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 cake...it'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.

Now...here'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, well...me.) ;)

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.}


  1. The cake looks wonderful, and the pictures of Kiddo eating are hilarious! The foodie in me loves that you included so many glazing shots, too. ;-)

  2. I saw this receipe, and am considering making them as lemon meringue cupcakes...for my real birthday! I figure glaze...and then meringue on top...might mean I have to buy myself a torch for my birthday too :)

  3. That's how we celebrate half birthdays too! My middle boy was just asking when his half birthday is this weekend. It's coming up soon! And he'll get half a cake. In fact he'll get half of a store bought cake! Scandalous, no? :) However, I did pin this recipe for use at a later time so I may talk myself into making it for his half birthday too. Thanks for sharing! :)

  4. Oh, dear… You gave me so many ideas! Well, I'm not a father, but when the time comes. Just made me smile.

  5. I just love you and your half birthday celebration!!

    A few years ago I tried to get my husband to celebrate MY half birthday.

    It didn't work.

  6. Kiddo is so cute! I just started the half birthday cake tradition with my 2 yr. old Jack last fall when he turned 18 mos. old. Half birthdays are important too! And hey, any excuse to eat cake, right? ;-)

  7. I love how cute your little boy looks! I am sure he is a happy kid having a mom that celebrates a half birthday!!! haha

    And the lemon cake?
    looks more than delicious!!!!!

  8. What fun!!

    We make a cake similar to that, and I love to keep it in the fridge...it makes it SO moist!

    I KNEW when I saw your hint on twitter, it was going to be lemon!~!

    Now, I need to go make one!

  9. LOVE!! It truly was the best piece of cake Ive ever had!!! and i have hidden the last piece so I can have it with tea later!! :-)

  10. Wow... what a cool idea! Never thought of that. My half birthday is next week... wonder if I can get someone to make me half a cake

  11. yuh know . . . i think i like these kinds of cake best!! and LOVE seeing the kiddo so excited (the flared nostrils give him away . . . ;-)

  12. What a fabulous tradition! Kiddo looks thrilled with his half-birthday cake(I can see why)! It's nice to be appreciated:)

  13. What a wonderful idea for a half birthday! I'm thrilled that you were inspired by the cake! I love the changes, especially poking the holes for the glaze!!! MMMM... So since Amanda got the other half, is she suppose to now make me one? Is that how it works? LOL!
    Cheers and thank you!

  14. LOVE this idea! A very Merry Un-Birthday to your *baby*...NOT! What a cutie pie!

  15. Ha, that's great, half a cake! I used to get so excited about half birthdays when I was a kid, now I kind of wish the actual birthdays were more like once every couple of years, lol.

  16. Haha, I love it. You're so funny. I tried to make a lemon cake yesterday too for my brother's full birthday. It was whole. And lemon. With some sketchy buttercream :)

  17. Oh my... This cake sounds fantastic! I love the way you celebrate half birthdays. Someday when we have kids, I definitely want to do the same!

  18. LOVE it!!! I think I MUST make this too!!!

  19. I want this cake for my birthday. And half birthday too. And maybe Labor Day, and Thanksgiving...

    Seriously, I'm a chocolate fan but lemon just hits the spot.

  20. I could use a birthday and a half's worth of this cake today. It looks amazingly good! Happy half birthday to Kiddo. :)

  21. Such a cute idea! Luckily my husbands 1/2 birthday is next month so I can do this for him. Get ready for lots of 1/2 cakes in your mailbox =)

  22. How have I never heard of doing this for half birthdays?! That's awesome! And yes, never 1/3 fat cream cheese when it comes to our sweets. Save that for the weekday bagels :)

  23. one of my great friends celebrated her half birthday this past weekend too (friday)and in her blog she talked about the same video clip you posted!!! I had to take a second look at whose blog i was reading just now!!! (mid-late january is a popular time for bdays! my hubby's half birthday was sunday and my sisters is today!)

  24. Cake looks so yum,thnks for steo by step tutorial

  25. What a great idea! Especially since kids are always telling you they're X and a half, etc. Those are the things kids hang onto and carry forward into their own family. Love it! :)

  26. What a wonderful tradition! And what an absolutely delicious-looking cake!

  27. :We used to always celebrate half birthdays growing up- my sister and I are 3 1/2 years apart so we always got to feel special at the other person's birthday.

  28. I am hoping that the other half of that cake will arrive at my doorstep shortly. Yum!

    We watch Alice in Wonderland here about 100 times per week. I can't even think about my baby being a teenager. Waaahhhh...

  29. I totally love this idea. It reduces the "don't want to make a whole cake because you have to eat it" syndrome!

  30. Happy Un-Birthday to Kiddo! Anything lemon makes me swoon, and this cake ...oh, this cake!

  31. Mmmmmm.....that lemonade cake looks delicious. I hope I will be able to make it soon and share it with you :) I like your pictures =) and such a adorable birthday boy.

