching and beautiful! *your cake is lovely too*
    Your mom was beautiful! Those pictures of you too! You look like your daughter in them! Or should I say your daughter looks like you in those photos! You’re a wonderful mother and I know your mom would be so proud of you! HUGS!

  35. 35

    I lost both my parents and know your loss. It doesn’t matter when in your life you lose them, it is always too soon. Long before you are ready and certainly before they are ready to leave. But they remain in our hearts and minds. I often ask myself what would mom or dad say, and inevitably their words come to me, as clearly as if they were standing before me. Celebrate your life, your children, and your successes Amanda – you have made your mother very, very proud!!

  36. 36
    Barb S says:

    A beautiful cake–and a beautiful tribute to your mom. I think moms always feel like they haven’t done the best job for their kids. I hope your birthday today is a happy one with many happy, healthy years ahead of you!

  37. 37
    Connie says:

    What a beautiful tribute. I have missed my mom for almost 15 years. She was killed in a car accident. I don’t imagine that I’ll ever “get over it”…we just live with the empty hole in our soul…until I see her again on the other side, then..that hole will be healed. Until then…we cope. Happy Birthday to you.

  38. 38
    Peggy Bogucki says:

    Your beautiful cake reminded me of the all chocolate scratch cakes that my mother used to make for all five of her children and then her grandchildren. We lost my mother to lung cancer seven years ago. I miss her everyday.
    My oldest daughter was married this year, I thought how day how proud she would have been of her. Cancer took her way to early. God Bless.

  39. 39
    Anne Johnson says:

    Oh Amanda! Happy Birthday! What a beautiful tribute to your mother. *tears* What a sweet, thoughtful mom you had to write to her dear children, in case she left this world. You are a blessing to your mom and you are too hard on yourself! May God bless you with many, many more happy birthdays!

  40. 40
    Elaine Gabel says:

    A very beautiful and heart felt memorial story of your mom, Thank you for sharing and God Bless you. SHe is with you and I know she can see that you are a wonderful mother.

  41. 41
    Stephanie says:

    What a beautiful cake and beautiful tribute to your mom! Happy Birthday to you!

  42. 42
    Jamie K says:

    What a touching story. So many of us get caught up in our own lives we don’t take time to spend time with our parents. I almost lost my mom twice 3 yrs ago to ARDS and SJS. I thank God every day she is still with us. I know your mom is smiling down from Heaven at you.

  43. 43
    Zena says:

    I found this via pinterest, because someone liked your recipe. I’m glad I found it. I lost my mom to ovarian cancer six years ago, when I was 25. I can truly relate to your sentence “I had a parenting question or wanted to know about things I had done as a child.” I’m now a mom of 3 little boys and there are some days I ache with the need for her help, or to ask questions. My mom was born in India, to British parents. I miss her funny half British, half Indian accent. So here’s to your mum and mine :)

  44. 44
    Suzanne says:

    You have touched my heart. Our moms will always be with us – in our heads and in our hearts. And one day we will feel that warm welcome hug again. She WOULD be proud of you and would also love this cake. Nothing beats a moist yellow cake with chocolate frosting. {{hugs}} My dear friend. And Happy 45th Birthday!

  45. 45
    Noreen says:

    What a wonderful tribute to your mother. Have a wonderful birthday and celebrate as if she were with you. Enjoy the same cake that she baked for you, it showed how much she loved you. Your mother will always have a special place in your heart. Know that she would have wanted to be here today to see how you have grown into a wonderful, confident woman.

  46. 46
    Deann Mancuso says:

    Wow ! This is really hard to write as tears are flowing down my face!! What an incredible story!! You are an awesome daughter for honoring your moms memory and life in such a sweet loving way! God be with you and your family and you liv a long and healthy life my dear!! I have been looking for a good yellow cake which I also love and guess what I just found it!! Yummy!! Thanks for sharing your story and your mom cake receipt with us!!

