We love this “Kibble Cake” that reader Lorena Hawkins from Salem, MA made for her daughter’s doggie-themed first birthday. “The recipe is chocolate poor man’s cake (a common depression-era recipe) with homemade marshmallow fondant. It’s not the greatest work of art ever, but we all had a good time watching her chow down on it. The recipe below has been the default for family birthdays for four generations.”

Poor Man’s Cake

Source: Lucille Hawkins

3 cups flour

2 cups sugar

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

6 tbs cocoa powder

2 cups water

3/4 cups vegetable oil

2 tbs vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix with a wisk or spoon, being careful not to over beat. Pour into a buttered and cocoa powdered 13″ x 9″ cake pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.

And here is a link for the marshmallow fondant.

Photo Patrick Rogers Photography


You Might Also Like

Maia Chavez Larkin
Our Fastest, Easiest Birthday Setup Ever
Best Kids Store in SF

Comments (3)


  1. Posted by: Quyen

    Useful document, I truly watch for messages by you.

  2. I was the photographer at that first birthday party, and was offered a piece of that cake. It was delicious! So delicious, in fact, that we asked Lorena to make our wedding cake for us a few months later, and that was equally delicious! Lorena truly has a talent!

  3. Pingback: your photos | You Take the Cake |

Leave a Reply

Yor email address will not be published.
Required fields are marked *

Sign Up

Email Sign Up
We promise not to bug you -
it'll only be good stuff, pinky swear.