Best Birthday Chocolate Cake with No Sugar “The Younger We Get”

Dear Friends! We did it! Almost….this pandemic is in our rear view mirror! Praise God! This year, I got to celebrate my birthday doing things with family and friends! It was so great. (I know, all the exclamation points. We should be able to do that now, right.) 


My “35th” birthday was a blast. The younger we get….  I know since I got your attention with the Best Birthday Chocolate Cake with No Sugar, I’ll get to that most important contribution to the internet in long time. 

                                     

Seriously, y’all know we love cakes around here, all the cakes, homemade cakes. So, since it was my birthday and I was ready to try a ‘sugar free’ cake, I did. I figured if I messed it up, it’s just my cake not my husband or the boys. :)  And you know what it was FANTASTIC and DELICIOUS! 




The family had the best party! And missed our son who is serving as a worship leader this summer1 


And my sweet Boulder Mt. Man and I made the cake together! Do you love our Food Blogger kitchen! 


He grated a 1/3 of this baking bar for the top of the cake. It was perfect! 


Another year younger and loved the cake and our little party! God is good all the time and I am so grateful for every moment of this life! May mine glorify Him. And May you love this cake as much as we did! 




Best Birthday Chocolate Cake with No Sugar, No Gluten 

1 1/2 cups Bob’s Mill Gluten Free Flour 1:1 ratio
1/4 c. + 2 T. Dark Hershey’s Cocoa
1/4 c. + 2 T. Chocolate Hershey’s Cocoa
1 3/4 c. Dates (by Date Lady powdered.) :) 
2 t.. baking soda 
1 t. Baking powder 
1 t. Sea salt 
2 t. Espresso coffee
1/2 c. Coconut oil - melted
2 Eggs at room temperature
1 T. Pure vanilla
1 c. Buttermilk at room temperature
1 c. Boiling water 

* Buttercream Chocolate Icing with Monkfruit 

1 1/2 c. Softened salted Land O’ Lakes Butter 
3 1/2 c. Monkfruit with Erythirol *see note 
3/4 c. Cocoa powder 
1/4 c. Half and half (more or less to desired consistency)
1 T. Pure Vanilla 
1 bar 60% Girhidellhi Cocoa Bar (grated 1/3 c.)

Preheat oven 350ยบ.  Line two 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper. Spray parchment paper with baking spray. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and set aside. In mixer with paddle attachment, mix oil, eggs and vanilla until well incorporated. Add the buttermilk and mix to combine. Then, add the dry ingredients to the mixer with bowl of wet ingredients. Add hot waster and mix until thoroughly combined. Pour batter into cake pans and bake about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Then set on cooling rack. Once completely cool, remove from pan. 

If time allows, freeze the cakes wrapped in Saran Wrap for 60 mins. - 2 hours. Then, unwrap and ice the layers. It should be delicious and more smooth icing the cake! Once iced and ready, sprinkle the grated Girhidellhi cocoa on top. Perfection! Enjoy! 

*note: Monkfruit and Erythirol - this is healthy and keep blood sugars normal. Research it. Amazing! And delicious consistency and flavor!)

Warmly, Carolina Mama

2020 Happy Photos

"For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans to prosper you and 
not to harm you to give you a future and hope." Jeremiah 29:11




This verse has been a bit of a North Star to our family from the early years. 2020 is certainly no different. In fact, it's been all the more comforting in these times!

We hope you and your family are well. We pray you all are. It seemed fitting to check in with a little visual Hello from Us. 

First up, a Spring Concert our son was in for his Senior Chorus. Since we homeschool, we chose a Fine Arts for his final art credit. We have loved our home school journey and have been blessed by it. (If you need a hand or have questions, feel free to email me from my About page. We're happy to help. It's a rewarding journey.)



Quarantine afforded us more time with our love of biking! It was so great to be back out there more regularly and we continue to enjoy this as a family and as a couple. Spring was an amazing blessing. This year was particularly gorgeous. 


The upside of all of this year has been time. We have loved the blessing of time as a family and with amazing friends. 


Our guys having fun with their friends is always a bonus. 


