My birthday is coming up this week. I love my birthday--love it like a child. This is what I do every year. On the day of my birthday, I spend the morning going to various stores/restaurants that give you free stuff for your birthday. For a few good resources about where you can go to get free stuff on your birthday, look here. Then Kip and I go out for dinner (often for Indian food, which I love, but Kip doesn't). And then I have adult friends over for cake and ice cream. Because I think we all know that it's perfectly adult to eat cake and ice cream together. I love it. Love love love it.
But it's only good if you've got good cake.
I also loooove making my own cake on my birthday. Not everybody does, but I do. Truthfully, I usually make it the night before, but it must be made by me me me. Because I make amazing cake. And I like making cake. And I like eating amazing cake. The end.
Here is what I'll be making this year. It's a lemon bundt cake. I first made it for a church potluck. I wasn't sure how it would turn out (and, in fact, only snapped a few quick shots of it with my camera). I didn't quite trust the recipe. It had no baking soda. I was worried it'd be flat or weird. Nope. It was incredible. If I had known how amazing it would be, I might have skipped the potluck and just sat in a corner of my kitchen eating it by the fistful. So it's probably fortunate that I didn't know how fantastic it would be. The glaze for this is perfect, but if you wanted to do orange or lime or raspberry, I wouldn't stop you.
We did it for my birthday with the lemon glaze and then a strawberry glaze over that. Delicious.
Lemon Bundt Cake
adapted from My Recipe Confessions
Makes one bundt cake
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 70-80 minutes
flour: .40, butter: 1.00, sugar: .30, powdered sugar: .20, buttermilk: .30, sour cream.25, lemons: .75, other stuff: .15
Note: When I made this the first time I used a cheater buttermilk (1/2 C milk and 1/2 Tbsp vinegar). The second time I made it with real buttermilk. The truth is that I think it's better with the cheater version--moister.
3 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 C butter, softened
2 C sugar
1/2 C buttermilk (can use 1/2 C milk and 1/2 Tbsp vinegar if don't have buttermilk)
1/2 C sour cream
4 Tbsp lemon juice
zest of two lemons (about 2 Tbsp)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 C butter, softened
1 1/2 C powdered sugar
3 Tbsp lemon juice
For the cake:
Preheat oven to 300 degrees and spray bundt pan well.
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one by one. Mix in the sour cream, lemon juice, vanilla, and lemon zest.
Mix half the flour mixture in. Then add the buttermilk. Then mix in the other half of the flour mixture. Mix just until incorporated. Pour batter into bundt pan.
Bake for 60-70 minutes (this was the original instruction; mine took longer--probably close to 80 minutes, so don't freak out if it's not quite done at 70 minutes). A toothpick or knife or some other pricking implement should come out clean or with moist crumbs (not wet blobs) when inserted into the thickest part.
Allow the cake to cool for 5-10 minutes, then turn it out on a cake platter. Spread half the lemon glaze over the warm cake. Do this! It will soak into the cake and contribute to its sheer amazingness.
Let cake cook completely and add the rest of the glaze (Note: The picture you see up top is just with the first layer of glaze. I had to wait for it to cool and by then we were at the potluck and I was dumping it on there, so I didn't get any shots of it truly complete. The glaze on the cooler cake will be more of a frosting and less of a glaze that sinks in.)
For the glaze:
Cream butter. Add sugar and lemon juice. Beat well until it's smooth and creamy.
Optional Strawberry Glaze:
1/2 C strawberry jam
2 Tbsp cream
1-2 Tbsp milk
1 C powdered sugar
Blend in a small blender or whisk.