Saturday, February 9, 2013

February Days: Dessert and Table Decor for Valentine's Day and More

The Better Homes & Gardens Holiday Cookbook  is such a enchanting mid-century cookbook (published 1959) that it is one of my favorite vintage books to share with you.  I often look through it for holiday inspiration.

The section for February included some charming home decor and food ideas for Valentine's Day and President's Day.  I now wish that I had a heart-shaped cake mold because this pink Valentine Cake is so delightfully easy to make (original recipe below) and would make a charming end for a romantic Valentine's Day dinner.

Note the silver or silver-plated "cake breaker," a cake cutter designed specifically for angel food cakes, pictured in the background, like this one on Etsy:

Valentine Cake

1 package white cake mix
1 package fluffy instant frosting mix
Red food coloring
1/2 cup flaked coconut

Mix cake batter according to package directions.  Pour into 2 paper-lined heart-shaped pans and bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.

Prepare frosting; tint pink with red food coloring.  Tint coconut pink (add food coloring to 1 tablespoon water until you get the color you want.  Put coconut in a jar; add colored water, cap jar, and shake until uniformly tinted.  Dry on a paper towel.)

Frost cooled cake.  Leaving a 2 1/2 to 3 inch border around the top of the cake, trace a heart in frosting and fill in with tinted coconut.


The "February Days" section has additional food and decor ideas for Valentine's Day and President's Day that you might enjoy (click on the photo to enlarge):

The photo above shows another lovely centerpiece made with a paper doily, carnations, and one pink rose. And aren't those white heart-shaped dessert plates with the heart trim just perfect?

How are you celebrating Valentine's Day?  Do you cook a meal for yourself and your sweetie, go out to a restaurant, or do you ignore this day entirely (smile)? 


  1. Bake your cake in one square pan and one round pan of the same size. Cut the circle in half, and place each half on the top of the square to make a heart. You won't see the seams once it's frosted.

    We almost always eat in because of the insane price mark-ups. Guaranteed this year with a new baby.

    1. That's a really good idea, Reagan, especially to make only a one-layer cake.

      Sometimes the special Valentine's Day menus are interesting but we eat in as well because of the crowds.

  2. My maternal grandma made the loveliest, airiest angel food and chiffon cakes when I was little (and orange one - which I believe she'd been making since the 50s) was the very best, IMO, and had one of those delightful cake servers with the fork-line tines. This post reminds me that I should pick up one of my own the next time I chance upon one in good shape at a yard sale or thrift store.

    Wishing you a sweetly fantastic Valentine's Day, dear Collette!
    ♥ Jessica


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