"Here’s something I bet you never noticed. But once I point it out, you’ll never fail to notice it again. A small, family-owned bakery is a happy place. Think about it. When was the last time you walked into a bakery and found a cranky person? It just doesn’t happen. The people behind the counter are cheerful. The customers are cheerful. Even the sounds and the smells of the place—totally cheerful.
I bet if a study was done on the air quality of a bakery, pheromones would be found. One of the happiest recipes in my grandmother’s arsenal is this one. It’s actually a pound cake, but Gram called it Szczęeśsliwe ciastko. Roughly translated into English, that means -- you already guessed it, didn’t you? “Happy Cake.” This is distinguished by its sunny yellow color and by the fact that it’s impossible to eat a slice and not feel happy." - Susan Wiggs

Happy Cake

  • Serves: 12


  • 1 pound cake flour (3 cups)
  • 1 pound eggs (about six)
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened (don’t substitute)
  • 1 pound (about 2-1/4 cups) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder


  • 1Preheat oven to 325’ F.
  • 2Grease and flour a bundt or tube pan.
  • 3Beat the butter until light and gradually add the sugar, vanilla and then the eggs, one at a time.
  • 4With mixer on low, add the buttermilk.
  • 5Sift together all the dry ingredients and add slowly.
  • 6Pour the batter into the pan and bake for about 1 hour and twenty minutes, until a thin blade or toothpick comes out clean.
  • 7Allow the cake to cool 15 or 20 minutes in the pan.
  • 8Then gently remove it, and serve at room temperature with fresh fruit or lemon curd.

Some of Susan's Christmas Romances

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