As a rule, I like to let Dot make my birthday cakes. Her cakes are a delectable vanilla concoction of moist pound cake married with a shortening and sugar frosting, adorned with classic Wilton roses. Very seventies, very retro, very not-Cupcake Café. Who is Dot and where do I find her cakes? Well, Dot was really Dot's Pastry Shop on Patterson Avenue and she (if she really existed at all) and her shop haven't been around since the Ukrops bought her out years ago when I was still a child. The cakes never changed though, and today, the quintessential birthday cake (for me) is just that particular grocery store cake--a very high quality grocery store cake, mind you, but still, a grocery store cake. My children, until recently, were perfectly happy with it as well, and then, sadly, they noticed that I spent a lot of time in the kitchen, and began demanding homemade cakes.