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Today marks the day of one whole year of {local milk}. It may seem like an over-statement (it’s not), but this space has changed my life. It’s given my work direction. It’s given me purpose in a new life where I didn’t quite know what to do with myself, where to go with my new found billionth chance after getting clean.  And of course, what people always say because it’s so wonderfully true, I have met (both virtually and in reality) some of the best & brightest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing through this. So thank you all. There’s so much to celebrate, so I have cake, presents, and a sort of story.

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So, yes, I made cakes. Many cakes. I made cakes until I created the perfect signature recipe for this space. It isn’t really a tres leches cake, it’s a cake of many leches. All of the milks! Because what better cake for {local milk}? Obviously. The cake recipe is the gift I can give to you all, a labor of love that involved a lot recipe testing. A lot of cake eaten in the name of science. This is a cake you can trust.

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And I got (one of) you a present. Those of you who follow me on Instagram seemed to love those wooden measuring spoons & wooden cake stand from Sophie’s (a fantastic little shop on North Market St. here in Chattanooga…if you don’t win, they deliver!) so much that I decided to get an extra set to giveaway. To enter simply leave a comment below, and I’ll randomly choose a winner in a week. It’s my way of saying thank you, thank you, a million times thank you. You’ve all made my life better.   Congrats to Kristen Rosenau!

I’m absolutely overwhelmed by the response. I’d love to go through and reply to each and every one personally, but unfortunately time does not permit at the moment. So just let me say that I don’t think it makes much sense how much your comments mean, but they are one of the things that keep me growing as a writer, photographer, and cook. It’s like a rad, weird tsunami of encouragement. And from the internet, no less! It’s not exactly known for being a hospitable place, and I’ve found it (thank god) quite. No, I’m not complaining. At all. Thanks again…I’m awfully excited for this coming year. The least I can do is make more goodies for you all. And I have another giveaway coming up soon… so if you didn’t get this one there’s more to come! I kinda love you strangers.

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Third and lastly, I have a story. An announcement of sorts that I’ve absolutely been dying to share with you all. It involves nudity & is rather long. That might sound weird, but it isn’t. But stop now & skip to the recipe or forever hold your peace.

——————

We were naked, laying the wrong way across the end of the bed in a post-coital tangle. I was huffing him like paint and smiling stupidly.

“I love you,” I said.
“This has never happened before,” he said.
“What hasn’t?”
“Being told I’m loved, naked.”

I laughed. But it’s true. It’s never happened to me before either. But I don’t mean the physical nudity. He sees me. I yip and flop around when it’s just us. I squeal and do bad impressions. I’m naked as a person all the time with him, no masks or fear or pretense, and it’s such an expansive relief. I found a potato chip in my shoe the other day & he found it endearing, his eyes crinkling in the corners when he smiled at me. To be seen & not rejected is something I can hardly believe. And this man, as someone who knew me before, has seen me. He’s seen me at my worst, and was a dear friend to me in my darkest most frightening hours. We looked at death together, I’ve no doubt. But now, now everything is new and in spite of all he knows, all of it, he loves me. Like, a lot. It’s crazy. I’ve no doubt he’ll be by my side until I’m crinkled and eccentric (of which I’m a tiny bit and a rather large bit already…). Or until my untimely death. But you know, either way, he’s my guy.

He started sighing and moving his head in a way that indicated he was about to say something reluctantly.
“What?” I asked. Nothing. “What?”…..”What?”….
“I got you a thing”, he said.
“A thing?” My hair was sticking up in spikes, and I pressed my face, my whole face, hard into his neck. My affection is clumsy. I like to think therein lies it’s charm. The room was dark, the sun had just set.
“What sort of thing?”
“I got you a thing…” He sat up, leaned over to the chair beside the bed where his leather jacket was thrown & fumbled through his pockets for what seemed like a long time for looking through pockets. They aren’t very large, pockets, you know. He muttered whilst fumbling. Having found what he was looking for he held it in his hands a long while, me still laying beside him, tracing my finger up and down the notches of his spine, that vital tether between brain and body. I imagined bright blue electrical currents beneath his flesh in the dark, animating him.

“Your spine,” I said, “It’s…important.”
“Yes,” he laughed.
“Motherboard”, I whispered.
“Well, I actually got you three things because I wasn’t sure which one you’d like.”
“Three things! I want all three things,” I joked, still unaware.
“What is it?” I asked.
“I had my mother get them out…”
“What is it?”

Silence. I finally pulled myself up. He had a black velvet pouch in his hands. He shook three rings out of it into his palm. I could barely make them out in the dark.

“It’s to replace a thing.” He meant my old wedding rings, now residing in a ceramic dish at my mother’s. I touched them.
“I didn’t know which you’d like best…so I had her get all three family rings.” He squinted at them. “This was my great grandmother’s…this was my grandmother’s…this was…I can’t remember. My mother would know.”

My mind reeled. Not but a half hour ago he was in medias res, making a glass of chocolate milk, the jar on the counter & cocoa powder in the cup when I came bounding (literally bounding…I bound) into the kitchen fresh out of the bath in an ill-fitting baggy, floral dress. Then, suddenly it seemed, we were sitting in the dark naked with three rings. The milk was still out on the kitchen counter, abandoned. He proffered the rings, all three, and asked that thing people are wont to ask when proffering rings.

“Will you marry me?”
“Are you…asking?” This was, you have to fully understand, most unexpected. We aren’t the marrying sort, both having a personal distaste for the idea of a legal contract & party planning to consumate what seems so awfully sacred to us.
“Yes”, he laughed, “I’m asking.”
I, as you might imagine, kissed him and said, through thoroughly sentimental tears of joy, “Yes! Of course I’ll marry you.”

