Birthday Cake for Jesus

Here it is. Our birthday cake for Jesus. Made yesterday and stored safely away in the freezer. Okay, so it’s a little lopsided with frosting nearly running off the plate, but I assure you the taste will make up for the less than perfect presentation. You see, this is our family’s famous orange cake.

As far back as I can remember, Mom made orange cakes for us on our birthdays. At least for those of us who requested them — and that was nearly all of us because this cake is beyond delicious. I’m not sure where she got the recipe. As I remember, it was just from a small white paperback booklet of recipes, though I could be wrong (sisters, do you remember?). Regardless of its origin, it was a special cake made only on our special days, our birthdays.

Of course, I adopted Mom’s orange cake recipe and have made it many times over the years myself — again, usually only on someone’s birthday. Several years ago, however, it got worked into our family’s traditional Christmas fare. I believe it was Dad who suggested that we should really have a birthday cake for Jesus on His special day, and what better cake to have than the one we loved eating on our own birthdays?

The baking of Jesus’ birthday orange cake somehow fell to me, and it has become my annual contribution to Christmas dinner. It’s also become a great tool to show the children in the family that Christmas is in fact someone’s birthday. The birthday of One so great that the world virtually comes to a standstill to join in the celebration.

And since a birthday celebration is not complete without the giving of gifts, let me be one of the first this season to give you a little gift in honor of our Savior’s birthday — the recipe for our birthday cake for Jesus. (You will find it at the end of the post below the scripture).

I’d also like to give you the opportunity to give a little gift. Maybe you’d like to tell us about one of your family’s favorite Christmas treats or even give us the recipe. Or perhaps you can share one of the things your family does to focus on the birth of Jesus in the midst of all the holiday hoopla. So go ahead. What little gift can you give today?

“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” Hebrews 13:16

Fresh Orange Layer Cake

Mix together:
2 c. flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. soda
1 t. salt

1/2 c. shortening
grated rind of 1 orange
2/3 of 1 c. liquid (1/4 c. orange juice & 3/4 c. water)

Beat 2 minutes at medium speed and then add 2 eggs and rest of liquid. Mix well.

Pour into greased and floured 8-in. layer pans. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes (I start checking it at about 20 minutes — my oven is crazy and I don’t want to overbake it. Not sure what a regular oven would do — I would start checking early.) Cool cake before frosting. (Go ahead and set out the margarine for the frosting so it can be getting soft.)


2 1/4 TB. flour
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. shortening (half margarine)
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 c. nuts
1 c. powdered sugar

Gradually blend milk into flour. Cook until thick. Cool till lukewarm.

Meanwhile, cream shortening (half margarine) with granulated sugar and salt, using high speed mixer. Add lukewarm paste. Beat until fluffy. Fold in vanilla and nuts. Use 1/3 for filling. To remainder blend in 1 c. powdered sugar and frost the cake.

*My photo


  1. Yummy…makes me think of Father Tim in the Mitford series and that orange cake they all loved so much. Adding this one to my holiday baking!


  2. Ha! Elaine beat me to it! Hers was the exact comment I was about to make! :o)

    For a peek at Father Tim’s cake recipe, go here:

    I’ve made this recipe before, and it’s over the top delicious! I’ll have to give yours a try (after the ol’ diet thing is over, of course!)


  3. When my best friend Valerie’s little sister Stephanie was 2, she requested a cake for the petit bebe Jesu (she spoke 1/2 English and 1/2 French at the time, it has become a tradition in their family. I remember being a teen and singing Happy Birthday to Him with her.

  4. Yum! I don’t care what it looks like, it tastes soooo good! Maybe you can save me a piece :)

  5. Blessings Cheryl…Sounds so yummy delicious…and Happy Birthday Jesus! Aren’t we early? I guess it’s never to early for Jesus!

    I came via reading your comment on Beth’s and then recalled that you were the one, who started her on the Gratitude Journal! Now I see you also know peaceful Elaine!

    I noticed to Devotional books in your sidebar that it looks like you were a contributing author. I’m going to check them out but it will be almost a year til I’m home to get them. Meanwhile I will just enjoy from your writings here! Thank you for your inspirational ideas! (and a great recipe)Do you think this could work in a microwave??? I really miss USA sweet desserts!!!

  6. Well as far as Christmas yummy traditions…Sausage Balls for Chrismas morning breakfast..and Egg Nog for an evening sip.

    Your orange cake sounds wonderful..may have to give it a whirl!!

    As far as our focus being in the most important place…We read the REAL Christmas story every Christmas morning before we open any gifts.

    One of these days..we will get a recording of my husband’s granddad doing the reading..that is HIS favorite thing.

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  8. This cake looks and sounds delicious!! I know that I’m going to have to try this out–I have a daughter with a birthday in January, so that will be the time.

    As far as Christmas traditions, we always have Christmas Candy Cane Breads for breakfast on Christmas morning.

    My very favorite memory of Christmas when I was young was our Advent calendar. Every day, a new verse leading up to the birth of Jesus.

    I don’t have this calendar anymore, but in the header of my warmharte blog, I’m changing the verse everyday to tell the story of Jesus’ birth. Doing this has brought back good memories of my childhood, when my mom, brother and I would sit and read this every evening. We just wouldn’t open one door–we’d start at the beginning every night and then stop at that day’s verse.

    Thanks for the delicious recipe. The recipe for the Candy Cane Breads is on my blog if you’re interested.


  9. Welcome to first-time visitors Peggy & Satria! Please come back and visit any time.

    I enjoyed all the interesting tidbits of info the rest of you shared. I haven’t read the Mitford series so didn’t know anything about Father Tim’s orange cake. Sounds like I need to add that series to my reading list :)

  10. All this talk of cake is making me hungry! Our one and only dessert that is a MUST at Christmas and birthdays isn’t a cake, but a pie.

    Yes, I have made this simple lime pie for each of my kid’s birthdays since…since many years ago.

    1 graham cracker pie shell
    1 7/8 oz. tub of Cool-Whip
    1 can CONDENSED milk
    6 oz of frozen lime concentrate
    few drops of green food coloring (everyone teases me about the year I accidentally used blue instead of green!)

    Mix last 4 ingredients well then pour into the prepared shell. Refrigerate over night (some people like it frozen instead of refrigerated). Garnish with a few maraschino cherries in the center and serve.

    It’s sweet enough to knock your Christmas stockings right off the mantel.

    Merry Christmas,

  11. Oh, girlfriend…ask for the whole Mitford series for Christmas! It is one of the sweetest series of books I’ve ever read – truly one of my favorites.

  12. I love your tradition, it sounds delicious. Our tradition is to help at least one family have a Christmas who might not otherwise be able to afford one. Jesus gave His all, giving to others is the least we can do.

  13. That cake sounds and looks amazing!!!! I definitely want to try this recipe, thank you for sharing this sweet and very dear to your heart family recipe & tradition!

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