Recipes and Memories combine in our Kitchen Diary Stories series on Lily & Val Living. This series is based on our Keepsake Kitchen Diary!

With so many Keepsake Kitchen Diaries finding their way into the homes of our customers, we love to see them cherished and filled with your family recipes. Even more, we love hearing your special memories, moments, and the stories behind the dishes you hold dear. To celebrate the opening of pre-orders as well as the Kitchen Diary turning 1 this year, we are sharing a unique birthday cake recipe from our friend Neely.

Neely is an incredible blogger and artist who poured her talent into the pages of her Keepsake Kitchen Diary! This heart-felt recipe has a story with it that is just as captivating and personal as the page design.

dsc_0748-croppedFrom Neely:

“When my son was a few months old, we found out that any form of dairy makes him sick. Which was fine when he was a baby, but we had to figure out different recipes to make so that he could eat the same things as us as he got older. For a little bit we also thought he was allergic to eggs (thankfully he isn’t!) So, you can imagine my struggle when I realized he needed a cake for his first birthday and pretty much all of them have milk and eggs in them.”

dsc_0764-copy“I searched the internet for a birthday cake that he could eat that would also not taste horrible. After a lot of searching, I found this recipe! And it’s SO good! We’ve also been trying to eliminate oil from our diet, so in the cool little note area, I reminded myself that I substituted applesauce for oil. No one even knew that it was made any differently than a “regular cake.” This is a staple for us now for any time we need a cake for dessert and it’s healthier (well, as healthy as a cake can be probably).”

dsc_0769“I’m so excited to start filling the Keepsake Kitchen Diary with recipes, doodles and memories so someday my kids can have all the best stuff in one place instead of scrambling around trying to find their favorite recipes from their childhood. This is seriously such a wonderful, fun idea! I’m really pumped about it!”

“Jackson’s” Birthday Cake by Neely Beattie

Ingredients for one 8″ round circle cake:

1 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F
Mix together wet ingredients in a large bowl. Mix all dry ingredients together in another bowl. Using a hand mixer, slowly add dry ingredients into wet ingredients.
Lightly grease an 8″ springform pan. Pour in the batter and bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center.

Ganache:
2/3 cup almond milk
8 oz dark chocolate chips

In a small saucepan bring milk to a boil. Turn heat down to simmer. Add the chocolate chips and mix until melted. Stir until everything is smooth and well incorporated. Set aside and let cool until the cake is done. Place the cake on a cake stand and pour the ganache over the cake, smoothing until the cake is covered. If you doubled the recipe, place the second cake on top and repeat the ganache process. Let the cake sit in the fridge for a bit until you’re ready to eat!

I usually double the whole recipe and make 2 cakes and stack them!