It wasn’t very original, admittedly. At least not that part. But I’ll venture to say the naked three ring proposal was. He told me he’d been waiting for the right time, and that, in his estimation, was it. I shook my head in pleased disbelief.

This is no small thing. I am, suffice to say, terrified of marriage. I was married once before. It didn’t go well as marriages that were “once before” generally don’t. Marriage has, since then, seemed a gauche curse to me. Harsh words, I know. But it was an exceptionally awful marriage, my previous one. But. I reserve the right to change my mind. Yes, I totally reserve that right. And only this man ever could have, of that I’m certain. Because he sees me, the raw me, and doesn’t regard me as malformed. And he never once has. Also, he does the dishes. And even laundry. And makes me coffee every single morning and tea any afternoon I ask.

We crawled under the covers and turned on the bedside lamp. I touched each one, turning it over in my hand, slipping each one on my finger. I eventually chose his great-grandmother’s, his mother’s mother’s mother. The simplest and the oldest.

And that’s the story of how I became the marrying sort once again and just got engaged, the second time, naked with three rings. It beats the first time, hands down, which was at a bar in front of the jukebox to, incidentally, Molly Hatchet’s “Flirting With Disaster”. No joke. Ugh.

So, in conclusion: naked cake!

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Coconut Tres Leches Cake

makes enough for one 8″ 2 layer cake, or two 4″ 4 layer cakes or about 20 cupcakes

This isn’t really a tres leches cake. My calling it that is just an appeal to SEO. I don’t think a lot of people go looking for a “siete leches cake”. But, if you’re here, that’s what you’ve found. It contains no less than 7 permutations of milk: powdered milk, evaporated milk, whole milk, condensed milk, coconut milk, buttermilk, and heavy cream. All of the milks. So in celebration of all these things, I give you the dadgum milkiest cake I could dream up. I also want to note my early drafts of this cake used the foaming method, which is a handsome method for making a cake, but Stella of Brave Tart converted me to the creaming method. She’s in the process of writing a book. It’s going to be a canonical baking book, I am certain of it. So thanks to her for making me a better baker. Lastly, if you don’t have a scale I’ve provided volumetric measurements for the cake in addition to weight. Scales are cheap. Fewer dishes. Buy a scale. Amen.

Ingredients


For Cake

nonstick cooking spray (optional, can use butter)

100 g coconut oil (1/3 + 1/4 cup) (I use unrefined in this cake for flavor, but refined works too)
50 g unsalted butter, room temp ( 4 Tbsp)
5 g pure vanilla extract (1 tsp)
10 g coconut extract (2 tsp)
5 g kosher salt (1 tsp)
240 g sugar (1 cup)

110 g egg whites, room temp (about 3 large eggs)

250 g cake flour (2 cups)
5 g baking powder (1 tsp)
5 g baking soda (1 tsp)
30 g dry milk (1/4 cup)

120 g coconut milk, room temp (unsweetened, full fat, the sort in a can) (1/2 cup)
120 g buttermilk, room temp (1/2 cup)

For Milk Soak

1 can condensed milk
1/2 cup coconut milk (unsweetened, full fat, canned)
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup buttermilk

For Coconut Chantilly Frosting

4 cups whipping cream, cold
1/2 cup cream of coconut
2/3 cup powdered sugar
4 tsp coconut extract
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

toasted coconut for topping (coconut flakes at 350° for about 5 minutes), optional

Cooking Direction

1. Heat oven to 350° F.

2. Line your cake pans with parchment circles and spray with not stick cooking spray. I sometimes skip the parchment circles because I’m awful, but I’d recommend it to be safe.

3. Sift together the baking powder, baking soda, flour, and powdered milk. Stir in the salt. Set aside.

4. Cream first six ingredients in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed until very pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrap down bowl about halfway through, making sure to get the bottom too.

5. Turn mixer to low and add egg whites in two additions. Scrape down bowl.

6. Pour coconut milk and buttermilk into one measuring cup. With the mixer still on low add in flour mixture and the buttermilk-coconut mixture, alternating between the two in about three additions. As soon as last addition is added turn off mixer and fold with a spatula to make smooth.   Don’t overmix or you’ll make your cake tough. Just no clumps.

7. Pour into your chosen cake tin, about halfway up. Don’t do what I did in one test and fill your mini cake tins 3/4 the way and have them a) not bake properly and b) floff over.

8. Depending on the cake size bake on the middle rack between 15-25 minutes. Start testing with a cake tester on the low end. You don’t want to overbake. Overbaking makes cake meh. & who wants meh cake? A cake tester should come out clean, as in no goo but a few crumbs are ok.

9. Meanwhile make the soak. Mix all of the ingredients very well in a bowl and set aside. Mix again before pouring.

10. Cool cakes in the pan about five minutes and then turn them out onto wire racks to cool. If splitting the layers, I like to chill my cakes after they’ve fully cooled on the racks to make cutting easier. I’m not really an expert on icing cakes, to be honest. I kind of wing it. If stacking layers on chantilly, chill a topped layer before topping with another layer or it can will squish out. I would know. Less so with a mini cake, but still, to be safe.

11. Once mostly cool (a little warm is okay) or once out of the fridge and split, place the cake in a baking dish and poke holes all over it with a cake tester.

