The Perfect Cake for the Imperfect Party and the 3-Year-Old Superhero

Granmere had all of the ingredients I needed in her pantry!

Granmere had all of the ingredients I needed in her pantry!  (Check out that epic bottle of vanilla and the nut grinder.)

Max and I have been touring California and family via planes, trains and automobiles and we arranged to be with Josh’s family in Sacramento for Max’s 3rd birthday.  Josh flew in from New York to spend two days with the birthday boy and I even managed to bake my weekly cake for the event.

I had originally wanted to do a fancy cake with a cute themed party but several key elements in my carefully laid plans went awry.  Okay, I must admit that the carefully laid plans were really just haphazard thoughts, a few pins on a Pinterest board and a last minute trip to Party City.  Max had requested a Bob the Builder/Gangham Style party and a strawberry cake.  Instead he got a Batman party and The Pioneer Woman’s Chocolate Sheet Cake–he loved it!

My father-in-law worked his magic on the BBQ and Max dressed as a superhero and ate corn, bread and cake.  Pretty perfect day when you are three!  The rest of us ate  barbecued chicken, sausage and tri-tip, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, dutch-crust bread, salad and several helpings of cake.  Even the non-cake lovers came back for seconds.

Max helped me beat the eggs for his cake.

Max helped me beat the eggs for his cake.

The Pioneer Woman named this cake the Best Chocolate Sheet Cake Ever and I am inclined to echo that claim.  I did not make any changes except to bake it in a 17X11 cake pan since it was the only size we had.  It was perfect.  The cake was moist and the nutty frosting was amazing!  It isn’t a heavy cake so even after eating a big meal you can enjoy a slice of it.  And it serves a lot of people!  We had 13 adults plus Max, most of us had two pieces and I still have 4 squares waiting for me on the counter today.  Definitely a cake fit for a crowd and definitely a crowd-pleaser!  Make this cake for your next birthday party, book club, pot-luck or just to cheer yourself up.  Click this link for the recipe.

The birthday boy enjoyed his square of Chocolate Sheet Cake.

The birthday boy enjoyed his square of Chocolate Sheet Cake.

Batman_birthday_party_Max_lwwa

Party City had limited supplies so we went with a Batman theme.

This is the second year in a row that Max has spent his birthday enjoying the sunshine in Sacramento.

This is the second year in a row that Max has spent his birthday enjoying the sunshine in Sacramento.
It's also the second birthday in a row that he has spent with Josh's side of the family.

It’s also the second birthday in a row that he has spent with Josh’s side of the family.

A successful birthday and a successful cake of the week for #52Cakes!

A successful birthday and a successful cake of the week for #52Cakes!

I’m thinking next year I will have to step up my game for this birthday party gig.  This year I am grateful for a happy, healthy kid who loved his day.  It’s not about the gifts (he got a few) or the decorations, it’s about celebrating the three wonderful years that Max Hamel has spent with us so far.  May there be many, many more!  Happy Birthday, Max!

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