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Cooking with Kids: Vanilla Snack Cake

From the moment I saw the recipe for Vanilla Snack Cake in Family Circle, I knew we had to make it. Cakes aren’t something that I make often, but they are something that we all enjoy. That was Friday; on Saturday, we bought the ingredients and made it.

Of course … as these things go … I misjudged how much Agave Nectar we had and had to make a big substitution (a smaller amount of honey, since honey has such a dominant flavor). In the end, the cake came out a lot like the photo. Will, who made it with me, adored it.

To be honest, the cake is dense and the frosting is heavy on the cream cheese. Not my favorite, but it was pretty easy and making something that Will likes this much is 100 percent worth it.

Not only does he like this cake though, he’s also so proud of it – sprinkles and all (though he did note that the one in the magazine didn’t have sprinkles). To hear him talk about it is amazing … but what totally made me all gooey was when Shawn complimented Will on the cake and thanked him for dessert the other night. “Daddy, thank Mommy too. She made it too,” he said. He totally could have basked in the limelight for making a tasty snack cake … but he didn’t just do that: He made sure that everyone knew that we made it together. Love that.

P.S. One of my lovely readers nominated me for Babble’s Best Mom Food Bloggers. If you have a second, please let Babble know how much you like Sarah’s Cucina Bella by giving me a thumbs up next to Sarah Caron! (Thanks, Toni!)

Vanilla Snack Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Vanilla Snack Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 16 servings

Adapted from Family Circle, May 2010



  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, , softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup honey
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk


  • 2 8- oz packages cream cheese, , softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, , softened to room temperature
  • 6 tbsp agave nectar


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with cooking oil spray.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and use a whisk to sift together.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter and honey. Using the paddle attachment, beat until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and beat well.
  4. Lower the speed of the stand mixer to low. Alternatively add a little bit of the flour mixture and a little bit of milk, until fluffy incorporated.
  5. Spread the batter into the prepared pan, using a spatula to spread flat.
  6. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out cleanly.
  7. Let the cake cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, butter and agave nectar. Beat with a hand-mixer until smooth. Spread on cake and enjoy
  2. Chill the cake in the fridge, covered, until ready to serve.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 613Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 23gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 162mgSodium: 430mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 1gSugar: 31gProtein: 9g


Monday 26th of April 2010

Yum - thanks for making me hungry!

The Teacher Cooks

Tuesday 13th of April 2010

What is it about sprinkles that kids just love? I like the comment "Thank Mom, too". So sweet!

Michelle (What's Cooking)

Tuesday 13th of April 2010

Oh my gosh, I can't believe I haven't asked you to contribute something to my blog series that shares stories of readers cooking with their kids :-) Maybe the next time you cook with your son, you can send in the tale! xox


Monday 12th of April 2010

Your kids are so lucky to have a mom who lets them "help" in the kitchen. At one time I was raising 4 kids under the age of 8, so I do know how much extra work it is to have kids "help."

Cooking is becoming a lost art - so bravo for you for teaching your kids! .-= Donna´s last blog ..Meatless Monday: Spaghetti Squash alla Low-Carb-onara =-.

josephine souza

Monday 12th of April 2010

now im craving cake!

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