12. Spoon about 1 cup of the leches mixture over the each layer (for 8″ layers). Use half a cup for smaller layers. It may seem like a lot, but it will take it. I kind of spoon it in the middle and spread it around to keep it from running off, for maximum soak upage. Let layers sit in the fridge, covered for an hour.

13. Make Frosting. Whip the heavy cream (halve this if you’re making a two layer cake) with the cream of coconut, coconut extract, and vanilla until it begins to thicken. Add in confectioner’s sugar and whip to stiff peaks, being careful not to over whip.

14. Stack and ice cakes as desired. Reiterating tips for using chantilly: top a layer, set it in the fridge for about half an hour, then top with another layer. Also, I don’t spread it all the way to the edges as I find it will spread when topped. I usually leave about an inch around the edge. Top with toasted coconut if using. Best served with a glass of local milk!

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192 Responses to coconut tres leches cake + 1 yr of {local milk} + a giveaway

  1. juliet says:

    Wow! Great story and congratulations!

  2. Meg says:

    Wow Beth! Congratulations. And I hope you know that you, too, have changed our lives as your readers.

  3. Melina says:

    We weren’t that sort, either. But the no masks thing? Yeah, that’s totally it; you don’t understand it until you have it. After that, you realize that “not the marrying sort” is, too, a mask. Damn shadow, creeping around like he’s still trendy. One week after a first kiss we were engaged and two weeks after that we eloped. Vita femina.
    Beautiful writing. Many cheers to you two rogues :)

  4. I love your naked cake and your naked story is just too sweet! Congratulations! And congrats on the blogiversary. I’m surprised to hear that you have only been blogging for a year. I enjoy reading your posts and viewing you Instagram feed. I have just begun my blogging journey and I’m still trying to work out the kinks. I can only hope to have a blog as beautiful as yours in a year!

  5. dana says:

    what an absolutely breathtaking story. all i can say is wow. thanks for sharing a glimpse into your beautifully, raw life. i loved every word.

  6. Michelle says:

    This is easily one of the most beautiful things I’ve read in ages.

    And a most beautiful cake. All the milks!

  7. What a wonderful story. Congratulations! On the engagement, the one year for the blog, the gorgeous cakes. You always bare your soul so beautifully in this space, you might rename the blog “naked milk” ;-)

  8. L.A. says:

    beautiful story. beautiful cake. excellent writer.

  9. congrats on the engagement! you are a beautiful writer.

  10. I too was always against the whole marriage thing, until I met my match. Huge congrats on your 1 year and of course your wonderful news! Such special words xx

  11. Chloe says:

    lovely all around! congratulations.

  12. Sini says:

    This story touched my heart. Congratulations! I’m so very happy for you. And huge congrats for {local milk} turning 1. We should celebrate with a cake!

  13. Amy says:

    Wow – your engagement story made me tear up…congratulations! And congrats on your blog’s 1st birthday! I always look forward to seeing your gorgeous posts; you’re so talented both as a baker and photographer. Best wishes!

  14. Valeria says:

    congratulation! somehow, I saw myself in your story. it happened all so fast, in such an unconventional way –on a summer saturday afternoon, in bed, after we woke up from a nap. he had his great grandmother ring and was waiting for the right moment, too. and that seemed to be the right one. we biked to town to buy some sparkiling wine and drank it at the park. it was so…easy, even though I never thought we were that kind of couple either, the one who gets married. but it was and it is the best thing we could do for each other. and from how you talk about him one can tell that this second marriage will be the right one.
    congratulations again, Beth! love is an awesome thing indeed.

  15. Congratulations! Absolutely lovely story – so sweet and blissful.

    OH and that CAKE.

  16. tara says:

    Congratulations for so many things! Here’s to all you’ve achieved, and all that’s ahead. xo.

  17. Laura says:

    All of the milks! I would vote for this cake for President and sincerely hope that it would win by popular election.

    And congratulations to yous! Nothing like a naked 3 ring proposal to really solidify that bound-by-eternity vibe. Happy for you, girl. Oh, and a high five for clumsy affection, obviously.

  18. Diane says:

    Congratulations! Your tres leches cakes look beautiful.

  19. Zoe says:

    Look at those incredible photos! Which, by the way, do this totally cool story justice. Well done on a successful year, a beautiful new story and wishing you all the best from here on in. Cheers, Zoe.

  20. Lys says:

    There’s so much love going on in your blog! Congratulations on reaching your first amazing year of blogging, and congratulations on your beautiful engagement! I wish you all the best! And when I make that cake, it’ll be during a time of small celebration. You bet your bottoms I’ll be thinking of you. Cheers.

  21. Congrats on all the sweetness in your life and kitchen!

  22. First of all, congratulations! Second, thanks for continuing to share your journey with us on this space. It’s always a lovely day when there’s a new post by you in my feed. And this cake? WOAH MAMA. Looks unbelievably ridiculous in the best way possible. And Sophie’s? I LOVE that shop. Live in Nashville but whenever we get over to Chattanooga we always make it a priority to stop by and visit.

  23. Ashlae says:

    Oh my god. I am so happy for you. Elated.

    Beautiful cakes and congratulations on the engagement – wishing you many years of long and prosperous.. nakedness ;)

    PS – I cried. Don’t tell anyone.

  24. Shanna says:

    First of all, congratulations a million times over!

    Secondly, that cake looks amazing.

  25. Kim Richey says:

    congratulations! it is a miracle to have someone love you like that. happy birthday and thanks for all the beautiful recipes, writing and photographs.
    cake!

