A Birthday Boy’s Dream Digger Cake (Gluten-Free)

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Recently, my oldest son had his third birthday, and as I write this, I can’t believe we have had three of these celebrations already. “Is he really three?” I ask myself. Then I remind myself of the importance of cherishing each moment, for I have learned this to be true: time does fly. 🙂

In light of the conversation of cherishing each moment, one of the things I have always loved is the time to celebrate a holiday, a birthday, or a special occasion. Not only is celebration fun, but I truly believe that we must make time to honor those moments and seasons of joy. Ecclesiastes 3:4 says that there is “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance” (ESV, emphasis mine). Yes, there is a time to celebrate, and birthdays are no exception.

With that said, my son’s third birthday this year was such a wonderful time. He is in love with anything “digger” or “dumptruck”, and so I knew that our celebration would revolve around that theme. When I originally started planning his party, I had a full menu of which I planned to serve our few guests and then to top that off, I also wanted to serve birthday dessert (Of course, right? I mean, who wouldn’t want birthday cake?! :)). Let me tell you… this birthday was about learning to simplify. I feel like I am constantly learning this lesson (aren’t we all?!). By the time the planning was done, I had decided that we would skip a meal and instead, have a fun digger birthday cake with ice cream, strawberries & dip, and some leftover caramel popcorn I had in my freezer. I have always thought that simplifying like this would take away some of the fun and joy in the planning process; what I learned instead was that this actually left me (and my family!) less stressed it made planning much more of a blast. Plus it allowed for more time to relish in each moment of the birthday (cherishing the time, right? :)) rather than being concerned about details that, in all reality, didn’t matter “big picture”. Plus it gave me some time to give this cake a whirl; it truly was one of the best birthday celebrations.

So, what about this cake? 🙂 Let me tell you that looks can be deceiving! This actually was a very simple gluten-free cake to make. I utilized one of my favorite gluten-free baking brands (Pamela’s) and I was set! I also looked at a lot of Pinterest pictures! 😉 Enjoy this simple, yet fun way to spice up a boy’s birthday celebration. 🙂

For the Cake:
2 Bags Pamela’s Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake Mix
The remaining ingredients listed on the bag recipe (2 eggs, *1/2 cup oil, and 1 1/2 cups water) *I chose to use melted coconut oil for this recipe.

Directions: Lightly grease 2- 9 inch round pans and set aside. Follow the mixing and baking instructions for the “Luscious Chocolate Cake” recipe found on the bag. It is also important to fill the pans 2/3 full. You will have extra cake mix when you are done. Use it to make cupcakes! 🙂 When the cake is done, cool for 15 minutes and then run a knife along the sides to loosen, but do not pop out of the pans yet. Cool completely. In the meantime, make the frosting.

For the sake of simplicity, click on this link to find the frosting recipe. Here a couple of my notes regarding the frosting:
1) Semi-sweet chocolate chips work instead of chopping up the chocolate.
2) I used Brown Rice Syrup instead of the corn syrup to make sure the frosting was gluten-free.
3) My frosting was pretty runny yet by the time I was done preparing it. I followed her instructions and chilled it in the fridge until it was a little more set. I actually popped it in the freezer for a portion of the time, just to speed up the chilling process. 🙂
4) Follow the directions!!! Don’t skip the ice bath, etc. 🙂 You will be glad that you took the time to follow the extra steps. 🙂

Assembly Instructions:
1) On a large cutting board lined with foil, carefully pop out one of the cakes so that the flat side of the cake is face up. Frost the top of this layer with a generous amount of frosting. Carefully pop out the second cake and carefully lay it on top of the frosted layer, right side up. If your cake is rounded, may have to shave a little off the top of this layer to make sure that it is flat on the top.
2) Frost the remainder of the cake (top and sides). Don’t worry about being neat at first. Glob a generous portion on the top initially so that you have a lot of frosting with which to work. That way, you won’t get crumbs mixed in with your frosting.
3) Once your cake is frosted, smooth it out all over.
4) Cut a chunk out of one portion of the cake, but only cut down through one, rather than both layers. Set this piece aside.
5) Crumble the cut out piece and use this to fill the empty space in the cake. This will create the “dirt look”. You can also mix the cake crumbs with some crushed up gluten-free chocolate sandwich cookies.
6) Use any remaining crumbs to add extra “dirt” around or on top of the cake.
7) Complete the cake by adding a few digger truck toys on the top as well as around the base of the cake.
8) Serve with organic vanilla ice cream (Make sure to purchase the kind without mono and diglycerides and carrageenan.)

