Thursday, November 03, 2011

Baking the Seven Silly Eaters Cake

Ok I'm procrastinating on my novel (don't ask) so I'm going to tell you about our baking project, and why I love a children's book illustrator named Marla Frazee. When I first found out I was pregnant with Unity, I walked around with this giddy life-changing secret bursting in my mouth. I kept two books under my bed- one of those awful week-by-week pregnancy books and a board book called Everywhere Babies. When I was sitting there on my bed just getting used to being pregnant, I would read those books. Every day, everywhere, babies are born. The pictures, with their multitude of babies and their adoring, playing, tired, parents helped make it real. I could start to see it.

I didn't seek out Marla Frazee's other books after that but a couple of other times I'd pick up a kids book in a store and get drawn in to the art and the emotions and then, sure enough, it would be one of hers. This most recent time that we stopped by Powells, I was walking through the children's section and when a book jumped out at me, I could tell it was hers. It came home with us. I realized later that the book, Seven Silly Eaters, is older than Everywhere Babies but it's new to us.

It's delightful and Unity has been asking for it almost every night at bedtime. The story involves a large family of picky eaters and an accidental cake that accommodates them all. Unity started asking me if we could make the cake in the story. At first I said, no honey, it's just in the story. And then I figured well, the book's been out for a while, surely someone on the internet has made up the recipe. And in fact, the author has. So today, we made it. The kids liked eating it, but mostly I think they liked being able to reenact the story.

When we made it we left out the food coloring because I think most food coloring is gross. So our cake is not pink, but it was delicious all the same.

½ pound (2 sticks) sweet butter, softened
1 ½ cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted
1 cup oatmeal, quick or regular
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
4 drops red food coloring

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease 10-inch tube pan.
  2. Warm milk to 70 degrees and add 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Let sit 10 minutes until milk has thickened.
  3. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, blending well.
  4. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir in oatmeal.
  5. Blend applesauce with thickened milk and red food coloring.
  6. Stir dry ingredients into egg mixture alternately with the milk/applesauce mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
  7. Pour batter into prepared tube pan. Set on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes, or until cake pulls away from sides of pan and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool cake in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan.
     8 to 10 portions 

His curls are coming in!

He's mad because I wouldn't let him break an egg.


oma said...

we LOVE this book, too! and i've always thought that there should be a recipe for the cake at the back. we'll have to bake this -- mrs. peter's birthday cake!

do you have _a house is a house_? that's another hoberman book we love. also, _all the world_ is an older-kids version of _everywhere babies_.

grandma cindy said...

Sorry about your novel, but I do love this story!! Good story line, great photos. It's a winner. The cake looks great too. How did it taste? And, the curls. Oh the curls. Yes!

Freedom Five said...

nothing to make it pink? :-) I had no idea there was a recipe...