  26. Jana Miller says:

    Amazing story. You are an incredible reader. I had to read really fast but I wanted to read slow to, in order to take it all in!
    Congratulations my dear!

  27. Alissa BC says:

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    Also, that cake looks a.maz.ing. So do the the spoons.

  28. Joy says:

    doubly congrats on everything. this is awesome. oh and thanks for the recipe too, heh.

  29. Jade Sheldon says:

    Well, this post is so full of wonderfulness, I don’t even know where to start. I am BEYOND thrilled for you: thrilled for you anniversary in this space, thrilled for this incredible cake (no joke, I have been testing a gluten free tres leches coconut cake (one of my favorite flavor combinations)) and thrilled for this naked love story. I wasn’t sure I was the marrying kind either: it never seemed like a ‘have to’ for me. Now I’ve been married nearly a year to my guy and I wouldn’t ever want to change that. I have been down and out with a nasty cold. I woke up this morning, day 6 of the sickness, feeling worse than ever. But this story you told took me away from the sickness for a bit. Thank you for that and thank you for your beautiful words and photographs. You’re awesome…

  30. Ashley says:

    That was beautiful! Thank you for sharing this amazing moment with us. Congrats!

  31. Anonymous says:

    To quote a great one, “thank you, thank you, a million times thank you.” For this space, this artistry of words and these divinely beautiful recipes. Having been born and reared in Miami Fl I can certainly appreciate a tres leches cake and it happens to be the favorite of mi amor. With all the milks and the coconut I think it shall put tres leches over the top.
    I wish you and your lover all happiness and joy. May the years teach you and bring you ever closer. May adversity be few and far between and the great times many. Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials. I hope you will give us, your devoted readers, a small peek. I am sure it will be inspiring. Much love, karen

  32. Happy Birthday!!!! I follow you from Nashville. I adore your blog. Marvelous pics, yummy recipes, outstanding posts. Thank you for inspiring me. Nicoletta

  33. Catherine Davis says:

    Lovely… Best Wishes to you and Congratulations to your man. Thank you for sharing the moment with us in such a genuine, unguarded way. Truly touching.

  34. Oh my goodness! Beautiful cake (s), beautiful story, and a huge congrats to you my friend. You are a true artist. Only one year of Local Milk and you’ve turned it into this?! I am amazed, but not too too amazed. You are full of talent. It’s only to be expected. xo

  35. L Clary says:

    Holy smokes, what a fantabulous story. Girl, you sure can write. Congratulations on EVERYTHING! Much happiness . . .

  36. Charis says:

    Just found your blog so this is the first post I’ve read… LOVED your story! And your photography is just gorgeous. Congratulations )

  37. binky says:

    Your chatty down home style is fun to read, its as if we are just gabbing around the kitchen table! Your recipes are beautiful and very novel(creative!) and tasty. this bog is the only one that I read, thanksThis lovely cake will be made by me for my daughters 40th b-day next week!

  38. binky says:

    Oh, I live in Fernley, Nevada, near Reno!!

  39. Izy says:

    Wow Beth, Congratulations!!! Such a good story, such a good cake :) x

  40. Congratulations! And thank you for the cake, and for all the beauty you put out there.
    xx

  41. Julie says:

    Congratulations!!!

  42. Lena says:

    wonderful story. thank you for the cake. glad you found what you were looking for in so many ways. and all the best for the two of you.

  43. Wow, thank you for sharing such a beautiful story with us! It seems so perfect, the way you wrote it, almost magical. And I absolutely adore all the cake photos! You have a talent, surely.

  44. Marilyn says:

    Congratulations! Your story is beautiful. I’ll definitely be making that cake soon.

  45. Happy Birthday. Congratulations too. I have really enjoyed your blog, both stories, and photos. I have really enjoyed blogging too. I find that in less than 500 words it turns out to be good therapy. I wish I had known sooner.

  46. Deb says:

    A post lush with the magic of an intoxicating story and a celebration cake; I’m charmed!

  47. Suzanne says:

    Warmest congratulations both on the anniversary and the engagement, Your story is beautiful as is your cake!! Many happy years together and I look forward to many more blog posts with your incredible photography.

  48. Julia says:

    Wow you are so talented! Just look at those cakes, I love how youve decorated them with the flowers. Congratulations!

  49. Alaina says:

    Dude, I can’t get over the way you write. My heart just melted. HUGE cheers.

  50. What a post! 1 year old blogiversary and a proposal (naked) in one post…and oh, there’s that little thing called a beautiful coconut cake laying there, too! Congrats on everything and I found you a couple months ago and drool over your images, writing, and recipes. Thanks for doing what you do, Beth! And those wooden spoons/cake stand are adorable!

  51. Jenny says:

    congratulations! what a beautiful story. and I love how you decorated the cakes with flowers – reminded me of my brother’s wedding cake, which he decorated with borage and violets. :)

  52. vividpurple says:

    Happy birthday, and thank you for all that you do.

  53. Mai says:

    Congratulations! A wonderful milestone.

  54. Anonymous says:

    thank you for sharing your beautiful proposal story – it is truely amazing what the love of one person can do for another. the two of you are very lucky to have found and recoginized the unique treasures that each of you have.

    fruitcrmble AT comcast DOT net

  55. Katie Jean says:

    Bright blessings and felicitations. And thank you for this wonderful space.

  56. kelsey says:

    This is a utterly fantastic in every way. My heart just bursts for you right now, Beth. Cheers to naked and cake and good, real love.