Enjoy!!!
*This post contains affiliate links.
*Thank you to Pinterest for all of the many “digger cakes” on display!
*Thank you to Our Best Bites for the frosting recipe. 🙂

Momma Bird’s Nest Jewelry (Guest Post by Renee)

What a blessing it is to be able to introduce Renee, the designer of the lovely Momma Bird’s Nest jewelry. She has a wonderful product with beautiful mission and message behind the making of these pieces, a line of jewelry of which I am honored to support. I own a necklace and earrings myself, and I can say that they are some of the most beautiful pieces of jewelry that I have. This may be the perfect gift for your mom for Valentine’s Day! (Make sure you check out the special PROMO at the end!) Enjoy the following guest post by the maker of Momma Bird’s Nest.
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I feel so honored that I have been asked to be a guest on Avocado Mommy. My name is Renee Abraham, and I am the founder and designer of Momma Bird’s Nest Jewelry. I am also, first and foremost, a follower of Christ, a wife, and a stay-at-home momma to 3 little munchkins!

Now that you know a little about me, you are probably asking, “What is Momma Bird’s Nest and why does it exist?” I’m glad you asked. Momma Bird’s Nest is a line of superior quality, nature-inspired jewelry, handcrafted to celebrate Motherhood.
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The background and two-fold vision of Momma Bird’s Nest:
This line of jewelry began after a multitude of compliments which I received as a result of the first nest of pearls I designed and wore as a symbol of my 3 children. To me, the nest is a parallel in many ways to my life as a Momma. It represents the natural instinct to create a safe home in which to nurture my children and the unexplainable “messes” that occur throughout the day but are part of what makes a “beautiful nest” (In fact, a few have occurred as I write this. Don’t worry; no risk to their safety was involved. :)). It also represents the idea that one day my little ones will spread their wings and fly while they will forever remain near to my heart.
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As other Mommas began requesting their nest, I was not prepared for the touching, joy-filled, heart-wrenching, and emotional stories each individual shared. Many were people I had known for years and had no idea the hardships they faced through infertility or miscarriage or even the loss of a child. I also was able to hear stories where individuals talked about their births and/or adoptions of each of their children and even grandchildren. My heart has become personally connected to each nest I design and the stories told through them. Seasons of elated joy to the deepest moments of sorrow, each Momma has a story to share, and yes, they’re significant and beautiful each in their own way. I have added many wings to nests to include a child or children whom they lost through miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion. It’s a beautiful way to symbolize how her child lives on in her heart and also a way to include babies who may not have been given a birth date. As I hear these stories, I’m more aware of the ministry that is found in women sharing their joys and heart-aches with each other. These stories inspire other mothers who have either faced or are facing those same seasons of life. If you’ve ever watched a Momma bird prepare her nest for her young, it starts out as, what seems to be a messy heap of collected debris, but when it is finished, it becomes an intricate and beautiful masterpiece. God is so gracious to use what seems like a chaotic mess to bring about a beautiful masterpiece, and that is true of each Momma’s story.
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The second part of the vision of Momma Bird’s Nest is to create a means in which to support the sanctity of life and to come alongside those who are on the “front-lines” of this battle every day. As a believer in the life of each unborn child, I feel even more compelled to do my part to preserve the value of life and encourage those around me. A portion of Momma Bird’s Nest proceeds is committed to a featured organization, foundation, or ministry that is fighting to preserve the sanctity of life.

