Monday, July 25, 2011

A Very, Merry Un-Birthday to You !

One of my very favorite traditions growing up was celebrating half-birthdays.  Not with presents or parties, but with HALF of a cake!

A very, merry UNbirthday, indeed!

Kiddo celebrated his half-birthday over the weekend with HALF of a sweet, tangy and delicious lemonade cake.

I was having tea over at my friend Amanda's (Amanda Carol at Home) house...which, oh, if you ever get a chance to have tea at Amanda's house, jump at it (you'll never want to leave)!  Anyway, she told me about a cake she spotted over at The Exchange.  I knew I NEEDED it. (I mean, kiddo needed it.)

If you love lemon, you are going to LOVE this's a triple-threat of lemon: cake, glaze and frosting.

I changed a few things from the recipe and am posting it here, but be sure to pop by the original on The Exchange.  Her cake is lovely and she gives the history of the cake and tracking down the recipe.

Lemonade Cake
{adapted from The Exchange}

For the cake:
1 (18.25 oz) yellow cake mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 & 1/3  cup buttermilk
1 (4.3 oz) box of lemon pudding
zest of one lemon
3 TBSP lemonade concentrate, thawed

For the glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 TBSP lemonade concentrate, thawed

For the frosting:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp lemonade concentrate, thawed
4 c. powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour 2 round 8" cake pans (or use a spray for baking). Line the bottoms with parchment.  Grease or spray the parchment.

On low speed, combine all of the cake ingredients until combined.  Turn up the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes.  Pour into the prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Meanwhile, make the glaze.  Whisk together the powdered sugar, juice and concentrate.  Set aside.

Once the cakes are done, let cool for 10 minutes in the pans on a cooling rack. Invert and remove from the pans.  Place the cake with the prettiest top right-side-up and the other cake upside down.  Place the cooling rack over a rimmed cookie sheet for pouring the glaze.

Poke holes in each of the cakes with a toothpick.

Pour the glaze over.

Oh, you liked that, did you?  I have more.

...and more....

....and more.

Let the cakes cool completely.

Make the frosting.  Cream the butter and cream cheese together until smooth.  Beat in the vanilla, lemon juice and concentrate until combined. Add in the sugar, beating at low speed. Increase the speed and beat until fully combined and smooth.'s where I messed up.  I bought that "1/3 less fat" cream cheese.  Why?  I have no idea. Maybe it was guilt over all of the chocolate peanut butter ice cream I ate last week.  Anyway, it made my frosting a bit too soft.

If your icing seems too soft to frost the cake, park it in the fridge for an hour or more. Don't get impatient like me and try after 30 minutes or your frosting for the middle will ooze out the sides.

Once frosted, refrigerate 1 hour to set.

If your cake is for a half-birthday, cut the cake in half.  (Give the other half away...preferably to the person who told you about the recipe. In my case, Amanda. In your case, ;)

Half-birthday cakes are not meant to be fancy, so no decorations here.  Just good ol' cake.  And 6 more months until my baby is a teenager. {Hold me.}

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