  57. Congrats! And marriage with the right person is an amazing thing! Don’t fear it. It can be the best thing that’s ever happened to you. I know it was for me! :)

  58. Sarah says:

    Those cakes look delicious! Congrats on 1 year!

  59. I absolutely love, love, love those wooden spoons and that cake stand! Oh my.
    Would be so lovely to have for my next engagement, wedding or food shoots!

  60. Kaitlin Sickle says:

    Congrats, lady!

  61. Shumaila says:

    Congratulations and a lovely cake to celebrate!

  62. Candice says:

    I follow you on Pinterest. Your photos are so beautiful, and that cake is gorgeous! Congrats on the engagement!

  63. Fantastic! I make a tres Leche every year for my husbands birthday and that’s in a couple weeks! I’m pregnant and craving coconut so how perfect is this? I also make one for his friends from Mexico and they said back home their mamas made them with fruit flavors, so I’m eager to try! Also, a big congratulations! I came across your amazing curated Pinterest boards and love all of them. It’s gotten me into your blog too, which is something I don’t typically read. Cheers!

  64. Melissa says:

    Thank you for the beautiful story, and the beautiful cake.

  65. Kristen says:

    i’m new to your blog, but your engagement story brought tears to my eyes! I loved your genuine words about marriage and love. thank you for sharing

  66. Valerie says:

    Happy blogiversary, and, more importantly, Congratulations!! Lush writing + splendid photos. *Cheers* to many more years! xo

  67. Linn says:

    Congratulations from Sweden! :D

  68. Eva Kosmas says:

    Ahhh!!!!!! Congratulations, that is such wonderful news!!! I love your engagement story, so sweet that he brought three different rings with him for you to choose. And the cake is just beautiful, perfect to celebrate such an exiting and joyous occasion. I wish you both the very best!

  69. T. Leigh says:

    Thanks for the inspiration (via Pinterest…this is my first blog post.) I’ll be making this cake soon- lots of great dairies in Montana!

  70. Jessica Reed says:

    Congratulations! Can’t wait to try this cake!

  71. congratulations! the cake sounds wonderful.

  72. Congratulations!! What a beautiful story and a beautiful cake!!

  73. Congratulations for so many wonderful reasons. For a year of inspiring photographs and gorgeous, original recipes. For beautiful, unguarded writing. For finding a lovely man and making him yours. You are an unending source of inspiration for me, both professionally and privately, and I cannot thank you enough for it. Here is to many more exciting, wonderful years!

  74. Such a beautiful beautiful story. And cake. And story. I want to marry all over again to the same man ofcourse :) . I have always told friends and family that the most important thing about our marriage is – we can be naked. Some laugh it out and few understand what it really means.

  75. Kaitlin says:

    Beautiful everything! I too recently got engaged to someone who I can be naked with. I describe it to others as us being the same kind of weird. Everything feels perfect :) .

  76. Pippy says:

    Congratulations! The cake is lovely!

  77. MadSCAR says:

    Love it! Cake is amazing :)

  78. Have you really only had your blog for a year? I can’t quite imagine not reading your words and recipes now.
    As for the proposal? CONGRATULATIONS! I’m getting married this year and it’s definitely the best thing that’s ever happened to me :-)

  79. Shannon says:

    The cake looks wonderful! Congrats!

  80. Ella says:

    it’s the wee hours here. my little one woke me and i can’t get back to sleep. these are the hours for perusing and pinning and finding new delicious blogs and getting caught up in the excitement of others. what struck me was your beautiful cake and presentation on pinterest which then led me to a wonderful story to start my very early morning. congratulations!

  81. Anonymous says:

    Perfect story and perfect cake to go along with it! :) Best wishes!!

  82. Elizabeth says:

    Reserving the right to change one’s mind produces some of the smartest and sweetest outcomes (and cakes). Wishing you many more naked, mind changing moments together!

  83. Anna says:

    That was a beautiful story and more people need to bound :D

  84. Anonymous says:

    Love love love this story and recipe. Reminds me of my own story :)

  85. Melissa says:

    You’re truly inspirational.
    I really enjoyed this post. Especially the story. Very touching.

    Best wishes,
    Melissa from Denmark

  86. Kate M. says:

    Hello {Beth}!
    Your blog never ceases to amaze me with your words, images and recipes. Félicitations on your engagement and the one year anniversary of {local milk}! Cannot wait to see future posts!

  87. Congratulations all around. Happy Anniversary!

    That was such a sweet story. I have been married for 20 years to a man that does the dishes and makes me breakfast and coffee everyday. That goes a long way toward a solid union.

  88. Susan C says:

    Congratulations!!!!

  89. Sherry says:

    First of all CONGRATULATIONS! Hooray for romance in all it’s forms and the amazing feeling of true love!
    Finally a trustworthy vanilla cake. I cannot wait to try this recipe.

  90. Amy Johnson says:

    Congrats!! And beautiful images, thank you for sharing and the story!

  91. Leah says:

    That is one of the most beautiful cakes I have ever seen! The story’s not bad either. ;)

  92. I was drawn to your blog by photos so lovely and real and truly that is all I mostly expect from most blogs, pretty pictures. However your writing has captured me heart and soul and I find you putting into words things that have bounced around my head but never been formed into words. I can’t say how much I look forward to reading more and more. Please write a book or memoir! Congratulations on choosing to love and be loved!

  93. Congratulations ~ beautiful story and beautiful cake!! You always take the most amazingly gorgeous photographs!!

  94. Melissa Monk says:

    Congratulations, Beth. Your pictures and writing have touched me deeply.

    All happiness to you and yours.

