Today is my mother’s 86th birthday. She has dementia and no longer understands the concept, but we’ll have a party anyway. I’ve made our family standard birthday cake: devil’s food cake with homemade fudge frosting.

birthday cake

It may not look like much, but oh, is it ever tasty. I don’t know where my mother found the frosting recipe in the first place but it’s been a staple for decades.

Try it for yourself:

1/4 cup melted butter

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (Mexican vanilla is best)

1/3 cup milk

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Mix the first four ingredients together, then add powdered sugar until smooth.