When I attempt to explain to my friends the premise of Happy Birthday, Little Witch by Deborah Hautzig, also known as the book of my youth, it sounds a little something like this: “There’s a witch, and it’s her birthday and she goes with an astronaut to find friends and a cake. And I think there’s a monkey and they go in this big cauldron.” Needless to say, this description only got me strange looks.
I am known for constantly emphasizing the fact that I can barely remember anything before I was twelve. I remember weird things like when I wore saddle shoes instead of sneakers in my fourth grade’s Christmas play- I was a dancing present. Or how my bus driver gave my brother a ten pound jar of peanut butter that same Christmas. Weird, bizarre, not normal things.
One of those weird, bizarre, not normal things was my endless reading of Happy Birthday, Little Witch when I was a child. It was when I first learned how to read. My grandma had these two tall shelves that displayed her father’s pocket watch, photo albums, and a collection of western animals made of glass or stone or some kind of highly breakable material. But located in those shelves bottom drawers were stacks of coloring books, an empty tub of baby wipes filled with broken crayons, and Happy Birthday, Little Witch. I was a serial reader of this book.
I would carry the book upstairs to my mom’s old bedroom and read the book over and over again. There was something about the story of a lonely witch on her birthday who sought out an astronaut, devil, and pirate to celebrate with that was so hypnotic my six-year-old self.
I know this is not scary- at all, but Little Witch’s chocolate frog cake with bat eyes wouldn’t seem appropriate in, lets say, March. It’s definitely more suiting for Halloween.
Also, there is no monkey in this book. Maybe in the sequel.
Chocolate Cake/ Cupcakes
Best chocolate cake recipe of your life. I’ve spent too much time perfecting this recipe.
2 Sticks butter
1 3/4 Cups white sugar
1 1/2 Teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 Cups buttermilk
2 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
6 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 Teaspoons baking soda
1 Teaspoon salt.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
- Cream butter and sugar together. Then, add eggs and vanilla extract. Beat until creamy and lighter in color.
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Alternate adding the dry ingredients and buttermilk into the wet ingredients.
- Once all incorporated, pour into two 9-inch cake pans or cupcake pan. Will make 24 cupcakes.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool before frosting
3-4 Cups of confectioners sugar
2 Sticks of butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-4 Tablespoons heavy cream
- Cream together confectioners sugar and butter until thick, but without lumps.
- Add in vanilla extract and heavy cream. Beat until smooth. You can add heavy cream according to the consistency that you want. I like a thicker icing so I use 2 tablespoons.
- Decorate with jimmies and chocolate eyeballs or dye the frosting green using Wilton’s Lemon Yellow and Kelly Green food dye.