Mike proposed to me on July 11, 2006. Mom was diagnosed with lymphoma on August 5 of the same year, and doctors started dumping cytoxin, vincristine, and rituxin in her body shortly thereafter. Everything turned out OK, but the process was difficult when we were in the midst of it.
Especially so because our good friends Cindy and James were getting married late that October. Mom had offered to bake the wedding cake, but there was no way she would be able to do it: the chemo had rendered her unable to hold a can of Coke, much less bake a quadruple-batch Italian cream cake.
So with much trepidation, I stepped up. I went for a simple design - very much like the one above that I baked this morning - but it was much larger and rectangular with two tiers. My favorite part of it was that I took Tropicana sweetheart cluster roses, clipped each bud to have about a 1 inch stem, and tucked them in a tight, neat row at the base of the cake. That way, everybody had a piece of cake with a rosebud on it. I wish I could find the photo of us during the reception - Cindy had Mike and me feed each other cake as practice for our own upcoming wedding. It was a hoot and a half.
We are still blessed enough to have Cindy and James as good friends, and I look forward to my visits at their place in the country. Meet Red and Spot, the calves James gave Cindy for her birthday a couple of weeks ago. Aren't they beautiful? They were bottle-raised and came from the Vet School at Mississippi State.
Italian Cream Cake
1 stick margarine
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups sugar
5 egg yolks
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 small package coconut
1 cup chopped nuts
5 egg whites, stiffly beaten
- Cream margarine and shortening, add sugar and beat until mixture is smooth.
- Add egg yolks and beat well.
- Combine flour and soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk.
- Stir in vanilla and add coconut and nuts.
- Fold in egg whites.
- Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 8-inch cake pans
- Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Cool and frost.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 stick margarine
1 box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
- Beat cream cheese and margarine until smooth; add sugar and mix well.
- Add vanilla, beat until smooth. Spread on cake and sprinkle with pecans.