Generations of cakes

We spent last weekend in Taranaki, celebrating my mother’s birthday. It was one of those birthdays that ends in a zero, so it was a big affair: extended family members gathered for lunch, and an afternoon of celebrating. This has been a sad year for my mother’s family, so it was good to gather for a happy reason.

I made and decorated a cake. And my lovely Ms Thirteen made and decorated a cake. Take a wild guess as to who made which cake.


You guessed right.

I used the recipe I use for Christmas cakes, which I got from my mother, and she from her’s. My Mum used it for our wedding cake. So it is a Recipe of Significance. Also a Recipe of Deliciousness.

My daughter used an excellent yoghurt chocolate cake recipe, which has been in our family for over thirty years now. Each year I ask my girls what cake they would like for their birthday parties, and each year they say, “Yoghurt chocolate cake, Mum.” I make the cakes, and they decorate them. Luridly. They are happy cakes.

As were my mother’s fingernails, which Ms Thirteen painted for her, in an interesting shade of purple.

It was a happy day.


I mentioned the sadness in my mother’s family this year. Ray, and Ele, you might know of, or even have known, my uncle who died in March: Bernard Murphy. Or if you don’t know him, you might know his sons, Steve and Dan, who are also champion dog triallists. He never bragged about his own wins, but he was so very proud, loudly so, of his sons’ achievements. Most of the last few months of his life were spent in hospital, but he was home for a stretch of about 12 days or so, during which time he competed in the Whangamomona dog trials.


6 comments on “Generations of cakes

  1. Mindy says:

    Oooh lovely cakes. Do you think the yoghurt chocolate cake would work with vanilla yoghurt?

    • Deborah says:

      Yes. I think any non-lumpy yoghurt will do. I sometimes thin it with a little milk, if I use a thicker yoghurt rather than a runnier one.

  2. homepaddock says:

    No, sorry I didn’t ‘t know your uncle and don’t know his sons,. but read the tribute in your link with admiration.

    Also impressed by both cakes.

    We made a point of celebrating zero birthdays with extended family and friends. Now both my parents are dead those celebrations provide memories we treasure.

  3. Denny says:

    Lovely to read about your happy time. Sometimes, the best of times, are those that are tinged with a little sadness – it can make us so much more grateful for everything we have, and have had.

  4. Sorry to hear about about your Uncle, whom I did know about ( he was every well known in dog trialing circles) and I had met him while being carted about the back blocks of Taranaki.
    Love the cakes, I wonder if that style is a Taranki thing as i have seen plenty done in the same way, one of the benifits of marrying into a Taranaki girl 🙂

  5. meganwegan says:

    Happy cakes are good. I send many happy cakes. (If my oven weren’t munted, I would send an actual happy cake.)

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