chocolatized peanut butter cake with caramel frosting
chocolatized peanut butter cake with caramel frosting

I was playing the part of the scattered but compelling single friend last Saturday night when I brought a cake to my friend Sam’s birthday at Hemingway’s in Hollywood. Chrissy and I had been celebrating our dear friend John’s birthday at the Edendale beforehand with a flourless chocolate cake, and we had decided I should run Chrissy home before heading to the second party with cake number two. By the time I arrived, three hours late, having given up on parking and relinquished the car to handsome Jordanian valets charging a small fortune, I was feeling a little underdressed in my jean jacket and flats, worried that guests had started to mutiny because the promised cake hadn’t turned up yet. I held up my cake carrier to the guy with the guest list in a kind of desperate gesture, and he led me past the line of college girls wearing child-sized black dresses back into the lounge, pounding music in full force.

sam smiling into her cake
am smiling into her cake !
*please note the reese’s pieces border

Hemingway’s is kind of like the Beauty and the Beast library fully realized for sophisticated young adults. The lounge has endless shelves of old books leading up to high ceilings, booths big enough to dance on, and a wide bar in the back. It’s beautiful, and everyone who works there was suspiciously nice. I can’t tell if they’re going for the feel of a hipster bar masquerading as a Hollywood club, or the other way around. There was certainly a lot of flannel, and some well-meaning attempts at dancing from the guys standing nearby, who I really felt for; club music seems hard to dance to, especially when trying to entice girls. My friends, however, were having a big time dancing in the booth, drinking and celebrating Sam, who at some point had accumulated light-up Minnie Mouse ears.

Sam told me she had a dream I made her a caramel chocolate peanut butter cake, so that’s what I made for her, chocolatizing the peanut butter cake recipe I have from The Cake Mix Doctor and adding caramel frosting. (The amazing Cake Mix Doctor must not drench her cakes in frosting like I do– I had to triple her frosting recipe plus a little more to make enough for a four layer cake.) Chrissy was in charge of decorating.

Sam had tons of sweet friends there to eat the cake, but I had realized as soon as I arrived that it would be difficult to offer cake to people outside our party. Even regular cakebarring has its challenges, but Hemingway’s was extra dark and extra loud, and every male person close to us was eyeing a girl to corner with their dance moves. Luckily, I kind of forgot about this, as I spent most of the party talking to Sam’s friend, who asked for my number even after I revealed my entire cakebarring ploys to him, under the incorrect impression that it was something he already knew about.


I’ve never made date plans with someone fully aware of what I’m doing, so this will be very interesting.

Special thanks to my sister for helping me make both birthday cakes last weekend, and Chrissy, as always, for decorating! x

birthday celebr8ters val, liz, and ashlei
birthday celebr8ters – val, liz, and ashlei
remains of flourless chocolate cake visible on table
birthday party part 1 for john !
*remains of flourless chocolate cake visible on table
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  1. Have fun on your date!

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