Today is my birthday and I am thinking about birthday cakes. My friends sent sweet messages wishing me a happy birthday, more than one person said they hoped I didn’t have to bake my own birthday cake. As great as my mother and grandmother were in the kitchen I can’t remember one homemade birthday cake ever. There is a picture of my first birthday and my grandmother placing a cake in front of me, it looks homemade, but of course, I don’t remember any of it. The only birthday cakes I remember are those from my late 20’s on, my mother used to call my favorite bakery in Chicago and have them deliver some decadent creations to work. It made me very popular for a few years, as there was cake to feed dozens. There was a great deal of disappointment amoung my co-workers when I told my mom I really didn’t need a giant cake for my birthday. The two cakes that stand out most are the last two cakes I ate on birthday’s past. For my 2013 birthday, Brian and I met my parents for a birthday lunch at the halfway point between Chicago and their home in Michigan. My dad got out of the car with a giant cake box, it was one of those super sweet sugary frosting cakes you get at the grocery store. There were four of us and that cake could have fed the entire restaurant. The second cake that stands out in my mind is my birthday in 2014. Again it was a sugary frosted cake in a large box. We were in Michigan for the Easter holiday, my dad had passed on the summer before, thankfully my sister and her husband were visiting from Texas, but my dad’s presence was missed. I have not eaten birthday cake since then.
If I were to make a cake for myself today it would be my grandmother’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. Growing up she baked this cake on a regular basis. This cake was the first cake I started making when I moved out on my own. It is my go-to cake and the easiest cake to make, in fact, it is the easiest thing I bake overall. You just toss everything into one bowl, mix and pour into a bundt pan. Over the years I have made a few changes to my grandmother’s recipe, adding a lemon glaze. I have been sharing my baked goods with friends and family, this cake is the one that is requested on a regular basis. One friend told me he could eat it more than once a week.
Sour Cream Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze
Preheat oven to 325
Makes one 10-inch ring cake
2 1/4 cups All-purpose flour
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 Cup Butter softened
2 Cups Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Cup Sour Cream
1 tsp Vanilla
2 Cups Confectioners sugar
1/2 Cup Lemon juice
2 tbsp Butter
Note: you can make this cake without the glaze and it will still be delicious
Cake: Generously grease a 12 cup fluted bundt cake pan, I like to use the Pam baking spray, but you can also use 1 tbsp of solid shortening and a little flour
In a large bowl, blend all the ingredients until moistened. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool to lukewarm; invert onto serving plate.
Glaze: Using a double boiler, mix confectioners sugar, lemon juice and butter. Heat until sugar dissolves and the mixture is smooth. You can also heat in microwave at 30-second intervals stirring between each 30-second interval. Spoon evenly over the cake. Let sit for a few minutes before serving