  47. 47
    Jennifer says:

    This is a very beautiful post Amanda. It’s wonderful that you can carry those memories of your mom with you always. I am so sorry that you lost her way too soon.

  48. 48

    Wow, that made me cry – what a touching story! And that letter was amazing. I’m so sorry for your loss but glad that you have special memories of her.

  49. 49
    Holly says:

    I love you Amanda. You’re mom is definitely watching over you and your beautiful family and I promise that she is proud to have you for a daughter. Death is an inevitable part of life and though I know there isn’t really anything that can take away whatever guilt you are harboring for the “what ifs” you need to know that that is inevitable as well. I’m so proud of you for sharing all this and encouraging everyone to remember how fragile life is and not take it for granted. It is always a timely reminder! Happy, happy birthday! The cake is absolutely gorgeous of course, but not nearly as gorgeous as the love you showed for your family. Well done my friend, well done.

  50. 50

    What a beautiful tribute to your mom. I could relate to so much of what you wrote. Even though my mom was 82 when I lost her I still have many of the same emotions. The regrets, tears and what ifs.

  51. 51
    Erin says:

    This post brought tears to my eyes. I am sure you mom would’ve loved it too.

  52. 52
    Dina says:

    Your story is amazing and as a mother of 2 small boys, it’s just another reminder to cherish every single day because no one is guaranteed a tomorrow. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe and a piece of your heart. xoxoxo

  53. 53
    chandice mcinerney says:

    Amanda what a lovely and sad story about your mom. Yes you are so right about keeping in touch with our mother’s. My mom and I are close and she is going thru a difficult time right now and I pray for her always. Thank you for your post.

    Chandice :-D

  54. 54
    Shelley C says:

    Happy Birthday, Amanda. I want to make this cake to honor your mother and your honesty and your touching tribute to a mother’s love.

  55. 55
    Paige says:

    Happy Birthday Amanda. A lovely cake…and an even lovelier tribute to your mother. (I lost my Dad suddenly and young too…it has been almost 19 years, and like you, I think about him and miss him every day…)

  56. 56
    Ashley says:

    Thanks for sharing! I could never think of lossing my mom for we lost my boyfriends mom last july due to cancer.

  57. 57

    Amanda, what a beautiful post! I have told people that I “should” be an orphan. My mom is an 8+ year breast cancer survivor, and my dad suffered a near-fatal stroke 4 years ago. Without modern medicine, I would be an orphan. I was lucky to have these as reminders of how precious family is, rather than take them away from me altogether.
    And I often make my mom’s cake on my birthday – yellow cake with whipped cream and strawberries is her traditional birthday cake. :)

  58. 58
    claudia says:

    I happened upon your blog while on Pinterest of all place. Of course your birthday cake caught my eye right away, but as I started reading tears started to well up in my eyes. I lost my mother when I was 12 and she was 45! She died tragically in a way I still can’t talk about. But 45 was a milestone for me as well, this year I turned 50 and it hit me that I have been alive longer than she ever was. I sobbed at your words about missing her so, sometimes I feel no one can understand why I’m 50 and still have this gaping hole in me from not having her in my life. I too have so few photographs of my mom, and I too have a cherished small sentence she wrote to me in the back of an address book, I would have never found it had I not poured over her thing through the years. It’s says: I will always love you, even until the end of the world. Now that I have kids I too understand what she meant. Don’t beat yourself up too much, you’ve already suffered her loss, your mom understood what it was like to be young. We don’t love our kids any less just because they’d rather be off playing with friends :) Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute to your mom… and for making me remember my own mom.

  59. 59
    Kel says:

    This was beautiful – from the heart. Your mom would not want you to feel guilty …

  60. 60
    Dianna says:

    Thank you for sharing! I’m off to see my Mom in a couple of weeks. She’s not doing well and lives 12 hours away. Can’t imagine life without her.

