dinette cake avec kirsch et also kirsch glaze

. . .

Today is Isa’s birthday. She’s my French sister. I acquired her when my brother was smart enough to grab her and never let her go. They live in France with the two perfect little girls they made for me.

Isa is all pretty and stuff, and is one of those annoying people who wakes up in the morning looking good enough to go out in public without bathing. I’m talking no make up, people. She just rolls out of bed and is all: lets go to a market! It really fries my bacon. Mostly because when I wake up, it looks like rats have been sucking on my hair.

Also, as far as I can tell, Isa is not afraid to be seen in a bathing suit. In my eyes, this makes her about the bravest person I know. I don’t even own a bathing suit. Should I ever be taken hostage by some sort of militaristic organization (I guess a food-related war has broken out in this scenario), I imagine they would make me parade around in a bathing suit. Without the use of self-tanner. But Isa is child of the French seashore. Basically, she’s a mermaid. That’s how it works over there.

So, Isa, my beauteous French mermaid, I made something for you. I made you this cake. It takes something seemingly simple – some butter, flour and eggs – and makes it just a little more special. Like you did with our family. You took our sh*t to the next level. I took an old-school recipe for dinette cake and then added Kirsch. That’s a cherry brandy. And then I made a creamy Kirsch glaze, and spread it all over the top. The Kirsch gives the cake a gentle cherry-almond flavour. And the glaze gives the cake a kick in the pants.

I hope you have the happiest of birthdays, dear friend.

. . .

Dinette Cake with Kirsch and Kirsch Glaze – cake recipe adapted only slightly from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook (1969) – print and bake

Makes one 9×9 inch square pan.

For the cake:

  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup whole/homogenized milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 teaspoons Kirsch

For the glaze:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup confectioner’s (icing) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Kirsch
  • 1 tablespoon hot water (more or less according to desired consistency)

To make the cake:

Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 9 inch square baking pan.

Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on low for about 30 seconds. (You could, of course, use a hand-held mixer.) Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl, and then mix on medium speed for about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl a couple of times. You will probably have some small lumps of butter in the mixture. Don’t fret.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, until cake is golden and a cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

To make the creamy glaze:

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in the confectioner’s sugar and Kirsch. Stir in the water, remove from heat, and then continue mixing until all lumps are gone. Spread over slightly warm cake. (Make your glaze just before you plan to use it, as it will get crusty if it sits for any time. Should this happen, stir well before spreading.)


  1. emmalina73 on March 15, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Ah c’est tres bien ma petit chou fleur! C’est une very bon cake et looks tres deliceaux or something. Oui!

    One for the cook book my friend. Bon Appetit!

    • movita beaucoup on March 15, 2012 at 11:16 pm

      We are going to take Paris by storm. They won’t know what we’re saying, but that will make it easy to do the whole storm thing… oui? Non?

  2. susanna eve on March 15, 2012 at 10:29 am

    You made me all teary eyed:) You have a way with words as well as flour and all that other baking stuff.

    • movita beaucoup on March 15, 2012 at 7:48 pm

      Oh, Susanna! You are such a softie…

  3. Lan on March 15, 2012 at 10:40 am

    i love the lighting in these pictures, so spring-time and cheerful!

    so, i guess it’s appropriate to down this cake, not with a glass of milk, but with shots of kirsch?

    • movita beaucoup on March 15, 2012 at 11:17 pm

      Oh yes! Shot after shot after shot…

  4. Jen @ Juanita's Cocina on March 15, 2012 at 10:42 am

    I have a niece named Isa. Isa is 6, likes to kick boys, likes to tell people her real name is Michael Jackson, and cuts of her dolls’ hair.

    I think I like your Isa better.

    Happy birthday Isa!

    Wonderful cake, mon ami!

    • emma on March 15, 2012 at 10:58 am

      Who didn’t kick a few boys back when they were six?



    • movita beaucoup on March 15, 2012 at 11:19 pm

      I dunno… your Isa sounds pretty badass! Let’s just make sure we keep her on our side, okay?

  5. emma on March 15, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Were I a beauteous French mermaid, I would manger that cake right to crumbs! Alas, I am just another person afraid to be seen in a swimsuit.

    • movita beaucoup on March 15, 2012 at 11:20 pm

      What’s so great about swimsuits anyway? I mean, the ocean is cold. A well-insulated snow suit would be far more practical…

  6. P.Kitty on March 15, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    As always, I heart you. The cake, the photos the words: c’est mag-ni-freakin-fique!

