Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Float Like a Butterfly

     I am a card carrying member of the Jeans Jumper Brigade.  Yes, I'm a homeschool Mom.  I can't even begin to describe how grateful I am that we are in a situation where I can stay home and deal with love on my kids.  I have wanted to homeschool since I heard there was such a thing.  Before I was married.  Before I had kids.  Blah, blah, blah, homeschooling is awesome, I'm awesome, my kids are awesome...

     As part of our awesome home school of awesomeness, we have been doing "Hawai'i Month" in the lead-up to our visit to the Big Island.  Our boys really hope to see the volcano and the lava tube, a macadamia nut farm, black sand beaches, and my youngest wants to eat shave ice and see a cowboy!  My wishlist mostly includes malasadas and mai tais...

     I had a mind to make you guys an Easter cake this week all covered up in coconut and then I realized how well this particular cake fits into our Hawai'i unit, too.  Coconut, bananas, pineapple, and vanilla all grow in Hawai'i!

     The boys helped me whip this together.  I got the recipe from my Mom.  When she gave it to me she thought it might be a recipe from a family friend, but having baked it, I can see that it's not the one she used to make.  Still, it's pretty darn yummy!  It's called a Butterfly Cake.  I've seen other similar recipes online called Hummingbird Cakes.

Aaahhh a cake lovely enough for a pedestal. 

Emperor Zurg crashed the photoshoot...

Butterfly Cake
2 C sugar
1 C oil
3 eggs
3 C flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
8 oz. can crushed pineapple
2 C mashed bananas
1 C chopped pecans
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Blend sugar, oil, and eggs well.  Sift flour, salt and baking soda together.  Add to the sugar mixture.  Add the rest of the ingredients.  Bake in a tube pan for 1 hour 10 minutes at 350°.  Remove from pans and cool on a wire rack for at least two hours before frosting.

16 oz box confectioner's sugar
8 oz cream cheese
1 stick unsalted butter
coconut flakes (optional)

     One of the Hummingbird Cake recipes I found said to divide the batter into three round cake pans and double the frosting recipe.  I used the frosting recipe above and baked it in two round cake pans.  As you can see, I didn't have quite enough frosting.  Also, dividing it into two pans caused the cake to be a little too thick, so the cake was pretty dry on the outside.  I remedied that by using a tip from Bakerella and used a spray bottle to spray some coconut milk on the cake to moisten it.  It didn't add as much coconut flavor as I was hoping, but it did a great job of moistening the cake!

Here is a little of what the library dished up for our study this month:

Pikoi and Other Legends of the Island of Hawai'i Our favorite story is "The Gift of Ku," a legend about how breadfruit was brought to the island.
Hawaiian Word Book Great, illustrated kid's dictionary of introductory Hawai'ian words includes a pronunciation CD
Pele and the Rivers of Fire, an introduction to Pele and her brother shark and sister waves.
The Last Princess: The Story of Princess Ka'iulani of Hawai'i.  This one was a little long for the boys, but it was interesting for me!
Other Media:
Putumayo Kids Presents Hawai'ian Playground (CD) We translated some of the lyrics so it's a great way to reinforce some of the language they are learning.
Travel with Kids-Hawaii: The Big Island of Hawaii (DVD)This series is great.  We watched the Kauai one last year and it was great to have an idea of some kid-friendly places to go.
We built and erupted a volcano and studied about how volcanoes work.

I can not believe how much they loved this volcano!

     We also ate Puka dogs, taro chips, and  Hawaiian Punch (The things I do in the name of education...)

     If you'd like to see more of what I want to squeeze into our visit to the Big Island, check out my Pinterest board!


  1. Be my mom? I wanna be homeschooled by you--you are probably better than any teacher I have ever had! I especially wanna make that volcano and cake. That would be the best day at school for me! And yes, yes you ARE awesome. So are your pictures. So is Emperor Zurg.

    1. Yes, something about Zurg standing in front of a fluffy coconut cake was just too epic not to post! =)

  2. Sounds like so much fun Brooke! I am so looking forward to actually homeschooling my daughter! Right now it's all play as i believe till 5-6 (or whenever) they are ready they don't need to be bought anything. She is learning more than i can teach her anyway ;)
    Your cake is really really pretty. Love the sound of all the flavors :)

    1. Thanks, Chinmayie! I love those early days of homeschooling! They learn so much so fast! It's a beautiful thing to see. =) Is homeschooling regulated in Bangalore?

  3. What a gorgeous, tropical cake! I love all your Hawaii studies - lucky boys!

    1. Thanks, Hannah! They are so excited they can barely sleep. More time for learning! Lol!


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