Last year my hubby turned 30 and I celebrated big, throwing him a party and giving him 30 gifts. So as his 31st birthday has approached this year, I’ve struggled with how to follow up on all the hype of last year. Really, there’s no way, so I settled on a “normal” birthday of dinner out, cake, and a “normal” number of presents. I think my favorite present to him was the one Oliver gave him- a package of deli sliced chicken meat. They both LOVE it but I don’t buy it much because I prefer turkey. So Oliver bought him a package for them to share. Adorable.
Michael requested a lemon cake.
Yuck. Delicious. A few years ago I was given the book The Cake Mix Doctor Returns by Anne Byrn but haven’t gotten to use it as much as I want because Weight Watchers. So I turned to it to search for a good lemon cake recipe. If you don’t know about the Cake Mix Doctor, she doctors up box mixes to make even better cakes. I decided to use the recipe for her Lemon Lover’s Cake (Though, slightly altered because the grocery store was out of lemons. Of course.) (Also, this was definitely not my best decorating effort. It was SO. HOT. in the kitchen and the icing wasn’t cooperating and it just didn’t go well. Please excuse the decorating disaster this one time).
Lemon Lover’s Cake (from Anne Byrn’s The Cake Mix Doctor Returns, page 53)
- 1 box (18.25 oz, though, that doesn’t exist anymore, so….) plain yellow or vanilla cake mix (I used yellow but I think next time I would just use white. The yellow taste came through kind of strong)
- 1 package (3.4 oz) lemon instant pudding mix
- 1 container (6 oz) lemon yogurt
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs
- 1 Tbsp lemon juce
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray and flour the pans (I used 9 inch squares, but the recipe calls for round).
- Mix all the ingredients together on low for 30 seconds, then 1 and a half minutes longer on medium, scraping the sides of the bowl periodically. Pour the batter evenly into the two pans.
- Bake until golden brown, 25-30 minutes. (I baked mine 22 minutes since they were square and they were almost overbaked)
- Let cool completely before icing.
In the book, Byrn includes a recipe for lemon cream cheese frosting, but I’ve never had much luck making my own frostings so I bought a can of cream cheese icing and a can of lemon, added a bit of lemon juice and mixed it all together in the mixer. It turned out great!
I think the 31st birthday went well!