  95. What a beautiful and honest engagement story. Wow, I’m floored.
    Congrats!!! :) xo

    Christina

  96. spencer says:

    feel kind of ridic tearing up at a post on a food blog but this is so great you are great the blog is great everything is great

    so happy for yall (and this cake, to be honest)

  97. Brandy says:

    Such a Wonderful and Beautiful story! Congrats!!

  98. So wonderful and so exciting on so many counts! Congratulations on everything.

  99. deeder! says:

    Your beautiful story, and the journey by which brought you there, are incredibly inspiring. Congratulations!

  100. Annette says:

    I must make this recipe – it looks and sounds delicious!

  101. Liane says:

    aw congratulations! i’ve been reading your blog for just a bit but i will say that i have some experience with some of the things you talk about here on your blog, your past struggles, and i’m really grateful for your honesty. and also your really really good writing. x

  102. Beautiful story, beautiful writing. Just recently began reading your blog, loving it. Congratulations!

  103. Katie says:

    You reserve the right to change your mind indeed! Congratulations!

  104. Thank you so much for sharing you absolutely lovely story! I so happy that you found a man for whom you want to be the marrying type. It’s a beautiful thing :) Congratulations!

  105. I can’t wait to make this!!!!! Happy 1 year!!!

  106. Hi Beth, I have been following you on Pinterest for quite a while now, and am really, really enjoying reading your blog, too. Your writing and imagery are both so beautiful, and I am thrilled with your news. All the very best, Holly

  107. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations! What a great story. I love your writing. I’m so glad I found your blog through Pinterest. Susanna K.

  108. rachel says:

    Congratulations!!

  109. sk says:

    Well… Congratulations! That is some exciting stuff. I want to see this ring and also make this cake! And, yay for a fun giveaway too.

  110. OH WOW, that seriously made me cry. CONGRATULATIONS on so many things! One year of Local Milk (which has become a fave of mine), finding love, and getting engaged. What a beautiful story. YAY

  111. Catie says:

    Congratulations! On the engagement and the blog! That’s wonderful.

  112. Andrea says:

    Loved your story, the recipe and your pictures!
    The flowers, the mauve I-Ching book, beautiful!

  113. elizabeyta says:

    Congratulations!!!!

    Picture of the ring? I have an old well loved wedding band so I am always curiuos.

  114. Liz says:

    Such a beautiful story! Congratulations on the blog anniversary and engagement! I’m looking forward to so many more lovely photos, wonderful stories and of course amazing recipes in the future :)

  115. wow! congrats!
    i wear my mother’s mother’s mother ring, too. well, if the ring were his mother’s mother’s mother it would be “too.” but for the point of this comment, we’ll just leave it as is.

  116. nicole says:

    This is so, so, SO lovely! Congrats!!!

  117. rebekah says:

    What a lovely story. I am marrying soon for the first, and hopefully last, time. Stories like these are true treasures, and they are refreshment to those who wonder who will repair the brokenness in the world – those who offer another chance.

  118. circulating says:

    happy everything…!!

  119. Danielle says:

    Congratulations! You’re a lovely storyteller and I sincerely thank you for sharing your life and recipes!

  120. Michelle says:

    I just found your blog through this cake recipe, but I must say, your love story is really sweet and lovely! Congrats to you and thanks for sharing your wonderful story with all. I must say that Im certainly looking forward to the day I will have such a romantic tale too. :)

  121. beautiful, beautiful and happy… love is silly and random and powerful… and i must say this in spanish (my “native ” tounge) ¡felicidades con el corazon!
    clau

  122. saeledbetts says:

    Congratulations! For everything, seriously. What a beautiful year you’ve had!

  123. Ingrid says:

    You have such wonderful photographs and truly beautiful writing, so honest and descriptive. Wholly inspiring – congratulations on one year and your engagement!

  124. Isabel says:

    Your writing is so amazing that with out even knowing you I feel so happy for you and your new beginning.
    Congratulations and I trully wish you the best of lucks.

  125. Sammi says:

    I absolutely love your writing style. And I love that you’re not afraid to share intimate details of your life with the internet, because (as the rest of the commenters) I really enjoyed reading your engagement story. Congratulations! Damn, I really want to make a cake now. And those measuring spoons are so so lovely. Thank you and happy one-year!

  126. Gourmantine says:

    Congratulation on first blog anniversary, your blog is a delight to read and even more congratulations with your engagement! Such a beautiful proposal story!

  127. Libby Marie says:

    I have to say that this is the very first encounter that I’ve ever had with your blog and I am in love with it.
    I’m subscribing to you through my bloglovin feed and I fully intend to read through the last year. Damn, this is something good.

  128. Awesome giveaway! And your story is so heartwarming.

  129. kaela says:

    1. Congratulations! 2. That naked cake is as gorgeous as naked always is. 3. Ain’t love grand? :)

  130. Congratulations! Such a happy post :)

  131. First, wow! Second, CONGRATULATIONS! I happily stumbled across your blog today for the first time, via Pinterest, via Cook Republic. To be honest, initially I was just checking out the photos…which are gorgeous. Then, your words caught my eye. And it wasn’t just because you used the word naked by the way. Really. You are an incredible writer. Your story completely pulled me in. A serious breath of fresh air in my evening of food browsing. Thank you for sharing. Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

  132. Olivia says:

    Beth,
    I came across your photograph yesterday on Tumblr of the rapini and egg pizza and I was struck: “How can I make this!?” There aren’t many food photographs that you search the long string of reblogs for to finally find the name of the person who originally posted the photo. There aren’t many food photographs that give me such a sense of home and summer and breath and peace. Maybe it’s my over-zealous love of deep gold eggs and the emerald of kale, but…I don’t think that is it. There is something else that you are able to capture in your images. And that “thing” is made more lovely by your words. Thank you for creating such a beautiful space in this world with your blog. I wish you the best of luck, and know that you have earned a new reader.
    Best,
    Olivia

  133. Elaine F says:

    Yipes, what exciting news! I got married and divorced in my 20s as well, and now that I’m 30 and dating a superlative fellow, well, I understand both your previous disinclination to do it again AND your excitement now! Huzzah!