    I cant find google connect in your blog. Dont know how to follow you though....sorry im a newbie in this whole blog-sphere

  32. I LOVE your 1/2 birthday idea!! When I was little my family didn't speak in terms of half birthdays so I thought I was missing out on a half a year that everyone else was getting.
    I'm pregnant and due in January (much to close to Christmas in my opinion) so I'm totally using your 1/2 birthday idea with my new little one!! Thanks!!

  33. Stumbled upon your blog and thought it was to cute! My friend also celebrates her half birthday! I actually just posted it on mine... have a look if you have time! cakengineer.blogspot.com!

  34. Well, it good. No, AWESOME. My "food memory" is nothing compared to yours, Sweetness, but I'll say that it was soooo good, that I would consider giving up chocolate cake for life for this.

  35. I love lemon cake of any sort. And the photos of the (half) birthday boy are great. thanks for sharing them.

  36. So cute! I will have to save this idea for next year since we've just passed Kidlet's 1/2 birthday too.

  37. Oh how I adore this tradition. What a fun idea and a delicious cake! Love your little man... he's so handsome!

  38. Love this post, Bridget and Kiddo is just precious!! Could just squeeze him he's so gosh darned cute.

  39. Make me SMILE!
    Kiddo is CUTE~COOL and the perfect combination of you and Mr. E!
    I just know I would LOVE him to pieces! ;o)
    How FUN are you guys celebrating half~birthdays!
    Amanda is one lucky girl getting the other 1/2 of that cake!
    Can't believe Kiddo is turning 13!
    We will celebrate Lily's 13th birthday this Christmas!
    Hugs to you both!
    Enjoyed the Alice in Wonderland clip with my coffee!
    I could spend all morning over here with you.
    Okay...I will go now~
    ENJOY the day my friend.

  40. Oh my gosh !!! i thought my sister and i were the only people who celebrate un-birthdays (half bdays) AND we send the alice and wonderland clip to each other and sing it for our un-birthdays !!! I'm glad we are not alone...and i'm REALLY glad i now can add to it half a cake ! What a fab idea!!!!!

  41. J takes after his great grandfather, the original J. Lemon cake with a glaze was his favorite and was almost always made for his real birthday. Nana could rock a delicious lemon cake from scratch!

  42. OMG, we do 1/2 birthdays with 1/2 a cake too! But I always frost the entire thing, even the cut side.

  43. YUMMM this cake is AMAZING!! Thank you for sharing this recipe just in time for my husband and mom's birthday! I added a layer of raspberry jam in the middle and some fresh raspberries on top, it was awesome! Also...now I have the Unbirthday song stuck in my head! :)

  44. Love the concept of a 1/2 birthday! Am definitely filing this idea away for future use in a few months.

  45. What a GREAT idea! And I think it's something I may have to implement for my FIL, who has been asking for a half-birthday cake. We'll see :) Looks delicious.

  46. Just discovered your blog (a recommendation from Vanilla Bean), and I love it! I am known for making cupcakes, but your cake inspired me to make my first "layered" cake ever in my 34 years. I LOVE IT! Thanks so much! Look forward to following the blog and seeing what is next =)

  47. Hi! A friend sent me to your blog because of the cherries cookies- SO ADORABLE!!! I love cherries things (my kitchen decor!). Can't wait to spend more time here with you, I am baker, too!I want to tell you to enjoy that kid of yours, it goes soooo fast! My son is going away to college in 3 weeks, boo-hoo! My daughter is a sophomore, so we still have time! Enjoy!

  48. I made this cake yesterday for my husband's birthday. It was devine! LOVED IT! I had not baked a cake in over 10 years. This cake was easy to make and my husband loved it more than the cake his mother made him!!!!

    Alas, I put this into the Weight Watchers Points Plus calculator. The total is 153 Points. But... If you only eat 1/16th of the cake it's only 10 points. Not too bad for a special occassion splurge.

  49. Kiddo is one handsome about to be teen and your photographs of him enjoying his half birthday celebration are wonderful. The cake looks wonderful and moist Bridget.

  50. I made this cake, slightly modified, for a party I had tonight. It was truly the life of the party. I made it a Coconut Lemonade cake by using 1 can of coconut milk in place of the oil and buttermilk. I added 1/2 cup sweetened coconut to the cake batter, then topped the frosted cake with toasted coconut. This is my new favorite cake. I love, Love, LOVE the fresh lemon taste! Thanks for your great blog!

  51. I need to ask, how do you get your cakes so perfect? You hardly have a dome that you have to shave off! What's your secret??

    1. Hmm....you know what? I don't know. It must be the recipe. :)

  52. I love this idea, very clever, cute and delicious💜


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