  61. 61
    Lorelei says:

    This is exactly the same yellow cake recipe my mother used. She is the only person I have ever known who just put all ingredients in at once and made batter. It was the best, but mine never tastes as good as hers.

  62. 62

    A beautiful tribute to your Mom, Amanda.
    My Mom suffers from heart-disease, she had a minor heart-attach few years ago. Since then she’s on pills and hopefully she’ll be around for years to come. I miss her a lot, since there’s an ocean between us. Wish I could see her more than just once a year.

    Happy Birthday to you!

  63. 63

    What a beautiful post and tribute to your mom!

  64. 64
    Julia G says:

    This breaks my heart. I am so happy that you were close with your mother. I only wish that my daughter, who is my only child, loved me half as much as you did your mother. When she was growing up, I sacrificed everything for her because I loved her so much. When she was about six she informed me that she knew she didn’t love me like she should. She has proven that ever since. She doesn’t want to be around me much, doesn’t want any pictures of me around, has never wanted to spend any time with me, has never wanted to hear anything about my growing up years and has never wanted to be around any of my family. She is 36 now with no children of her own because she doesn’t want any. I have never hurt her or done anything to make her feel this way about me. Sorry I had to vent, but I was just sitting here bawling my eyes out reading your post, knowing that my daughter will probably never miss me when I’m gone. Happy birthday and I’m glad you have such wonderful memories of your mother.

  65. 65
    Sue says:

    Amanda, I lost my mom 26 years ago yesterday, so I can relate to your feelings. This is such a heartfelt post and beautiful tribute to your mom.
    Please don’t be so hard on yourself! Just as your mom did her best, so did you. She would want you to be happy:)
    Take care, Amanda. <3
    P.S. Your cake is gorgeous!

  66. 66
    Kim says:

    beautiful post, brought a tear to my eye.

  67. 67
    Elie says:

    I haven’t seen my mom in 5 months and I always worry crazy she might be sick or she is not okay. I feel guilty being away from her but I also know that we have to carry own w our life projects. She is coming to see me in 2 weeks and I can’t wait. You did good writing this post in her memory and as she looks down from heaven she smiles knowing how much you love her and how proud she feels. Many happy returns and delicious cakes.

    All the Best,
    Elie from Beirut, Lebanon

  68. 68
    Bridget Brecheen says:

    What a beautiful, intimate glimpse at the relationship between mother and daughter that even death cannot separate. Thank you for sharing.

  69. 69
    Anne Marie says:

    Amanda;
    I relived the time with you as I read your tribute. I lost my wonderful mother when I was 17 years old. I can relate to your feelings of having a hole in your heart as I at that time, truly believed that one could surely die from a broken heart. I miss her every day and have wondered how we would interact today. Sadly there are so many people who take for granted their loved ones will be around forever. It takes a split second and your life will be changed forever. Make that phone call, make that visit, it’s takes only a minute but you will be so happy you did. Happy Birthday – I’m sure your Mother is so very proud of you.

  70. 70
    NY Baker says:

    It’ll be 10 years this August since my mother died from adult onset leukemia. Doesn’t seem possible, but… I’m thankful for the reminder to cherish every day with our loved ones. Today’s the only day we have…

  71. 71
    Sylvia says:

    Your story touch my heart in special way..Both my parents died at the age of 50..I have counted my blessing for now I am 66.. My brother and one sister died at the age of 50.. I think of them each day..You were blessed with your Mom for the short time but memories she gave to you are a blossom to keep and share with your children.

  72. 72
    Amy Hoyt says:

    Just remember that we don’t really lose them so much as they are on a different journey than us for the moment. I remind myself of that often when I think of those I love that are gone from me; they are simply somewhere I cannot go right now, but I will someday. You will see her again, and just think of the reunion you will have. Have a wonderful Birthday!

    • 72.1
      Trae C says:

      Oh Amy, what a lovely sentiment. I’ve never heard it put that way before, but I will certainly remember it from now on. Just perfect.