  134. futurowoman says:

    Your blog is truly beautiful, informative, and delicious! thank you so much for sharing your insights <3

  135. Such a beautiful looking cake and such a beautiful story! Congratulations!

  136. Rebecca says:

    dang lady, those cakes. and all in the name of science. why wasn’t i invited to taste test? ;) congrats on 1 year….so exciting. i’m so thankful i discovered you + your work :) and i hope i’m randomly selected to win those beauties.

  137. Beautiful…all of it: story, cake, pictures, give-away, blog…I’m now obsessed (in a good way).
    Namaste-
    Tara

  138. Claire says:

    Stunning cake pictures, you continue to inspire me not only with your baking but your style.

  139. Amy says:

    Currently standing in my office reading this post with tears streaming down my cheeks. Beautiful. Perfect. True love is like that though. You can just be naked body and soul and the other person can’t help but love you, even the cracked and callused parts.
    Congratulations to you both.

  140. Lily says:

    Much future happiness in your blogging life…do keep up the great work (keep inspiring us)…and I have to have those gorgeous spoons…as I am a woodcarver…

  141. Cat and Fox says:

    Congratulations on your engagement! He must be pretty amazing to nab you! ;D

  142. M. Dotson says:

    That’s amazing! Congratulations! I love Tres Leches and milk and the locals and {local milk}! All the best in luck and love!

  143. Daisicle says:

    Congrats on the engagement, and I can’t wait to keep seeing your recipes heading my way. They’re always so tasty

  144. I loved this post!! And congratulations on the engagement, blogiversary and this beautiful cake to celebrate!! Can’t believe it’s only 1 year of blogging for you :)

  145. Kelsey Beth says:

    Congratulations on your engagement; the story was lovely. I am excited to try out this recipe!

  146. Lovely!
    Naked truth…the best kind…congratulations to you both…
    Sarah -x-

  147. David says:

    That’s a wonderful story. :)

  148. Ann says:

    Beautiful. You are such a good writer. What a great reason to still be here.

    I related to so much in your little story. To be loved so is indeed wonderful, especially when you’ve been deprived of it in the past. I’m still grateful for it nigh eight years in. Second marriages can be wonderful for healing lack like that. May you be both be heart bound forever!

  149. Sarah Sweitzer says:

    What beautiful writing and wonderful stories! I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to read your recipes.

  150. Congratulations, on both one year of your wonderful blog and on your engagement. Very warm wishes from another Beth

  151. The naked cake is the most beautiful one of all! Happy anniversary!

  152. Thanks for sharing your world. It is beautiful and unique.

  153. Ame says:

    This cake is delicious! I tried it with AP Gluten-free flour and it came out just as amazing! Thank you for the wonderful recipe.

  154. Johanna says:

    Dear Beth,
    I just stumbled upon your blog last night. How? I don’t remember. I instantly fell in love with the pictures, and when I started reading, I discovered I couldn’t stop. So thank you.
    And congratulations on one year of this wonderful blog and your engagement.
    Happy wishes from Germany,
    Johanna.

  155. Rosie says:

    Beautiful Photos!

  156. Courtney says:

    I’m a relatively new reader, but wow. Your photos, recipes, and writing are quite lovely. I’m especially loving the sort of dark quality some of your photos have. It’s refreshing (if that makes sense). Congrats on your engagement (I was fighting back a few tears reading it), your blog anniversary, and your successful cake of many leches.

  157. Kathryne says:

    Oh Beth, congratulations! I’m so happy for you. Gives me hope to hear of love as strong as you two have. Your blog is one of my favorites, btw, and I’m so glad to have found it.

  158. Dawn M says:

    A massive congratulations to you Beth, you are wonderful, talented and a delight. What a gifts you share that we can all celebrate with you. You have a joyous journey to share with the one that loves you and is loved by you, Big Hug from the UK, D xxx

  159. Joyti says:

    I know what you mean about the blog meaning a lot and giving you direction (I feel similarly about mine)…and a huge, huge congratulations to you!

  160. Little Liz says:

    This was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read. You have a beautiful soul. I have no doubt that He sees that, too.

  161. Melanie says:

    Hi Beth,
    Just wanted to drop by and tell you that I really love your work. I’ve been following you on Pinterest for some time now, and this is the first time I visit your blog (I know, shame on me!). You are very talented. Keep up the great work!

  162. Michelle P. says:

    Congratulations & wow! I’ve been following you on Pinterest, but had no idea that you were this awesome.
    Absolutely loved reading your writing, I’ll be back for more.

  163. Anonymous says:

    Just stumbled across your blog from a link from Pinterest and wanted to say hi. I’m from Chattanooga, too, and I know your name (although I’m not sure how or why; I have a cousin who went to your high school but that seems a far-fetched connection), but anyway, your blog is blowing me away. I love the honesty and the toughness mixed with the joy and the food. It’s resonating with me; the date of this post is the one-year anniversary of the day the love of my life started chemotherapy… and this last year, it sucked. But spring is here and his hair is growing back along with the flowers growing out of the ground. And I’m very grateful that somebody else is celebrating something while also looking back at something dark and frightening, even if they’re two totally different sets of circumstances.

