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Grieving Dad Called Out By Kids For Selling Late Wife’s Cake Recipe To Bakery To Recreate It

Person decorating cake

A widow who professed to be a terrible baker found himself in a dilemma when trying to recreate a special treat his late wife used to bake for him.

When he reached out to professionals who fixed the problem, things didn’t turn out the way he had hoped.

After causing some drama, he visited the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit to seek judgment from strangers online.

Redditor Character-Form-3248 asked:

“AITA for selling my late wife’s cake recipe to a bakery”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“My late wife passed 3 years ago, our two kids were in their late 20s at the time. It’s been a hard few years and it is even harder now that I live alone.”

“She had a lovely dark chocolate cherry cake. It was my favorite thing that she would make and I always requested it for Father’s Day. I am a sh*t baker and I have tried to remake it from her notes.”

“The notes are not very clear and it never turns out correct. It is depressing spending so much time and it being wrong.”

The OP continued:

“I have asked my two kids to try and make it but they have refused to. I was told that they will not figure out the recipe and to stop asking. I went to a local bakery and asked for them to figure it out.”

“They agree as long as I gave them the permission to sell the cake in the store. It didn’t take them long to figure it out and it is almost exactly the same to my wife’s.”

However, his decision came back to haunt him.

“I bought one for Father’s Day and my kids were happy about the cake until I told them the bakery did it. They are pissed I would sell their mothers recipie to a bakery.”

“This whole week they have been telling me how I am a jerk for this and I am wondering if I really am a jerk. I just wanted to eat her cake again.”

Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

Many Redditors thought the OP was not the a**hole here.

“I’d think of this as a way for your wife to live on in what she created to bring happiness to others. It’s not like you did it for the money.”

“Would the bakery consider using your wife’s name as part of the item name? NTA.” – Only-Ingenuity7889

“I highly doubt it, and I will not ask them. They have already done so much for and gave me the recipie with clear instructions.”

“I am not going to bother than about their cake name.”

“I am just happy I can eat it again.” – OP

Of course, Redditors were interested in the recipe itself. 

“Please share the cake recipe with us! I would love to read it.” – Awkward-Breakfast965

And the OP delivered. 

“1 cup of almost boiling water 3/4 cup Dutch cocoa powder 1 3/4 cup white sugar 1/4 cup brown sugar 3 whole large eggs 2/3 cup sour cream ( the fatty one) 2/3 melted butter or oil 1/2 cup cherry juice ( not one with added sugar) 1/4 cup milk 2 teaspoons vanilla 2 3/4 cups bake flour 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 2 cups of maraschino cherries.”

“Water and cocoa are mixed together in a bowl.”

“Another bowl the sugar, oil and eggs are mixed together. It then gets strained so it is smooth.”

“Add the sour cream, cherry juice, milk and vanilla to the same bowl. Add the water when it is cool to the bowl.”

“Add in the flour, baking soda and salt.”

“Cut cherries in half and put in batter. Batter goes into a cake pan and cook at 350 until toothpick come clean.” – OP

“Don’t tell your kids you’ve shared with the whole of the internet now!!”

“Definitely NTA though.” – HappyGilmore_93

Reddit continued to weigh in.

“You did nothing wrong and totally agree about not bothering the bakery any further.” – seafoamspider

“Doesn’t hurt to ask though. If it is important it is probably too late to press the issue but they may be willing. Or maybe i watch too many hallmark movies lol.” – mnth241

“I hate when people say ‘it doesn’t hurt to ask’ because sometimes it does. Sometimes it hurts the person asking, and a lot of times it hurts the person being asked who is now in the position of having to say no.”

“Asking for more than a person’s fair share can sour otherwise good relationships.” – LadyJusticeThe

“Thank you for saying this. I was raised with ‘it never hurts to ask’ and it took me decades to figure out that sometimes it does, in fact, hurt the other person to ask.” – Apprehensive-Log8333

“I remember seeing a cake with cherries on the British Baking Show. It can be tricky to not have the cherries all sink to the bottom!”