    • movita beaucoup on March 15, 2012 at 11:25 pm

      Aw, Pussycat. Tu est très spécial avec moi dans le bibliothèque. Je pense que tu est formidable et fermé le port s’il vous plait. Et aussi, très bon pas de chat. Oui!


  7. Susi K (@BocaFrau) on March 15, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Sounds delicious and looks delicious and Isa is a very lucky mermaid indeed to have you bake this for her. Will you ship it to France in dry ice? Kirschwasser…ja, ja, ja oh ze stories I could tell. 🙂

    • movita beaucoup on March 15, 2012 at 11:26 pm

      I’m thinking I have some similar stories to share about peach schnapps…

  8. glutenfreezen on March 15, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    The cake is not only beautiful but sounds amazing. I too am blessed with wonderful in-laws. That’s a great thing because I know people who aren’t and well, yikes.

    Happy Birthday Isa!

    • movita beaucoup on March 15, 2012 at 11:29 pm

      Right? I love Isa! And I love 2.0’s family as well. Man, I got lucky. I sure hope my sister doesn’t screw things up and marry some doofus…

  9. Karen Kemp on March 15, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    I have no clue who you are movita, but I stumbled across your website when I wanted to distress some furniture..I subscribed (you are the only blog I have ever subscribed to) I have to say you make me laugh out loud..a delight..Am still chuckling about the hair in the morning coment

    • movita beaucoup on March 15, 2012 at 7:49 pm

      This is one of the most flattering comments I’ve ever received! You have totally made my day… xox

  10. frugalfeeding on March 15, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    What a delicious, pretty and light looking cake – beautiful, Movita. You know, I do love the rat-sucking-on-hair look, exquisite.

    • movita beaucoup on March 15, 2012 at 11:31 pm

      Thanks, friend! Now, if only I could get the rats to help out with the housework…

  11. spree on March 15, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    ok, i sort of did this snorty laugh when i read about rats sucking your hair! movita! i’ve pictured you, always in that chef’s cap, adorable all times of day and night. (would it help, do you think, to wear it to bed?)

    • movita beaucoup on March 15, 2012 at 7:50 pm

      This idea is genius! Now, I just have to go out and get myself one of those hats…

  12. Jenn and Seth (@HomeSkilletCook) on March 15, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    this cake sounds lovely, absolutely lovely

    • movita beaucoup on March 15, 2012 at 11:33 pm

      Thanks! That hibiscus iced tea over on your blog is sounding awfully nice too…

  13. shannon on March 15, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    and THIS is why i share your love of vintage Betty Crocker cookbooks; cherry brandy slathered all over innocent-looking cakes. They knew how to do it back in the sixties.

    i must make this.

    • movita beaucoup on March 15, 2012 at 7:46 pm

      Well, now I’m excited to brag that the original recipe had zero alcohol. No Kirsch in sight. It was just a yellow cake with… brace yourself… a chocolate chip glaze. So I guess I’m the one stealing the innocence from baked goods. But still, Betty Crocker? Best source of inspiration ever. EVER!

      • shannon on March 15, 2012 at 10:46 pm

        no way? chocolate chip glaze!?!?! and here i thought kirsch was a staple of the sixties homemaker. i’m so happy you switched it up and went “adults only” on this cake.

  14. thewobblingoblins on March 15, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    no brother means no french mermaids in the family. but maybe one of my sisters will marry a duke or something. immaterial, really, because i’m pretty sure this cake will elevate our family to the next level without the need for noble blood. can’t wait to make it!

    • movita beaucoup on March 16, 2012 at 9:05 am

      I wish my sister would marry a duke. But she’s terribly selfish…

  15. Savory Simple on March 15, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    “It really fries my bacon.”

    I’m stealing that!

  16. Rock Salt on March 15, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Love. My sister from another mister is also awesome, she’s not a French Mermaid, more of an American Pixie. Maybe I will make her this cake!

    • movita beaucoup on March 16, 2012 at 9:07 am

      Well, pixies and mermaids are in the same category of awesomeness. Thus, you should make your American Pixie this cake. Or any cake, really. Because cakes are the best way to show pixies some love…

  17. Sharon on March 15, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Perhaps when that war breaks out, the rats who have feasted on your hair will come to your rescue. Or, after your parade, the enemy will become demoralized and surrender immediately so you can make more of this cake. Stranger things have happened! Love this post.