    It’s going to drive me nuts why I know your name. You’d know me as Natalie Corn, if you knew me at all.. ring any bells?

  164. Your photography and writing is so beautiful. Congratulations!

  165. Imen says:

    My first thought was ‘that is one dadgum gorgeous as-white-as-white-gets cake’ Now, I am absolutely uncertain as to how ‘dadgum’ arrived in my mind, because i have never seen or heard that word in my life. and, yet there it is in your post. maybe it’s not that uncanny, maybe you used it when you were posting to Instagram. If not, I’ve really gone away with the fairies. Congratulations on your engagement, loved reading the story even if I felt like I was sitting on the edge of your bed listening to you and feeling somewhat embarrassed and awkward because you guys didn’t have clothes on.
    You are brilliant with words + cake. See you soon. Imen x

  166. awesomeon20 says:

    What an absolutely beautiful engagement story. I, too, had a once before, and it was decidedly awful. The year after was the worst. Then I met a man that taught what it truly meant to be loved. I didn’t even know that kind of love was possible from a man. He brings me joy every single minute. I’m so happy for you, stranger. Congratulations!

  167. Lindsay says:

    that was, honestly, so beautiful! congratulations. sounds like a lovely kind of love :)

  168. Sammy Casey says:

    SO beautiful!!! Congrats – so, so exciting.

    Oh, and those cakes are just too pretty to eat.

  169. Congratulations! What a beautiful story!!
    And as for the cakes (and your presentation of the cakes!!) they look divine!!

  170. I love your honest blog. Gorgeous in every way. Your naked cake is perfect to celebrate 1 year, and so many more to come!

  171. Robyn says:

    Oh my goodness,I have just found your blog,but you have me hooked.the naked cake is perfect to celebrate one year of local milk and a naked proposal.congratulations!!! This is comment 175 apparently…175..Will you even read this.

  172. Congratulations, warm and sincere. Congratulations for the year you’ve had in this space, and for all that lies ahead. I’m so very happy for you. Thank you for sharing your moment with us.

  173. Bethany Dean says:

    Long time admirer, first time commenter – congratulations honey! You write so beautifully, and that engagement story made me have the hugest grin here at work. I got engaged June last year, and it’s a lovely feeling – I’m raising a slice of cake (even though I’m a poor student who can’t get it together to try any of your recipes yet, but I will) to both of your future happiness.

    I live all the way in England, but your gorgeously dark, simple photography is beautiful and has influenced me lots. Thanks for sharing your beautiful voice!

    Beth xx

  174. everything is beautiful here – the photography, the cake, and of course, your story. Congratulations!! I don’t know if you’ll still be reading this but may I ask some questions related to the cake? You experimented many times, kudos to you, what is the purpose of the milk powder? What did it bring to the cake? And hmm, stupid question, but is the cake the sweet and cloying type? I know, that’s totally subjective but is it that sort of cake you can’t get through half a slice? And finally in that first photo, it looks almost like torched meringue around the sides. Did you use a blowtorch on the frosting??? Congrats again!

  175. Kelli Murray says:

    This is the most beautiful written story I’ve ever heard!! So happy you have chosen to give marriage another try. I have no doubt this one will look a lot different for you. You deserve all the best. Thanks for being so genuine and inspiring!

  176. Kiku Vintage says:

    Congratulations on all of your milestones! Sounds like you have very much to celebrate in life :)

  177. […] images are from Top With Cinnamon, A House in the Hills, V.K. Rees Photography, Drizzle and Dip, Local Milk and Design Love […]

  178. dana says:

    i may be a bit late… but congratulations! :) discovering your blog has truly been a blessing! xo,dana

  179. […] “Tres Leches”, no Local Milk. A decoração é esplendorosa, não acham? […]

  180. […] I love her use of new-to-me ingredients without making the recipes overly complicated. Like her coconut tres leches cake? I […]

  181. Cynthia says:

    I have just read your story of “naked”…I am so moved…I ask myself frequently what true intimacy might look like…for me…for you…for anyone and I honestly can say I never ever ever receive a clear picture of the possibilities…for the FIRST time, in this moment, I have just experienced what I would call true intimacy between you and your beloved, between you and me in your sharing and laying yourself bare…wow…my heart is open, tears in my eyes reveal a sadness yet hope…Thank you for everything you express and share on your website. I am always moved beyond the space I currently inhabit…your freshness and frankness and internal honesty moves me deeply. Thank You…

  182. […] to the frosting. This is a lovely cake, and stays moist for several days. I was highly inspired by Beth and Molly’s cakes – I love the ‘naked’ cake look. I didn’t have any […]

  183. Your story made me cry and the cake is beautiful! Love your blog and your stories and can’t stop reading… /Sonja

  184. […] Coconut tres leches cake […]

  185. K says:

    Beth, I stumbled across your website looking for a tres leche cake recipe. I found so much more than that. Thank you for your photos and words. I’m making your tres leche cake for my 23rd birthday this weekend!

    And congratulations, I am so happy you found someone to love and share your beautiful life with.

  186. Tara Mangini says:

    beth, oh my goodness. your writing is a miracle. this story is absolutely beautiful. all the more touching since i’ve been lucky enough to see you two lovebirds in action. i could lose days reading your posts. and just might.

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