  73. 73
    LaurieS says:

    Amanda, Thank you for sharing your Mother with us. I lost my Mom 24 years ago. She was my best friend, it never goes away, the hurt.

    You share your birthday with my Dear Husband Mel and yellow cake with chocolate frosting is his favorite too. I’ll be making a cake here shortly.

    Happy Birthday! I hope your day is as special as you are.

  74. 74
    Barbara in TN says:

    Amanda, I have so enjoyed your recipes over the years. I still have my mother but your grief brought back memories of my father’s brief illness and death. On Mama’s birthday this year, I shall make this cake for her. My heartfelt sympathies to you and your brothers. God bless all.

  75. 75
    Averil says:

    What a delicious and lovely tribute to your mum :-)

  76. 76
    Tina Hudgens says:

    What a wonderful post! Love and Prayers to You!

  77. 77
    Debbie says:

    What a beautiful and moving tribute to your mom! I can only imagine how hard it was to lose her at such a young age. But her memory lives on, as does the wonderful job she did raising her children. Enjoy your birthday; be thankful for those precious memories!

  78. 78

    What a beautiful way to honor your mother!

  79. 79
    Kathie says:

    I was left crying after reading about your mom and your love for her and her love for you and your siblings. I lost my own mom when I was 33 (I am 51 now). In reading your story, I could see and have been in both positions, not being a perfect mom and if I left a note for my children I would probably end up writing the same exact things, and being the daughter, just knowing being loved was the important thing, because no one’s parents aer perfect and they/we all make mistakes. Some people when they aer young misinterpret their parents mistakes for not loving them when they don’t realize they are just human, just like we are, and their love is not diminished by the mistakes they made. What a lovely woman she sounded to be and how proud she must be as she looks down on you and sees what a wonderful daughter she has. I am a vegetarian so often do not look at the web page for the full recipes or whatever there is for the day but I am so glad tha I did today. Bless your sweet heart and what a wonderful way to honor your mom.

  80. 80
    Ellen says:

    I read your beautiful tribute to you mom through my tears. Your mom is still watching over you and you have those beautiful memories of her. I’m sure she’s very proud of you. I’m fortunate my mother is still alive at 96 and am able to care for her when she visits me for a week every month. I wish she lived with me full time but i’m very grateful for the time spent with her.

  81. 81
    Christine Sim says:

    such a beautiful piece about your loving mom, Amanda! i was crying and remembering how i didn’t get to say goodbye or hug or say “I love you” to my father when he died 3 months ago. i’m making time always for my mom now…

    i love your cake! it’s lovely and looks so yummy! will bake it one of these days. happy birthday and may God continue to shower you and your family with all kinds of blessings!

  82. 82
    Diane S. says:

    That is a beautiful post, Amanda. No one can imagine losing a daughter, husband, or mom or dad. But, thank you for being brave and writing about it. Your courage gives us courage. Our time will come.
    Because of Him,
    Diane

  83. 83
    Jean says:

    What beautiful memories.
    I did not get to tell my mother good by.
    If only we could turn back time.

  84. 84
    Bonnie says:

    My Mom is 83 yrs old. She lives in a nursing home about 10 minutes from us. She is confined to a wheelchair and is totally deaf. Yet she still sparkles like a rare star. I am going to see her more often after reading your story. My Dad, aunts and uncles, grandparents and the apple of my eye, my 19 yr old son who died 14 yrs ago, all of the above are in heaven. I miss my son so much, you just can’t imagine. He was such a joyful soul. He had cerebral palsy and COPD. He wasn’t expected to live to be 1 or 2 yrs old. But he fooled them all! He came to us as a foster child when he was 4 months old. We adopted him when he was 5 yrs old. That was surely a leap of faith and I am so glad we were able to give him a name and a stable, loving home life. Rest in peace, Billy. I am so sorry for the loss of your Mother. My Dad suffered 3 heart attacks and the last one took him when he was 57. Like you, my 57th birthday was a mile stone for me. I am now 61. Health is shot but I live each day as it comes and thank the good Lord for the life I have.

