And He Even Bakes Me Chocolate Cake

“We all need to repent—even when it’s something as little as holding on to a bad mood.”

That’s what I told the high school students in my seminary class the morning after I hosted a pity party for myself, which I started the day after my birthday. There’s no crying on birthdays so I held out, but then something set me off. I cried and complained and woke up the next morning with puffy eyes and not enough sleep.

I told these teenagers about my moody day because I want them to see that I’m human, even though I’m old in their eyes. I also told them if I kept that moodiness within me and didn’t change and forgive, it would harden my heart against others, especially those I love the most, like my husband or God. The barrier I would feel between us, if I didn’t remove it, is spiritual separation, and it’s why we need the atonement of Jesus Christ.

I came home and tried to fix things with my husband. I’m baffled at his response; it’s always the same. He always says, “It’s not you.” He takes it upon himself, even when I clearly instigated anything that stood between us. I want to be more like that. More like Christ.

Did I tell you that he bakes, too? Here’s his favorite chocolate cake recipe that he made into German Chocolate Cake for my birthday. It’s not fudgy, overly chocolate or dense like some people like them, but light and airy with a top that crusts into a sweet layer all it’s own, good even without frosting.

Favorite Chocolate Cake

1  4-oz. pkg German sweet cooking chocolate
or 4 oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 2/3 cups cake flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup buttermilk or sour milk
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs

1. Combine chocolate and 1/3 cup water in a glass bowl and microwave 30 seconds at a time until melted. Stir and cool.

2. In a mixing bowl sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt. A dd chocolate mixture, milk, butter and vanilla.

3. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed to combine. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs and beat 2 minutes more. Pour into two greased and floured round cake pans (8 or 9 inch). Bake for 30-40 minutes in a 350 degree oven or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool on racks.

Frost with coconut pecan frosting, chocolate frosting, or eat plain with a drizzle of caramel topping.


  1. Sarah (GenMom)
    May 29, 2009

    What an awesome looking cake!

    Congrats on being the next judge in the Scribbit contest. You are perfect! I just saw your interview on Scribbit’s blog. I thought, two such thoughtful ladies.

    Hey, have you ever submitted entries to traditional writing contests (i.e. Writer’s Digest, etc.)? I am trying to figure out if it is worth it but I read that many writers start that way.

  2. Amateur Steph
    May 29, 2009

    Hi T.J.
    I’m visiting from your interview with Scribbit and I just wanted to say that I enjoyed reading about the fort and all the lessons it has taught.

  3. Rebecca
    May 29, 2009

    How funny! My husband does the same thing. According to him, nothing is ever my fault. It’s always his. We’ve actually fought about that issue, which is comical when you think about it.

  4. EPZ
    May 29, 2009

    Thanks for sharing. You should send me your email and I’ll send you an invite to my blog. Its not as cool as yours though. 🙂

  5. Terresa Wellborn
    May 30, 2009

    I stopped by on a suggestion from Scribbit…so here I am. Hello! 😉

    I’ve had pity party birthdays for years including tears, quiet tantrums and inner whining… Finally, this year, I broke the mold and cried the day *before* thus freeing up my actual birthday for some serious sweet joy.

    Here’s my blog entry about it…

    PS: I think it’s great that you told your seminary class about how you were feeling…young people need to know we adults have ups and downs, too. We aren’t the constant rock, yet (Hel 5:12).

  6. Liz
    May 31, 2009

    I love that he can bake and work at the same time. Most men cannot multi-task. You’ve got a keeper!

  7. Beverlydru
    May 31, 2009

    I thought your interview with Scribbit was lovely. I am putting your blog in my Reader and will look forward to reading! I so appreciate transparency. It invites me in and makes me feel accepted. Thank you.

  8. Camille
    Jun 8, 2009

    I just linked to your blog through Thrilled by the Thought. Very impressive! Even more impressive is this post about your husband’s humility and baking abilities – while talking on the phone and wearing a sweet apron! You definitely have a keeper! 🙂

  9. An Ordinary Mom
    Jun 12, 2009

    A baking husband … how fabulous 🙂 !!

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