Life is tough, sometimes, isn’t it?

Making it through the work week. Paying the bills. Taking care of the family. Mowing the lawn. Scrubbing the toilet (blech).

But you know what?

For all the not-so-fun things we have to do, there’s lots of things that make up for it.

Watching the garden grow. Taking a walk. Visiting a friend. Eating some cherries.


Baking a Happy Cake.

A Happy Cake is any cake that makes you smile and makes you feel happy.

I have many Happy Cakes but this week my Happy Cake is this one.

I’ve made my Happy Cake a little happier with the addition of rum. (But that can be our little secret.)


Bake a Happy Cake. Have a Happy Weekend.


Happy Cake (with Cream Cheese Frosting and Sprinkles)
Based on Ina Garten’s Flag Cake.

Note: You can bake this cake in a variety of pans but if you have a sheet pan that’s at least 18 inches by 12 inches, that’s the easiest way to bake the cake. Do as Ina Garten does and seve it directly from the baking sheet.

For the Cake:

1-1/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
2-1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

For the rum glaze:

1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons, unsalted butter
1/4 cup rum

For the frosting:

2 cups unsalted butter, softened
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 pound icing sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour your baking pan really well.

In a the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar for 3 minutes on high speed. The mixture should be fluffy. Reduce the speed to medium and carefully add the eggs, two at a time. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Add the sour cream and the vanilla and almond extracts. Mix for another minute on medium speed.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda.

With the mixer on low speed, carefully add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

Bake on the middle rack for 20 minutes. Check to see if the cake is done by inserting a toothpick into the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s done. If not, bake for another five minutes or until the cake is done. Remove the cake to a wire rack.

While the cake is cooling, prepare the rum glaze. Place the water, sugar and butter in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiled, remove from the heat and add the rum. Stir to combine.

Using a thin knife or a skewer, poke holes over the top of the warm cake. Carefully brush with as much of the rum glaze as the cake will take. Let the cake cool completely.

To make the icing, place the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat at high speed for four minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Stir in the vanilla extract. Refrigerate the frosting until ready to use.

Once the cake has cooled completely, pile on the frosting spreading it evenly with a spatula. Top the frosting with decorative sprinkles and serve.