  85. 85
    Cathy (lov2bake) says:

    Happy Birthday – no matter the age (I am 74) you will never stop missing someone so close to you. Thank you for the recipe. It was a wonderful way to honor your mother.

  86. 86

    It’s tough to write anything on this computer with tears streaming down my face, but here goes. Hugs to you for reaching your personal milestone and what a lovely idea of baking a cake to remember your Mom. I lost my Mom 8 years ago from lung cancer and she hadn’t smoked in 35 years. When I found out she was in 4th stage and had 6 weeks to live. She slipped into a coma at 4 weeks and I never got to say goodbye. God bless you Mom.

  87. 87

    It is through blurry eyes and a large lump in my throat that I read your post Amanda. I can’t imagine how difficult losing your mom at such a young age must have been for you. The letter you shared had me weeping for you, your siblings and of course, your mom. I’m sure she is extremely proud of the woman and mother you’ve become and the wonderful things you do enrich with world with your kindness, creativity and deliciousness. Your cake is a beautiful tribute to your mom. It is the prettiest cake I believe I’ve ever seen! Sending you hugs and warm regards.

  88. 88

    I do believe I forgot to say Happy Birthday to YOU Amanda!!! Wishing you many blessings for the coming year, and years, to come.

  89. 89
    Pat R says:

    When you lose your mom, you’ve lost your best friend………..my best friend has been gone 22 years also. I think of her and miss her every day.

  90. 90
    Ila Jeanne Foerch says:

    Happy Birthday! Amanda. I too have lost my Mother and my Dad and a brother — still miss each one every day!! Life goes on, just a day at a time. It is great that you have some wonderful memories of your mother.

    Thanks for all the wonderful recipes you give to us on the blog. I change them to Gluten-Free and enjoy each one just the same. Thanks!

  91. 91
    Pam Buckley says:

    Thank you for sharing your story and recipe. I lost my father at a very early age and also my sister was tragically killed at only 40. I miss both of them so much and understand your grief for your dear Mum. There are also special days/times and memories that back it all so real and birthdays are one of them. Hope you enjoyed your birthday and what a honour to make that cake and remember your Mum in that special way. You will see your Mum again just as I will see my Dad and sister again. Prayers and blessing to you xx

  92. 92
    Cheryl G says:

    Very touching tribute to your mom. I look forward to trying this recipe

  93. 93
    junecutie says:

    Amanda, I am so sorry about your Mother. I lost my husband, the love of my life, last December 16 from a sudden massive heart attack. He just woke up, gasped “help”, and died before I could even get to him. He was so strong and healthy, and we didn’t even know he was sick. I guess nobody can say they know how you feel until it happens to them. I know how special your Mom was, because she lives through you. You are her best work! Be well and kiss the ones you love. We are only given today to make sure they know how much we love them.

  94. 94
    Susan says:

    What a special tribute to your mom.

  95. 95
    Trae C says:

    Thank you for sharing the letter your mother wrote to you and your brothers. That was such a wonderful gift she gave you, to be able to tell you how much she cared for all of you even after she was gone. My mom passed away less than a year ago, and my heart hurts every day, even as it heals. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  96. 96
    Pamela Whited says:

    Amanda, what a glorious remembrance to your blessed Mommy. My own dear Mother passed at 49 yrs and I am now 57. How bewildering it feels when one realizes she is older than her Mother. (like me) Nonetheless, I am so very proud that you and I were blessed with “the world’s best Mother”, having a blueprint of how to mother our own children. I am blessed for all she taught me and the determination, along with my Daddy to raise seven children. We’re all in our late fortys and early sixties now, but because of the love shared with us, we try very hard to still get together for special occasions and such. Thank God for LOVE. Going now to look at the pink Pampered Chef and pick something out. Thanks for the reminder of the blessings I’ve had and have a wonderful and full Birthday.