“I’m glad you got the recipe sorted out.”


“It sounds as if the bakery didn’t even need to buy it from you since they figured it out, but more like a courtesy on their part. I think it’s sweet your sweetheart’s cake lives on.”

“Your kids weren’t part of the solution, and didn’t even try, so they don’t really have a voice in the situation, so they shouldn’t fault you. Besides, now they can make or order the cake themselves (!), whereas they couldn’t before.” – Loud_Ad_4515

“NTA I’m so happy that you are able to enjoy her cake again. If it were me it may have brought me to tears.”

“Silly question – why does the water need to be almost boiled, if we are to wait until it’s cool to add it in?” – SuccubiFrey

“For some reason the water and cocoa with clump if it isn’t hot enough. I don’t know why.”

“It also apparently blooms the cocoa, I truly don’t know what that means but the bakery was very clear about not skipping the step.” – OP

“See others have commented, but this step is called ‘blooming’ and is important in baking and coffee making also! Basically when you have a super dry ingredient, saturating it in hot liquid helps it ‘unlock’ its flavor and ensure even texture as well as dispersal.”

“People will ‘bloom’ espresso before brewing it as well, to ensure water is evenly expressed through the powder and ensuring maximum coffee flavor.”

“In a batter this also has the additional step of preventing clumping; if you put cocoa powder directly into a fatty batter such as one with sour cream, butter, and eggs, the fat is so thick that the cocoa powder would never evenly disperse and would be suspending in clumps throughout it, making the final product have spots of dry powder throughout.”

“Fully blooming it with water ensures that the powder will be suspended evenly in water first before mixing into the fats, preventing any clumping.”

“You can bloom with liquids other than water, I actually love blooming cocoa powder in coffee for cookies!” – mr_trick

“you are NTA and a swell guy to share the recipe with us. next friday is the anniversary of my great grandfather’s birth and death and he sure loved cake, i would love to make this in honor of him and your wife 💜 i’m glad you get to eat her cake again.” – imaginarytollbooth

“NTA and just wanted to throw in that most countries that have intellectual property (IP) laws, copyright in particular, recipes are not considered protected IP. So the second anyone saw the recipe, they could do anything they wanted with it regardless of it being ‘sold’ to them or not.”

“And I follow a YouTube channel called Glen and Friends that does lots of cooking from old recipes found in all kinds of sources and one thing Glen has discovered over the years is that almost every ‘secret’ family recipe actually originally came from something that was published in a newspaper, magazine, community cookbook or any number of other public outlets.”

“So, long and short OP did nothing wrong and may in fact have insured that the recipe would not disappear from the face of the earth.” – chudan_dorik

“NTA OP. You lost your wife and the cake brings you good memories and joy. Allowing a bakery to make it for you brought you joy. Them better defining the recipe enables you and the kids to possibly cook this yourself.”

“You can get the cake whenever you want from them. Your kids have lost nothing. The recipe is not gone, it has grown.” – Jkg115

“NTA. It’s funny. My mom died without leaving a complete recipe for one of my favorite dishes. The basic recipe was there, but she must have had a ‘pinch of this, dash of that’ in her head, because the recipe never tastes like what my mom made.”

“I totally get wanting to have that taste again. When your kids didn’t want to try, you took matters into your own hands. Nothing wrong with that.”

“And frankly, if your kids weren’t ever going to make the cake, I’m not sure what their beef is about the bakery making it.” – Active-Anteater1884

Overall, Redditors thought there was nothing wrong with the OP getting the bakery involved in order to enjoy the cake he once enjoyed when his late wife last baked it for him.

They thought by him reliving and savoring the cake that he or his kids could never successfully recreate was worth it in the end.

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a Los Angeles based actor whose work has been spotted anywhere from Broadway stages to Saturday Night Live.
He received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese.
In addition to being a neophyte photographer, he is a huge Disney aficionado and is determined to conquer all Disney parks in the world to publish a photographic chronicle one day. Mickey goals.
Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1 Flickr: nyckmo