Last night I reminded my husband not to come home with birthday cake. Waking a year beyond mid point between fifty and sixty had nothing to do with it. – I don’t like cake. In fairness to cake, one peculiar exception prompted a “note to self” – next year he can stick candles in a fruit cake.

Fruit cake, the misunderstood butt of seasonal offering endures needless suffering at the hands of Christmas bullies. Skeptics and naysayers just haven’t had the right cake. Proper fruit cakes are pickled in spirits, wrapped for weeks in rum soaked cheesecloth until every morsel of candied fruit packs a rum bomb. Yum.

When my children were young birthday cakes were a big deal. Not for candles or a birthday song – anticipation hinged on the unveiling. Sheets of  “stay out of the kitchen til I’m done” cake, yielded to coaxed pleas of “look like a rabbit” , train or mermaid. Cakes baked for the gift of my children’s delight – for myself as much as them – those cakes I loved.

A good cake demands steadfast attention to detail. Baking, the science of precise measures to incorporate air, control temperature and stoke chemical reactions while resisting fickle inclinations. Few people care about fundamentals of cake, razzmatazz resides in layers and frosting. Cake cred is style over substance – if it looks good, slice it.

What if it looked mediocre but held pie? Where does all substance, no style cake fall – squarely on the plate of Cherpumple. Bake a cherry pie in white cake, apple pie in yellow cake, pumpkin pie in spice cake – now frost them together without a twinge of remorse.

I can’t speak for pie, but sympathize with pies’ outrage over cakes’ brazen attempt at validation. Nice try cake – I still won’t eat you.