    Sincerely,…….Pam Whited

  97. 97
    Ana says:

    It’s a lovely and tender tribute to your mon. Mine also passed away 6 months ago and I love her and miss her very much.

  98. 98
    Jen says:

    Wow, weeping as I’m smiling and reading. Thanks so much for sharing this. A beautiful tribute to your mom.

  99. 99
    MaryBeth says:

    I love seeing your family photos and hearing your stories of your mom, thank you for sharing. The cake is fantastic draped in that chocolate frosting, my all time favorite.

  100. 100
    Cathy Doyle says:

    Happy Birthday to you…this was a beautiful post. I am 45 this year, also. And my mom smoked….she has emphysema – very bad. I do not know how much longer I have with her. I am just trying to enjoy every minute with her. She is in the hospital – a lot. God Bless you and your mom. I undertand how you feel.

  101. 101
    Kelly says:

    I lost my dad to lung cancer 17 years ago, when my children were only 3 and 2 years old. I think about him every day and sometimes feel almost choked by the sadness that he wasn’t here for all the soccer games, birthdays, graduations, etc. It doesn’t get any easier with time…in fact, in some ways it gets harder. He was a great dad and, I know, would have been an even better Grandpa. Thanks for sharing your story. It was sweet and touching and has me thinking about my dad.

  102. 102
    Cindy E says:

    What a loving column.. Happy Birthday to you. It is never easy losing a loved one. I am truly blessed to have both of my parents still…. Thank you for sharing your stories… What a beautiful tribute to your mom.

  103. 103

    Happy Birthday Amanda!
    My eyes welled up and I can only imagine how hard this was to write. I’m so sad for your loss and can’t begin to imagine how difficult it is to lose your mom at such a young age. What a beautiful cake you made in honor of your mom.

  104. 104
    Julia says:

    I admire you for sharing this sharing all of this… and truly a stunning cake to honor her, and you! Happy Birthday, Amanda!

  105. 105

    What a beautiful cake to honor your beautiful mom. This post had to be immensely difficult to write, and also to share. Hugs to you.

  106. 106
    Maria says:

    Beautiful post and cake! xo

  107. 107
    Breanna says:

    I was just browsing the web looking for a recipe for chocolate icing, but came across your post and was very moved. Thanks for the reminder to never take the ones we love for granted

  108. 108
    Diane D says:

    I seldom comment on a blog, but cannot let this one go. Tears are running down my face as I type this. Thank you for sharing such deep emotion with us. I hope it helped you do some healing, as it is going to do for me. I want to recognize the courage it took for you to write such an emotional post. God bless you. And go find Jonathan!

  109. 109
    Lisa says:

    Your story is heart wrenching but lovely just the same. I lost my mom when I was 22,the void will never be filled. What a beautiful tribute you wrote to a beautiful lady.

  110. 110
    Sunny C says:

    Dearest Amanda; Your story made me weep. You are truly Bleesed to have had your Mum in your life. Thank-You so much for sharing your story, and the Cake Recipe.
    I hope that you have a very Happy Birthday now and Always.

  111. 111

    What an amazing, inspirational and touching post. Thank you so much for sharing it. What a wonderful tribute to your mom. Happy Mother’s Day!

  112. 112

    [...] Amanda’s Cookin’, then last week you may have read that it was my 45th birthday and I dedicated my cake and post to my late mother. She passed away at my age. 45. It was devastating, and it still is. It’s been 22 years and [...]

  113. 113

    What a most amazing and heartfelt post. It was incredibly touching and I honestly was going to comment and I didn’t even know there was a giveaway–I was only paying attention to the post itself until the end when I saw the giveaway! Very nice. I LOVE paisley and your blog’s design is very pretty. The photographs are wonderful and I’ll enjoy discovering your blog since I found it today (I found it during a search for a champurrado recipe).