Each nest is handcrafted by me in my home. I use only the finest materials so they can be worn and enjoyed for a lifetime! I love custom orders, creating new designs and even modifying my current designs for extra personalization. It is my goal to provide impeccable customer service!
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You can check out my full line of jewelry in my Etsy shop: http://www.mommabirdsnest.etsy.com
Also, you can follow me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/beautifulnest
Making a difference in the lives of many, one nest at a time!

Psalm 84:3 “Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young- a place near your altar, O Lord Almighty, my King and my God.”

NEW CUSTOMER PROMO!

10% discount on all first-time orders! PLUS Momma Bird’s Nest and Avocado Mommy is teaming up to support New Life Family Services (http://www.nlfs.org) by committing 20% of all Momma Bird’s Nest purchases to their ministry!

To redeem this Promotion, use COUPON CODE: AVOCADOMOMMY in Etsy shop checkout. http://www.mommabirdsnest.etsy.com

FREE SHIPPING on all orders!

Current turnaround time is 7-10 BUSINESS DAYS – If you need an order sooner please contact me.
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Testimonials:
“My husband recently purchased me a Momma Bird’s Nest necklace with a stone egg for each of my children. He also added the wing, but not because we lost a child. Recently, our daughter was diagnosed with a bad case of epilepsy. While we were in the hospital my cousins bought us a plague with the Psalms 91:4. It says, “He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust.” I had two other people call us and encourage us that we needed to run to the Lord and have Him be our covering. I was so blessed to get this necklace and love that the wing is a constant reminder that the Lord is our covering. Nothing it too big for our Heavenly Father! The wing has become a symbol of our trust in the Lord for our daughter.”
-Sarah from Bruce, WI

“When Lexi gave me a Momma Bird’s Nest necklace for Mother’s Day, she didn’t know how perfect it was and how much it meant to my heart.
Being a mother is one of my favorite things in life. In fact when I was a young girl and asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, my reply was “a mother”! I am blessed with 4 beautiful, amazing children; one girl and three boys. Between my third and fourth, in 1999, I had a miscarriage. I wasn’t very far along but far enough that there was a precious little baby that we buried under an oak tree in a beautiful oak grove on our property.
Then on May 10, 2009, Mother’s Day, more devastation came. My youngest son, Jedrek, 8 years old, was killed suddenly and tragically. After Jedrek’s accident, we were trying to find the perfect place for his grave so we went to the oak grove first, because the baby was there, it seemed like the right place. While we were looking around we noticed in one of the oak trees there was a place that had been hollowed out and there was a little bird’s nest inside. Jedrek’s daddy’s first thought was that the oak grove was too far from me; that Jedrek would be too far from me. But when we saw the bird’s nest and because the baby we lost was buried there, we knew it was the right place for our Jedrek’s grave. The comment I made when we discovered the nest was, “Momma’s nest”, and we knew it was the right place for my babies to be together; in Momma’s nest.
So when I got the necklace with the four eggs in the nest it couldn’t have been more perfect.
God is so amazing how He ministers His love and healing to us in meaningful ways when we are hurting.”
-Misty from Raton, NM

“I am so pleased with my Momma Bird’s Nest jewelry! I love that it was tailored just for me and for the story of my journey as a mother. It is so beautifully made and it is evident that it was hand crafted with special care. I love it, and I think it would be a perfect gift for any mother.”
-Grafton, WI

“Love my necklace. I have received alot of compliments on it. It is beautiful! Thank you! Great to deal with.Fast shipping.Would order again!”
-Prairie Farm, WI

“Loved the gift for my mother. When she received it, she was in tears. Thanks for making Mother’s Day so special for us.”
-Grove Town , GA

“Oh Renee~ They ARE SO BEAUTIFUL!!!! They (my daughters) all love them and have brought many tears…many thanks…much love and excitement…the best Christmas! Thank you again and again for such love put into each one of them ….you are precious Renee…Everything arrived beautifully.”
-Lafayette, MN
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*This post contains affiliate links.