1/26/15

Video: Teddy's Birthday / A Vanilla Birthday Cake with Meyer Lemon Curd Filling

We're taking a momentary break from all the book publicity to celebrate the first year of our son's life. No big deal! Psyyyyych. It's a huge deal. I love this kid soooooooo much.
Basically, I took three different recipes and put them together to make a layer cake. Teddy loves citrus, so I put a few dollops of lemon curd in between each cake layer, and then I iced it all with the vanilla frosting (which I obviously dyed with food coloring). Also, I used Meyer lemons for the curd because we have a Meyer lemon tree (God bless, Southern California!), but you could definitely use regular lemons.

Vanilla Birthday Cake with Meyer Lemon Curd Filling 
serves a bunch of adults and even a few babies

Vanilla Cake (can be divided into either two or three 9-inch round cakes) slightly adapted from The Art of Simple Food
4 eggs, separated
1 cup milk
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter the cake pans and line the bottom of each with parchment paper. Butter the paper and dust the pans with flour, tapping out the excess. Separate your eggs. Measure the milk.

Sift and measure the flour. [I always skip the step of sifting flour, though I'm sure my cake would be somewhat lighter if I didn't.] Stir in the baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat the softened butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar. Cream until it's also light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time. Add the vanilla.

When well mixed, add the flour mixture and milk alternately, starting and ending with the one third of the flour. Stir just until the flour is incorporated. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. Stir one third of the egg whites into the batter, then gently fold in the rest. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 to 40 minutes if using two cake pans and more like 20 to 30 minutes if using three cake pans.


Meyer Lemon Curd slightly adapted from The Art of Simple Food
Note: This recipe makes about two cups of curd, which is more than enough for the cake. Maybe use the rest on top of toast for a special breakfast? Or on top of zucchini bread? I don't know!

about 3 Meyer lemons (You need 1/2 cup of lemon juice)
2 eggs
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) of butter, cut into small pieces

Grate the zest of one lemon and set aside. Juice the lemons; you want about 1/2 cup juice. Beat the eggs, egg yolks, milk, sugar and salt together until just mixed. Stir in the lemon juice and the lemon zest. Add the butter.

Cook in a nonreactive heavy pan, stirring constantly over medium heat until it's thick enough to coat a spoon. Do not allow the mixture to boil or the eggs will curdle. (Guess what? My eggs did curdle just a tiny bit, but no worries! I just strained the mixture through a sieve and it was totally fine.)

Pour into a bowl or clean glass jars to cool. Cover and refrigerate for up to two weeks.

Vanilla Frosting slightly adapted from Martha Stewart Living
makes enough to ice and decorate a 9-inch layer cake

2 sticks butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
about 6 cups confectioner's sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Beat together butter and cream cheese with a mixer on medium-high sped until pale and creamy, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low. Add confectioner's sugar, about 1 cup at a time, beating well after reach addition.

Add salt and vanilla and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.

(If not using immediately, cover surface of frosting with plastic wrap. Frosting can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 1 week. Before using, bring to room temperature, then beat on low speed until smooth.)
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37 comments:

Matthew said...

Teddy ages so gracefully. Super graceful. xoxo

Caley said...

So much cute packed into one year. Congrats!

Lydia said...

Aww Tedddyyyy! Isn't video so incredible? I always wish I had more, especially in the early months when I wasn't thinking proactively. I've never made a decorated cake before but my daughter's first birthday will be my gateway (excited!). I wonder if I'll cry?

Sara said...

This is so cute! Happy birthday, Teddy! I love the Mavis interactions and the pure bliss while he eats his birthday cake.

HAILEY said...

You're so lucky to have Matt with that video camera! This was great (especially the Mavis bit.) Happy Birthday to your Teddy!

Jodi Hildebrand said...

I love that smiley little dude. Happy Birthday Teddy!

Amy Mills said...

damn what a great video -- that series of sneezes, ooph

Dani Elis said...

He is gorgeous! I love that you have recorded him, I think it's such a lovely thing to do & look back on! Plus this cake sounds to die for and I really like that you put a citrus twist in it especially for him :) Best mum award!!

The Wednesday Chef said...

I LOVE TEDDY SO MUCH!!! Omg, seriously. It hurts. Happy birthday, adorable boy!

Neal said...

dude is graceful.

Carmen said...

has a good editor

kaitlyn sage said...

You guys made one adorable tiny human. Way to go.

Mark and Marsha said...

This video is the perfect cure for any kind of blues. It makes us smile every time we watch it. We love Teddy!!!

Mary Anne said...

Am I the only one here who just wants to comment on the cake? Solid cake.

Matthew said...

Thanks, Scar!

horvatme said...

Omg. That video is amazing and Teddy is one happy/lucky little guy! Molly and I made the cake today... YUUMMMM!!!

Sharon Graves said...

Bruce would love that video. I do, too! happy birthday to all of you!

Unknown said...

I waited a longtime to be a grandma and it was worth it. He is a delightful little boy! Mom

Amelia Morris said...

Thanks, Caley!!

Amelia Morris said...

Crying about once a week is just the norm now. :) :)

Amelia Morris said...

re: Matt, I know!! Beyond lucky.

Amelia Morris said...

Teddy is looking forward to Malcolm's!!

Amelia Morris said...

Thanks, Amy!

Amelia Morris said...

Hahaaa thanks, Dani!

Amelia Morris said...

Ahhh, thanks, Luisa!!

Amelia Morris said...

Baby Baryshnikov?

Amelia Morris said...

Thanks, Kaitlyn--I agree!

Amelia Morris said...

xoxoxoxox

Amelia Morris said...

Thanks, MARE. It came out a little Hunger Games-esque. Not intentional!

Amelia Morris said...

ahhh, thanks, Megan!

Amelia Morris said...

hahahhaaa Bruce approved!

Amelia Morris said...

Thanks, Unknown MOM!

Amelia Morris said...

:) :)

sarah said...

I don't know how you stand it. Teddy is SOOOOOO darling! I want to take him home with me and kiss him! :)

Kate Ramos said...

What a sweet video. Every parent should have a video of all the first year cuteness. You'll need it when he hits three.

KK said...

so smiley :)
do they really start walking so early? we're at 4 1/2 months and i am in no way ready!

Amelia Morris said...

They can! It's crazy! But for your sake, I hope your little one waits a bit. Teddy fell ALL the time until like 11 months. And congratulations! I love all the baby stages but you're in for a treat; I think 6 months is pretty freaking cute. xoxx