    • movita beaucoup on March 17, 2012 at 8:35 am

      I guess I should be nicer to the rats. You know, just in case…

  18. musingmar on March 15, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    Oh Movita, I was captivated by this post! I read it on my iPhone (yay, I got one for Christmas and I LOVE it!) this morning, and it was on my mind all day. Your charming affection for your sister-in-law, the hilarious way you expressed it, and of course, that cake! Simple, yet so appealingly elegant, and the thought of that deceptively kick-ass glaze will have me running to the liquor store for a bottle of Kirsch. (I may even use some to bake this cake!) All I have to add is, why oh why can I not take pictures like yours? Maybe it’s time for photography school…

    • movita beaucoup on March 17, 2012 at 8:38 am

      Thanks!! Do you play Bakery Story on your iPhone? If not, you should. It’s the best thing ever. (Aside from the iPhone.)

      I can’t tell you how flattered I am that you like my photos. It’s been a struggle and causes me a great deal of stress! I’ve been debating taking some classes – because I’m betting a pro could say: but why would you do it in five steps when you could just do this! CLICK! (My current method involves taking – no lie – at least 200 photos for every post.) But, oh it is so much fun…

  19. Isa mermaid on March 16, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Dear movita sister,

    Your cake looks absolutely perfect and I will make you bake it again next time I swim my tail all the way across the pond. Last night Adopamop brought a chocolate fondant and some rasberry tartelettes to the table, with a singing candle. The girls blew it several times (read showered it with saliva) and then we happily shared the cakes. Yum!
    Please keep the oven hot because you have two more birthday cakes to make soon. Turnip wants a giraffe cake and Pumpkin has asked for a fairy cake, a princess cake, a flower cake and a pink cake. Is it too late to hold another contest? 🙂

    • movita beaucoup on March 17, 2012 at 8:41 am

      I am very glad that you were served sweets on your special day. Also, I am confused by the singing candle. But I guess that’s a French thing. There is something terribly gross about the candle blowing aspect of birthdays, isn’t there? I mean, if someone served me dessert at a restaurant and then blew all over it, I’d skip the tip.

      Why must all of you Frenchies have your birthdays so close together? Very inconvenient…


  20. afternoondlite on March 16, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Gorgeous! what a great blog, cannot wait to make this cake! photos are great!

  21. Eggton on March 16, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Not to get all serious on you, but this is one of my new favorite posts of yours. I love how punchy the paragraphs are, and that glaze looks almost opalescent, the way you photographed it.

    All right, so: if you get kidnapped by the rebels and it looks like there might be a bathing suit parade, we need a code word you can tweet me so that I know to get in the car with some cumbersome pantaloons and drive to Canada. And it can’t be just a basic “Cripes” because that could get confusing.

    • movita beaucoup on March 17, 2012 at 8:31 am


      Would that work?

  22. Sydney Jones on March 16, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    “She just rolls out of bed and is all: lets go to a market! It really fries my bacon.”
    where do you come up with this stuff 🙂 oh, by the way I am one of those people too. I am totally lying to you though. I do roll out of bed and want to go to markets but I don’t wake up looking ready.
    Your cake looks incredibly delicious, I would probably eat it all 🙂
    You always make me smile, Mo!!

  23. ModernAlice on March 17, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    I absolutely love your description of Isa! Your description makes her sounds so imaginable. Your hilarious honesty makes all your posts so fun to read.

  24. pencilkitchen on March 19, 2012 at 6:17 am

    Do you have someone in your family i can marry… Seeing as i can get your cakes that way xD

  25. filingawaycupcakes on March 21, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Your recipes are so darling and your pictures are wonderful!

  26. bitsandbreadcrumbs on March 26, 2012 at 11:43 am

    How delightful! This brings back some childhood memories for sure. Am so happy to discover your blog via Rock Salt. Love your illustrations.

  27. Cate's Kitchen Adventures on March 27, 2012 at 6:46 am

    That was quite possibly the most lovely post I’ve ever read! Ever! Can’t wait to give the recipe a try 🙂

  28. movita beaucoup on March 29, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Thanks, friends! I love reading your comments. Every one. Especially the ones from the weirdos. (Yah. I’m talkin’ about you.)


  29. Your adoring student, Megan on February 17, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    So, I was browsing your cake selection to see which kind of cake you should make me for my birthday (or post surgery), and I clicked on this one because I didn’t know a single word in the title. I choose this one. Don’t forget: March 18th

    Much love and appreciation 🙂

  30. movita beaucoup on October 29, 2014 at 8:08 am

    Comments on this post are now closed as it was published in March 2012. Happy baking!