A tiny hand clutches a peeled maroon half-crayon and fills a page with rainbows, flowers, a rapunzel-haired princess, and a multi-tiered cake. A frown of concentration is matched with a stuck-out tongue, followed by a pause. Previously white, the page–now completely filled on both sides–is lifted high and reflected upon with at least a small degree of satisfaction. “Mom? Could you write the words for my birthday card to Daddy?”
A small window opens to her four-year-old heart when she asks me to transcribe something for her, and I love it. She has two scraggly, stumpy crayons picked out for me to alternate between in the tiny space allotted for the official 2017 birthday message.
“Dear Daddy, You love me more than birthday cake.“
I smile, but pause before I attempt to compose the words in my own “needs improvement” handwriting, and confirm with her that she doesn’t want the card to say “I love you more than birthday cake.”
She does not.
And it wasn’t until later, when she was dancing around the kitchen singing, “your love never fails, never gives up–NO! Never runs out on me,” –on repeat– that it clicked. The best way that she can express love to her dad is to tell him that she feels confident in his love for her.
And she does with good reason. He’s her Dollar Tree balloon buyer, scary movie advocate, blanket bundle and carrier, shoulder ride-giver, and late night story teller. On top of everything else he does and is to our family. But most importantly, her deepest of souls knows that he will always be there. And what greater an expression of love could there be, than a four-year-old girl expressing this to her dad on his birthday. That he loves her more than birthday cake. Because he does.
But will you?? Try this recipe for David’s official birthday cake: Pumpkin Cheesecake.
And when you are tasting this delicious dessert with a cup of coffee or some friends this holiday season, you might reflect upon just who–or Who–loves you more than birthday cake.
- 12 ritz crackers*
- 4 graham cracker sheets (12 pieces)
- 3 T brown sugar
- ½ t Pumpkin Spice Order Here
- ¼ C butter, melted
*Use all graham crackers or all ritz crackers if you just have one. We usually have both in the house.
- Two 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup of sour cream
- 1 cup pureed pumpkin
- 2 t Pumpkin Spice Order Here
- 3 eggs at room temp
- 1 t vanilla
- 2 T maple syrup
- 1 ¼ cup of sugar
- 3 T flour
Whew that is kind of a lot of ingredients. No big deal if you don’t have maple syrup, although I do recommend using it to make some delicious whipped cream as a topping. Once you have everything out and softened, this recipe is easy and fool-proof, I promise.
First, make your crust by crushing 24 crackers (of any kind really), tossing with sugar and spice and pouring in the bottom of a spring-form pan. Melt butter and pour on top of crumb mixture. Use a fork or spoon to press crust along the bottom of spring-form pan.
Once your crust is complete, all you do is literally mix everything else together and pour into crust. Seriously. Just make sure your cream cheese and eggs are at room temp and everything should come together nicely.
Bake for 50-60 min at 375°
If you don’t want the cheesecake to “tear,” you could try adding a pan of water to underneath, but honestly that’s how I can tell it’s done!