Friday, January 30, 2009

Al ta’am v’al birthday cake, kanireh she’yeish lehitvakei’ach

A while ago, I referred to the Great Shiputzim Family Birthday Cake Debate.

Let me explain. No there is too much, let me sum up. (Yes, I know I’ve used this quote before. Twice to be exact. But as everyone knows, one can never have too many Princess Bride quotes…)

You see, to her father and brothers’ bemusement and chagrin, the Resident Ulpanistit doesn’t like chocolate cake.

/*braces for onslaught of protests over the fact that the family’s deepest, darkest secret has just been revealed*/

It’s not that the Resident Ulpanistit doesn’t like chocolate per se. After all, she enjoys chocolate bars, chocolate pudding, chocolate frosting, and even chocolate brownies.

But chocolate cake? Not so much.

Why do the male members of the Shiputzim family care, you wonder?

Ah, but you obviously aren’t aware that in their minds: BirthdayCake=ChocolateCake. This, they feel, is a universal and inviolable truth to be held very dear.

However, according to the Shiputzim family’s by-laws, the birthday girl/boy gets to pick the precise nature of the birthday cake. (This rule is strictly enforced – particularly when the birthday girl/boy is the one doing the baking!) And so naturally, when it’s her birthday, the Resident Ulpanistit opts for cakes other than the traditional chocolate variety.

Indeed, for her most recent birthday, she chose – to her brothers’ dismay – a blueberry cake. /*watches in amusement as the Resident Ulpanistit’s brothers shudder in horror at the memory*/

Blueberry [“Un-Birthday”] Cake

Like the cucumber salad recipe, I got this recipe from my sister-in-law, and then the Resident Ulpanistit and I modified it somewhat. Specifically, we replaced the margarine with oil.


  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1.25 cups canola oil
  • 1 cup orange or mango juice
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 heaping tsp baking powder
  • 1 can blueberry or cherry pie filling


  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • A few drops of canola oil (just enough to form fine crumbs)


Line 9x13” pan with baking paper. Mix eggs, sugar, vanilla, and oil. Add juice, flour and baking powder. Mix. Pour 2/3 – 3/4 of batter into pan. Add filling. Pour rest of batter over filling. Prepare topping, and sprinkle over batter. Bake at 325 degrees for 30-40 minutes, and then at 350 degrees for an additional 30-40 minutes.

Chocolate chip variation

Omit both the filling and the topping. Add 1 package of chocolate chips to batter before placing in pan. (Optional: Sprinkle extra chocolate chips on top.)

Shabbat Shalom.


  1. And for those of us in Galus that can easily purchase blueberries, I bet this would taste good with fresh blueberries.

    I can relate. As a kid, I remember not like chocolate cake much, but loving chocolate bars. I still like chocolate bars.

  2. Leora - Fresh blueberries? Yum! (I wouldn't be surprised if the original recipe actually called for fresh fruit, but my sister-in-law changed it due to necessity.)
    Shabbat Shalom!


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