red velvet cake

Cakes are a celebration of life. Birthday cakes are some of the most important annual edible moments in my family. Each member has a specific treat, most commonly a cake baked by my mom from scratch, that they expect (not just anticipate, but expect) to have made on their birthday. I just turned 23 and it wouldn't have been a birthday if my mom had not brought a red velvet cake with cream cheese icing. Yes, she loves me.

Red velvet cakes, right, pull double duty, also serving as a Christmas cake. My dad likes lemon poppyseed cake, my brother likes funfetti from the box (we often wonder if he's adopted), my sister likes to be different and requests apple pie, and my other brother loves pound cake. Although it requires a considerable time commitment, this cake is the winner. There are no leavening agents in pound cake, such as baking soda or powder, so this cake rises only when enough air is incorporated in the mixing process. But the payoff is spectacular.

The cake, as seen in the banner, that has become a favorite among college friends is the brown sugar and cinnamon cake. While the base is simply a yellow cake box mix, which makes me feel like I'm cheating, ingredients are added to make the cake thick, moist, and delicious. Even the crumbs in the bottom of the pan are eagerly scooped out.