89th Birthday Celebrations

Families are like fudge — mostly sweet with a few nuts. ~Author Unknown

Hi there!

Holy Moly! What a crazy last week and weekend! I begin to have anxiety when our family calendar looks like it does at the moment.  On Sunday evenings N and I chat about the week, and about how we can help each other with making everything as seamless as possible. I think this is more for me than him, because I can’t relax until I figure out how it’s all going to get done. I feel so lucky to have such a supportive partner in crime, and a family that makes it all fun (most of the time) in the process.

My heart is full of so much love at the moment. My grandmother’s 89th Birthday was yesterday. She demands that everyone fly to San Diego to celebrate every year. I think this is her way of making sure we all remember what is important in life. If by chance someone is not able to make it, she is genuinely upset. She feels there is nothing more important than us all being together.

After many celebrations, lots of pool time, brunch, and cocktails, we concluded the evening last night with one more dinner celebration. I volunteered to make the ever important birthday cake. I decided on two desserts, because you never know how many people will actually be there to celebrate.

My lemon cake is often requested. When I was 13 years old, my uncle showed me how to make this scrumptious cake. It comes from the Silver Palate Cookbook. My other choice, Nutella cupcakes, is a new recipe I borrowed from a blog called Gimme Some Oven. These were a hit! The frosting is to die for!

Glazed Lemon Cake:

Be sure to use fresh lemons and real butter for the full effect. (Of course.)

1/2 pound (2 sticks) sweet butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, stirred or sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 tightly packed Tbls. grated lemon zest
2 Tbls. fresh lemon juice

Lemon Icing (recipe follows)

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Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition.

Sift together flour, baking soda and salt (I just stir them together). Stir dry ingredients into egg mixture alternatively with buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Add lemon zest and juice.

Pour batter into prepared tube pan. Set on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes, or until cake pulls away from side of pan and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool cake in the pan, set on a rack, for 10-15 minutes, then gently loosen top edge of cake from pan all the way around. Invert onto a rack, then spread immediately with the Lemon Icing.

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Lemon Icing

2 cups (1/2 pound) confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
1/2 stick (4 Tbls) sweet butter, softened
2 Tbls. packed grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Cream butter and sugar thoroughly. Mix in lemon juice and zest; spread on warm cake. I always use the extra frosting (you will have extra) to pour into the center of the cake. Everyone loves the glaze, and will want a little extra spread on their slice.

Here is the finished product:

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The french Macaroons, and flower decor, are compliments of my husband. I loved the way it turned out!

The nutella cupcakes:

I added a little chopped chocolate with hazelnuts on top. You can find the recipe here.

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Happy Baking!!

XO,

S

 

 

 

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