Birthdays are a really big deal to me. Sometimes too much so, but that’s a completely different story. However, I typically don’t do a great job of planning anything too big because I always get insecure before planning a party. I typically end up getting really anxious and quickly dismissing any thoughts of anything more than a small birthday dinner. For whatever reason I always feel like I am going to somehow feel rejected if no one ends up coming. It’s irrational and pretty childish, but it is what it is.
Well, I decided that 26 was a good time to finally throw Goodman a party and put my insecurities aside. Thanks to my brother and sister in law, we pulled off a pretty awesome surprise party, and Goodman could not have been more surprised. Or felt more loved. It was so cool to see how many people came and made the intentional effort to come and celebrate him. How many people love him and showed up for him. It was such a huge reflection of the kind of man he is.
There truly is something so special about him. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that his middle name is Goodman. He is genuinely one of the kindest, most sincere, hard-working, and persistent people I know. He loves fiercely, and gently corrects. He never fails to do what he needs to for our family, and that is something I will never take for granted. He is steadfast. He is patient. He is our rock, and he is the man we love to celebrate. I’m so glad other people were able to celebrate with us this year.
Since Goodman’s birthday was yesterday, and Faye and I are out of town, we did the whole cake and candle shebang this past weekend. Faye and I made him a light coconut cake with banana cream icing. It was so good, and perfect for a summer night. I found this recipe about 5 years ago, and have made it countless times. It is always such a huge hit, and one of the easiest cakes I’ve ever made with only 3 ingredients.
Since the first time I made this, I have changed a few things here and there, but here is the original recipe which is seriously incredible. Dashing Dish is a great website that we have been members of for years. This recipe is free, but there are a lot of other recipes on there that are well worth the monthly fee.
*I am sharing the version we made for his birthday, but it is just a few substitutions from the original.
- 1 box vanilla cake mix, dry (can use gluten free mix)
- 1 TBS Coconut extract
- 1 (20 oz) can, no sugar added crushed pineapple (do not drain)
- 1 cup cold skim milk (or milk of choice)
- 1 box Banana Cream instant pudding (dry)
- 1 (16oz) Container Cool Whip (full fat)
- 1 TBS Coconut extract
- Optional Topping: crushed graham crackers
- Preheat oven to 350 & spray 2 round cake pans with non-stick spray
- Combine cake mix, coconut extract, and crushed pineapple. Stir until smooth
- Divide among the 2 pans, and bake according to the box directions
- Whisk together milk, pudding mix, and coconut extract in another bowl. (Start with the milk and then add the pudding)
- Fold in cool whip, and then refrigerate until ready to frost cakes
- When cakes are COMPLETELY cool, frost each layer and then stack on top of one another. (I typically frost the bottom one and then frost the top one once it is in place)
- Crush graham crackers and sprinkle on top
- Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve