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Tuesday, May 7, 2013


T  R  A  D  I  T  I  O  N…TRADITION!

My family always had a traditional Birthday Cake…ANGEL FOOD CAKE with STRAWBERRY ICING.  Growing up I never knew another birthday cake.  We didn’t even call it angel food cake with strawberry icing; we just called it birthday cake.  Apparently some people find this combination to be strange for any occasion.  I’ve never met anyone outside of my family who eats cake prepared this way.

The tradition goes back to Grandma Hagy and possibly further. Research has told me the angel food cake was first popular in this country in the late 1800’s so it is possible our tradition started one generation beyond my Grandmother.

I’m not sure if this birthday cake tradition will survive.  I think my sons have given it up.  Matt’s wife does chocolate, Mike doesn’t bake and Spencer’s mom always fought the tradition.

My mom learned the cake from my father’s mom.  She passed the cake preparation down to all her daughters-in-law.  The cake part apparently is easy, especially with modern cake mixes.  It is the icing that is difficult.  The technique must be taught and practiced to master.    

My both my SIL’s still do the “cake” and so do most of their children so perhaps the tradition will survive.  I know my daughter still makes the traditional family birthday cake because she taught Mrs. Cranky how to make the strawberry icing.  That is what initiated this post.  Mrs. Cranky on her forth try has mastered the traditional cake.

She only makes it for me, but she respects the tradition, and I appreciate it.  On her first try the icing was liquid.  The next year the icing was still too loose.  Last year the cake was ok and the icing was almost right, but it was not strawberry enough.  This year she nailed it! 

The traditional Hagy Birthday Cake, Angel Food Cake with Strawberry Icing was made to perfection!


Somewhere in heaven a bunch of Hagys are smiling!



  1. Oh shit this looks so good....go Mrs. C

  2. what the heck is an angel food cake?? (ok maybe I AM living under a rock!)
    off googling!!

  3. I think it's wonderful keeping these family traditions alive. Mrs. C. honors me with several Portuguese recipes I grew up with but our son has no interest and these recipe's probably won't go any further.

  4. it looks delicious, even if it is difficult to master.

  5. What! No recipe for us? :) I'm curious about why it is hard to "nail it" the first time. I don't know why though, because I don't do homemade and would not try to make it.

    Anyway, the cake looks "yummo" as Rachel Ray would say.

    A birthday cake tradition - how nice. And it's not a hard tradtion to continue!

  6. I love angel food cake, but I've never had it iced. It looks delicious. Kudos to Mrs. Cranky!!

  7. Maybe it's a generation thing. My mom and grandmother made angel food cakes and the earliest I recall involved whipping egg whites by hand, left arm curled around the big bowl balanced on hip, right hand yielding the wisk. Cooled upside down over a soda bottle. Mom frosted hers with white iceing. Hooray for your tradition.

  8. My dad's birthday cake was always angel food with PEANUT BUTTER icing. And yes, it was cooled upside down over a Pepsi bottle.

  9. We do angel food cake cut into three layers. Then we make whipped cream/strawberry icing to put 'tween the layers and all over the cake before putting it back in the fridge to cool - it's like strawberry shortcake only better.

  10. This post brought a flashback smile to me. This was what my paternal grandmother made as birthday cakes too! Angelfood cake, made from scratch and cooled upside down on a bottle, and frosting that looks very much like what is in your picture. Sweet and very delicious! My mom made angel food cakes that were wonderful, but she served them with strawberries and whipped cream, not frosted. Now I'm thinking that must have been something popular with my grandmother's generation, though I've never seen one anywhere else before. Kudos to Mrs. Cranky for perfecting her frosting talents so she can give you this special birthday treat!

  11. All my childhood food traditions originated in a box. The really special ones required reservations.


  12. Tell Mrs. C. I love her for making you The BD cake........
    We had a traditional BD cake in my family too.... I have not made it since my Mom died.....the icing, which was to die for, was just too damned much trouble.......even during my year as Mz,Cynthia, The Homemade Cake Lady....but that's another story....

    You have touched my heart with this one.

  13. Hmmm, does that mean birthday wishes are in order? (Picked right up on that, I did.) Happy birthday!

    I love angel food cake, but haven't made one for quite a few years. When I had one inverted atop a soda bottle to cool years ago, our daughter ran through the kitchen, and the bottle and cake fell. No problem. I tore the cake into pieces and put it into a huge bowl, mixed with blueberry pie filling. When our older son came home, he ate the whole cake. Yeah, he was a teenager, but a whole cake? He said he didn't realize... (That was some after school snack!)

  14. Mom (your Aunt Nancy) used a hand whip to beat the egg whites! She always made a Devil's Food cake from the left over egg yokes (with 7 minute white icing) and somehow I always managed to be there to help with the icing part of the ritual!

    The strawberries came from our garden and the eggs from our chickens!

    I remember using the double boiler for the icing! Yummmm!

  15. Looks yummy! Our traditional birthday cake is a lemon meringue pie.

  16. So should I be saying "Happy Birthday"?

    If so, Happy Birthday and yes the cake does look amazing