I remember the years according to their birthday cakes. It goes without saying that the years without three tiers and buttercream icing are completely forgotten, twelve months that didn’t merit a leather-bound planner.

Our first year together, Jamie turned 26 and we feasted — on life, on cake, on each other. I planned a candle-lit garden party for about 30 of our friends at my SoHo studio and we finished the night with a Magnolia Bakery  wonder (three-tiered yellowcake, chocolate buttercream icing). It was a very good year.

In between then (pictured above) and now (top two photos), there has been a misstep or two, much beauty, sad days, reconciliations, a baby, two books and so much more. That is to say that many of the cakes were gorgeous, but not all. Even my sugary looking-glass couldn’t have predicted all that lay in store for me, my husband and our baby (she’s nearing two years-old but Parker Lee will always be my baby).

This year, for the sake of both caution and indulgence (and to throw a few sweet crumbs to the fate-sealing guy upstairs), I went all out. It was Bon Appetit’s Double -Chocolate Layer Cake or nothin’. I didn’t let a little thing like calories, 48-hours of prep time or the pound of Callebaut semi-sweet chocolate in the icing deter me. I had to make an extraordinary cake because it must be a very good year.

The sweetest cake for the sweetest man I know. Happy Birthday, Honey.