Murphy's 5th Birthday Cake - And Leftovers for the Chickens


I don't like looking back on our time in California. A lot of it feels like failure to me. I'm learning to see it through different lenses, but that's an exercise I have not mastered yet. But I like looking back on our early years with Murphy, because I know that wasn't a failure.

We got Murphy the very night I finished my last final. It was Contracts law and I finished 20 minutes early so that I could drive to Los Angeles and pick him up. Small and crying, I held him in my hands and he was beautiful. He sat in the passenger seat, so tired from the adventure. I sang the Carpenters, I remember. I cried a little, I remember. He gave me a feeling of purpose when I didn't know if things were falling apart. He gave me something to dedicate my time towards; the question of returning to law school was still up in the air.

And for five years, I have loved Murphy with my whole heart. He's gentle. The sweetest dog I've ever met. He wants to be by my side for hours. He finds small crevices to tuck himself into. He has a tooth that's longer than the other and so his smile is a little crooked. He has a sweet tooth, too. And I know Murphy is the reason I changed five years ago (or started to, at least). I wanted to be better because of him. He, as well as Elsa and Milo, gave me the purpose I had been missing - a family. That love was not borne from opportunity, but a requirement for happiness and I have tried to live this more as I have gotten older.

I am lucky. I am lucky to love my dogs so much and I am lucky to have had Murphy as our first. Five years have been perfect with him and I am grateful for many years more.

And it's hard to wrap all of this up in one post, let alone one cake, but every day is a devotional to putting their needs before my own. The cake was impromptu, using ingredients from around the kitchen, but I made sure it has a little sweetness to it for him. And when they got sick of having cake for breakfast, I scraped off the icing for my other family, the chickens. I don't own anything on this land of ours, but I'll be damned if I don't want to make sure everyone's happy.

Ingredients for Cake:

  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (can sub for another cup AP)
  • 1/4 ts baking soda
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 whole milk 
  • 2 egg
  • 1/2 ts cinnamon

Recipe for Cake: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Prepare a 13x9 inch cake pan with oil and parchment paper
  3. In a bowl, sift flours and baking soda
  4. In a stand mixer, beat all remaining ingredients
  5. On low, add flour until incorporated 
  6. Beat on high for one minute
  7. Transfer to prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean

Ingredients for Icing:

  • 1 c yogurt
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup marshmallow fluff
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar 

Directions for Icing:

  1. For icing, mix all ingredients and apply to cooled cake. I also topped mine with Girl Pow sprinkles