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New Year’s Wish Cakes

With less than a week left before we say goodbye to the current year, many are already beginning to formulate their resolutions for the next. 

Rather than coming up with resolutions, my family and I bake “wish cakes” on New Year’s Eve. That tradition is one I grew up with, and has become one of my children’s favorites through the years. 

We normally select a cake mix that contains lemon and poppy seeds. The lemon is said to purify and remove negativity, while the poppy seeds open the doors of the mind and allow us to accept blessings more willingly. Other choices for cake mix are also cinnamon and vanilla (respectively used to speed wishes and attract love). 

After mixing the ingredients, we add little charms I keep for the occasion; they can be anything one may wish; for example, if someone is looking for marriage, they could put in a wedding ring (fake ones can be found at craft stores, in the section for weddings), or coins for prosperity. Other items may include tiny car charms, hearts for love, ladybugs for good fortune, and small, rolled pieces of paper with something written on it—anything that holds a special meaning for the person baking the cupcakes and the people they will be shared with. 

The mix is then poured in muffin cups and baked. Right after midnight, each person in the family gets an equal amount of cakes, and sees what the New Year will bring them. 

I happened to be on the phone with my sister last year, while I was preparing the cakes; she told me to put in something special for her, something she would like. Since travel is her greatest passion, I put in a small paper with the writing “surprise vacation” and a small charm shaped as a passport. At midnight, I announced that one of the cakes was for Aunt Patrizia, and we all were stunned when both travel charms were found inside the cake I had selected for her. 

What’s even crazier, at the time neither of us knew that my parents had decided to give my sister a special gift, and had bought her a plane ticket to come and see me, as a surprise to both of us.

So, this is one of our New Year’s traditions. My family has been having fun with it for many years, and I thought it was time I pass it along. After all, a little sprinkle of magic and games never hurts anyone, and makes life more fun. 

Wish cake, anyone?