    Lots of Hugs and Birthday Goodness to you!
    Hannah

  114. 114
    Erin says:

    Thank you for sharing your story

  115. 115
    Cheryl Varnes says:

    I found your recipe while looking on pinterest, however I my treasure was the story about your mother. It brought tears to my eyes as I worry about my own moms health. Thank you so much for sharing.

  116. 116
    Dena says:

    What a lovely tribute to your mom! She would be proud.

  117. 117
    Amanda says:

    Reading this is so sad because I’m only 13 and my mom died this past summer, June 30th,2012. My name is Amanda so I found it special how your name is Amanda and your mom past away. My mother had a pulmonary embolism 9or however u spell that)and it is hard to get over. She died about a month before she was going to turn 42, and her mother died when she was 42, creepy. Reading through that letter from your mother on this page, it is weird because I’m a middle child named Amanda(clearly) and I have an older brother named Nicholas such as addressed in the letter, but I my little sister’s name is not Michael. Sorry for your loss, but keep your head up!

  118. 118
    Amanda says:

    Now that the giveaway has ended I can go ahead and post a reply here saying a HUGE THANK YOU to all of you for your wonderful and heartfelt comments. I am so overwhelmed by the loving, kind hearted people out there willing to share their love with someone they’ve never met in real life. Your comments meant the absolute world to me and I cannot even begin to thank you all enough!

  119. 119

    What a beautiful and moving tribute to your mom. I was very close to my mother also, who passed away at 62, which is considered early…45 is way too early!

    Your cake looks delicious and is a true comfort cake! The frosting forms a rose shape…my mother’s favorite flower.

  120. 120

    [...] you’ve been reading this blog for even a few months, you may remember my birthday cake post that I dedicated to the memory of my mother. I promise to keep the tears out of this one, but just know that whenever I make this dish it [...]

  121. 121
    Dennea says:

    I really enjoyed reading your blog. Thanks for sharing your story and as parents we do our best with our children. No good mother should not feel as though they were not a good mother. I love yellow cake with chocolate frosting too. I loved the meaning behind your recipe. I will be sharing it with my family. Blessing to you and your family.

  122. 122
    Bob Kelly says:

    Amanda…I don’t usually comment on recipes, but I should when they are as GOOD, no, as EXCELLENT as this one. First of all, I am 77 years old and have done more than my share of cooking and baking. (no I don’t use a cane and don’t rock in a rocking chair (yet)…
    Now to the good stuff…I have made many many cakes from scratch but this surpasses ALL of them. The lightness,texture and flavor was excellent. The color was a nice yellow as I used my farm fresh eggs. Oh, and the high rise of the cake was beautiful for the amount of batter in a 9 inch pan. I will be making this again soon, but as 2 Boston Cream pies.

    • 122.1

      Thank you SO MUCH Bob! Your comment put a huge smile on my face this morning, can’t thank you enough! I am so glad you enjoyed the cake, and never at any moment did I think you were in a rocking chair ;-)

  123. 123
    Carole Arra Weinberg says:

    Amanda: As a former caterer, a Mom, a Grandmother, this cake rocks but your tribute to your Mother is awesome. I’m positive that your Mom felt your love and it’s beautiful that you are able to express your feelings. Moms have a way of knowing that their children care and love, even when they don’t express it.

  124. 124
    Beth says:

    Amanda, what a lovely tribute to your mom. Let go of the guilt you are carrying. Just the same as your mom apologized for not being the best mom, and you thought she was wonderful! She too thought you were a wonderful daughter. As a mom, you yourself should know she would never think anything but the best of you!

    • 124.1

      Thank you Beth! I really appreciate that :) I know I shouldn’t hold on to it, and I know she thinks what you say, but I think we will always torture ourselves just a little. :)

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