Our graduate!! 2020 was a blessing for our senior! He has worked so hard and yes, the twins were six months old when 9 / 11 happened and our senior was graduating during this 2020 global pandemic. Our other twin spent the second half of his freshman year of college navigating overnight online college. We trust the Lord and again He knows the plan He has for us. 


Happy moments senior year for our Raleigh Hawks Senior! So any incredible games and emotions. For many of us, we stepped off of the basketball courts for the last time, not knowing we would compete inn our final games, our east coast championship. We made the best of it and our son showed incredible stamina. We are yet to see the strength of this generation. 



More good work out time with my man, my Boulder Mt. Man. 

4th of July! God Bless America! 






We grew tomatoes during the pandemic! :) This was so rewarding. So many good meals homemade together and with homegrown tomatoes. 


Breaking News: I taught myself (well the internet did) how to make Sour Dough Bread! With our own homegrown sour dough starter! It's been amazing and we have loved it!  I enjoy it so much. It has been tricky and takes some work.

               

We have had a wonderful time as a family at the beach together. Talk about re-centered and refreshed! 


Our church has blessedly been praying and walking through the pandemic leading us well. 
We were moved by their thoughtfulness and this little ceremony and special moments for a senior night 
at our church. 


We love these young men and our sons' community. 


Celebrate 2020! 


We love vegetarian lasagna again. 


Family! These times together are a little lagniappe! 



Another epic lake ride with my love! 


Family! We loved having our South Carolina now California family here! 



We loved all being together again! So thankful and blessed by time well spent. 



Summer Sunsets are the best! 



When the boys dog sit, the girls meet them at the door after work!  Our lifeguards worked so hard this summer keeping our community safe! 



Neighbors share their produce, too! So it made for some more amazing shrimp creole! 


This was delicious! A Emeril Lagasse Shrimp Creole is life! 


Our dear neighbors helped surprise our senior with a socially distanced outdoor space for his Senior Party!


Brothers at the Beach! #thankful 


The good stuff. 




How are  you this 2020! Now, that's a question. We do want to know how you are. 

                                          8 Best Jeremiah 29 11 images | jeremiah 29 11, jeremiah 29, bible quotes
See y'all soon! God bless! 

Warmly, Carolina Mama

Chinese Lantern Festival at Koka Booth Amphitheatre #NCChineseLanternFestival

The Chinese Lantern Festival Koka Booth Amphitheatre is live through Friday, January 12th, 2020! you've got to go! If you follow my sons and me on Instagram, you saw all of our activity when we visited the NC Chinese Lantern Festival! Here's more!

NC Chinese Lantern Festival #KokaBooth

You've got a perfect way to kick off 2020 and enjoy Winter! The NC Chinese Lantern Festival at Koka Booth is one of our favorite Winter activities!




Take a look at some of this year's creativity because every year is different and so spectacular! They out do themselves each year! We fell in love with the different displays. The creativity of the displays is incredible.


We look forward to this every year. It has truly become a highly sought after Triangle tradition. 



The Chinese Dancers acrobact acts are amazing - look at what he is doing! Adding these chairs himself in front of us! Children of from ages 2-92 will enjoy this talent! 



Happy to be here with our family! 


We all had fun with the color changing eagles wings!



Koka Booth Amphitheatre does a wonderful job of hosting and making you feel right at home enjoying the displays! Koka Booth has ample parking and attendants to guide you. 

Carolina Mama and Family! #TerrelTribe #NCChineseLanterns
Love was in the air at the "Marry Me" Diamond Rings display! We loved it! 
Fun for everyone especially those of us married many years. :) 


Boulder Mt. Man sang I "I'm think I'm going to marry you...!"


Our son, Stant, found the exercise bike! Taking a water break! When the bike is activated, it 
powers the elephant lights!! Super cool! He powered this up! 


More beauty on the water! By the huge dragon! 


Hilt found the light up swing rings! Happy place. 


I liked the ring theme, lol. These were so cool!



The dragons are fiesty! :) Too fun!  


We hope you get to visit and start your own tradition! 



There is truly something special for everyone! Get tickets here:  Chinese Lantern Festival Tickets!

Warmly, Carolina Mama

FTC Disclosure:  This post is sponsored by Koka Booth Amphitheatre/NC Chinese Lantern Festival. All opinions are our own. Go see the Lanterns! You'll love it!