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.

11 thoughts on “”

  1. A big happy birthday to your mom – 86 is worth celebrating.
    Thanks for sharing the tasty-looking frosting recipe!

  2. Happy birthday to your mom, Ann. She is lucky to have you. I am writing down your cake recipe to try tonight as my daughter is coming home for a long weekend from college. We’ll celebrate Ann Budd style. Best wishes for your mom.

  3. yummy frosted cakes make everyday worth celebrating, whether she remembers her birthday or not! she is lucky to have such a wonderful daugher.

  4. Happy Birthday to your mom. I’m sure she’ll enjoy the cake even if she doesn’t understand the meaning behind it. Chocolate cake is always a good thing!

  5. Clarity seems to ebb and flow in dementia patients. Perhaps she will be aware that this is a special occasion, and it’s for her, even if the concept of birthdays has slipped away.
    Blessings on you all.

  6. Happy Birthday to your mother. We went through the same thing with my mother. Even though she outwardly didn’t seem to know what occasions we were celebrating she knew that it was something special and it made her happy. And chocolate always makes people happy. Thanks for sharing the family recipe.

  7. Thank you Ann. Happy Birthday to your Mother and thank her for her gifts to me…you and the frosting! But to tell you the truth I don’t know which one is the sweeter (lol)! Love ya both…

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