An Ode to Snow Days {and a Recipe for Snowflake Cake!}

We've had a handful of snow days so far this winter, and I look forward to each and every one.

As long as there aren't too many back-to-back, that is. A girl has her limits, you know, and it would only be a matter of time before my sanity boards a flight to warmer climates. I wish I could go with it, but alas, I'm stuck here in a polar vortex with four crazy lovely children.

But snow days do bring with them a sort of magic. It blows in across the threshold in the wee hours of the morning, along with the frigid air desperately seeking refuge from the winter wonderland outside as daddy trudges out the door on his way to work. A gratitude and relief takes up residence inside our cozy walls as we anticipate a day of nothing and everything all at the same time.

Snow, as unwelcome as it can be after Christmas, makes room. Shifts priorities. It moves responsibility to the side and sets childlike freedom in it's place. It takes away routine and instead brings fun and excitement. It pushes work to the bottom of the list and chooses to showcase rest and quality time together first.

I know that every day can't be a snow day, but I do look forward to them with as much anticipation as my children. And I'll continue to cherish any that blow our way. So without further ado...

Ode to Snow Days
By Jacqui Roberts

Oh, eagerly envisaged days of no school…
Temperatures plummet, flurries swirl in globe-like
The freezing cold holds promise of lingering leisure.
Anticipated by student, sage and parents alike
We wish and hope and pray for an ensuing snow day.
With a penny under the pillow of each little tyke,
Pajamas on backwards, ice cubes down the toilet, 
Elation is well-earned upon receiving the call.

Cue the deleted alarms, warm covers and cuddles
To sleep in past eight and make a big brunch,
Which really becomes lunch, as time is muddled.
But there are no complaints, no room for that,
Only giggles and shrieks from sibling huddles.
Building forts, watching movies, sipping cocoa
Mom, enjoying the mess, leaves cleaning for later

Most of the day, that is, until the children must go
Outside to play in the soft, sparkling white
That fell all night under a cover of deep indigo.
The same sky, now a bright blue, offers opportunity
For endless tumbling, unlike falling dominos.
We treasure the impromptu gift, time to be together
A poignant blend of laughing, fighting and affection.


To continue the wintery spirit, I have a new recipe for you! It reminds me of a fresh dusting of powder on a chilly snow day, but words do it no justice...

You guys, this cake. I just can't even.

If you're a fan of coconut cake, YOU WILL LOVE THIS. Period. End of story. Even if you don't think you love coconut cake, you still need to try it, because you will now.

I started with iambaker's homemade yellow cake mix and made a few adjustments and some complimentary frosting. Her recipe is the best homemade cake I have ever had--infinitely better then the store-bought kind, and with ingredients you already have in your pantry. 

This is the perfect cake recipe for a snow day, but you certainly don't have to wait for the next one before you make it. Enjoy!

Snowflake Cake
{makes one 9x13 cake}

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs

Place all ingredients into a stand mixer (or a large bowl to mix by hand) and mix a few minutes until only small lumps remain. Pour into greased baking dish and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or until the cake is fully cooked in the middle. Let cool.

And I have to say something else. I know that the ingredients call for regular, processed flour and refined white sugar (insert horrified emoji + thumbs down), but listen: IT'S CAKE. If there's one thing I've learned about whole-grain, non-refined foods on this whole food journey, it's that they don't translate well into cake form. They just don't. Believe me, I've tried.

Cake, by very definition, isn't supposed to be good for you, people, so just suck it up and use the flour and sugar. Because bad cake is worse then no cake at all. If you don't eat the whole thing yourself, you'll be just fine, okay? And if that's challenging for you, I have a solution: have a whole mess of kids and they'll eat most of it before you even get the chance. It works for me. 

Snowflake Frosting

1 stick butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut 
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut {sprinkle on top}

Cream butter and cream cheese in a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add the vanilla, powdered sugar and coconut, mixing periodically until fully combined. Frost cooled cake with an offset spatula, covering evenly. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup coconut on top. Nature's sprinkles are the best kind!

My kids loved this cake so much it only lasted 24 hours at our house…

Hope yours do, too!