Turning 3 and digging it! #WOYP

Happy 3rd Birthday to my Grandson

Last month for WOYP I wrote about my youngest grandson’s 2nd birthday and this month it just happens to be about Patrick, my grandson’s 3rd birthday. I can assure you that’s all the birthdays for a while!

What do you do when the cake-maker you’ve organised weeks beforehand messages you on the Friday a few days before the birthday cake is needed, (while you were out of town with your mother having a nice catch-up over morning tea), saying she’s in hospital and probably won’t be able to make your cake as planned?

Well first up you make sure she’s OK and tell her to rest up, and say confidently, it’s no drama, things will work out.

Then you panic and start wondering what you can do as you’ve got two lots of family arriving that same afternoon, with 3 grandchildren and a hectic weekend planned attending the annual Tumbafest music festival in town (Tumbarumba).

What did I do next? I messaged a VERY good friend and told her about the dilemma. I have to say I had A LOT on my plate and she knew I wasn’t up to making and decorating the sort of cake we had planned. It was going to be a number 3 shape d chocolate cake, decorated with roads, cars and trucks – all dairy free and looked amazing. I definitely wasn’t up to that!

What did she do next? She offered to make and decorate a cake suitable for a little boy who is obsessed with cars, trucks, diggers, tractors and dinosaurs. Yes she did! She then sent me a list of ingredients to buy while I was out of town (more availability than in my local shops) and told me to drop them into her on my way home. Which I did with much gratitude.

What I didn’t do was tell my daughter (mother of Patrick turning 3), of the cake drama. She didn’t ask how the cake was going, and I figured she didn’t need to know until it was all over. She and her husband (and Patrick) had been up since 4.30am to catch a flight from Brisbane to Canberra, then had a 3 hour drive to Tumbarumba after stopping off to say hello to my mother on the way – she was exhausted enough!

Turning 3 and digging it

My amazing friend consulted with her daughter who had made a similar cake for her son and it all worked out in the end. It was a chocolate zucchini cake which I’m sure I’ve mentioned in a previous WOYP post, with icing made from a dairy free butter.

Cathy went to so much trouble to decorate the cake, she put groups of 3 smarties everywhere, the Maltesers are rocks (he loves throwing rocks into the creek), there are 3 dinosaurs and he loves diggers, trucks and tractors, so they were essential elements!

So on his birthday morning I disappeared to get the cake with my daughter none the wiser and returned with this fabulous creation, which wasn’t what she was expecting, but she loved it and so did Patrick!

We had my mum come over for the morning so she could spend time with her granddaughters and great-grandchildren, so we ended up having 4 generations together for the first time in ages. We also had Facetime chats with Melanie and Dottie in England.

I’m so lucky to have a good friend like Cathy aren’t I? I’d be lost without her.

Recipe for Moist Chocolate and Zucchini cake or loaf

The zucchini might sound like an unusual cake ingredient but it works, making this cake extra moist without the need for other ‘things’ like butter or milk.


  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed grated zucchini (4 small)


  • Preheat over to 180 C. Grease a cake or loaf tin.
  • Place the sugars, oil. vanilla, eggs, salt and cinnamon in a bowl.
  • Whisk together until combined. Sift in cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and baking soda.
  • Using a spatula fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture until combined. Add the grated zucchini and stir through.
  • cook for 30-40 minutes until cooked through.

Feel like joining in?

It’s always fun joining Canadian bloggers Donna and Deb for their What’s on your plate challenge series each month. These posts go live on the first Wednesday of each month and you can join in too with a food related post, just by adding your post to their linkup.

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Have you used zucchini in cakes before? It really was delicious and I highly recommend it!

What’s on your plate??

Deb xx

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Debbie in rock chick mode

Everyone has a story to tell! Deb is a young-at-heart & active 60+ blogger/retiree, after being made redundant from her 22-year career managing education programs in a men’s correctional centre (jail). She now spends her time reading, blogging, riding her ebike and travelling. Deb was awarded a Bravery Award from the Queen when she was 17 after a tragic accident – a definite life changing moment! She is married with 3 grown-up daughters & has 4 grandchildren. She never imagined being Granny Debs would bring so much joy to her life! You can read more of Deb’s story here

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39 Replies to “Turning 3 and digging it! #WOYP”

  1. Fabulous cake Deb and Patrick would have loved the diggers. You are very ingenious but from experience if you had just bought a cake and stuck a 3 on it, he would have loved you because all the family were together. You are a great gran and I’m sure your grandchildren adore spending time with you xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thanks Sue! If we hadn’t planned the cake in the first place I would have been happy with doing an easy style cake but we had it all so planned I felt I couldn’t let anyone down! I love having the grandkids here and they made the weekend so much fun, I must say it’s very quiet here now they’ve all gone home. I miss all the action!


  2. Oh the drama – you can’t have a birthday without a cake can you? How lucky to have such a talented friend to be able to step in at the last minute. What a great family photo!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, you have a great friend in Cathy. Beautiful, delicious looking cake. I’m with you on using zucchini to make sweet breads and muffins. They always turn out scrumptious!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, I am just so glad I had the help of a good friend. Either way the cake would have been great but having it made by a friend was even more special.


    1. It was funny Janis, one minute he said he wanted cars, then trucks then dinosaurs – so we thought why not combine them all!! Cathy is a great friend to have and we help each other out a lot as we both have different skills. Thanks 🙂


  4. That is indeed a fabulous creation, made by a fabulous friend!!! I’ve made zucchini cakes and loaves before (and will again, if I plant zucchini this summer like I am planning to). I’ll be looking at this recipe then, plus recipes for everything zucchini if I remember correctly how much these plants produce 🤣.


    Liked by 1 person

  5. You definitely have a good friend there! I can’t imagine coming up with something that spectacular that quickly! I haven’t ever had a zucchini cake, but when I was in eighth grade, a girl made a chocolate cake with sauerkraut! It was delicious, and no one guessed what was in it! Happy Birthday(s) to your grandsons!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know my friend Cathy is one in a million and I’m so lucky! I’m not sure how sauerkraut would go in a cake but then I was a bit sceptical about zucchini in a cake at first too. Thanks Marsha 🙂


  6. 3 is a great, fun age! 🙌🤩 Happy Belated Birthday to him! Also, I was wondering, does the zucchini add any texture to the cake? It sounds interesting for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Debbie, Thank you for your weekend coffee share. Happy 3rd birthday to Patrick! The cake looks amazing and must be so yummy based on the recipe. Your friend is so talented. I’m glad you’ve all had a wonderful family celebration.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Natalie, Patrick had a great day with his cousins with a wonderful cake. The recipe for this cake is always a hit when I make it so I’m happy to share. Thanks for having us for #WeekendCoffeeShare


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