Birthday Halfsies

Celebrating half birthdays continues to be one of my favorite family traditions.  There are no presents, no Pinterest-worthy parties, nothing fancy...just half of a cake, and maybe, if you're lucky, a cut-in-half birthday card.

lemon poppyseed bundt cake recipe for a half birthday
Even though my mom liked to bake, I remember our half birthday cakes usually being the half Bundt cakes from the grocery store.  See what I mean?  Half birthdays are NOT fancy.  I tend to go the Bundt cake route, too, but not always

lemon poppyseed bundt cake recipe for a half birthday
Bundt cakes can sometimes be dry or dense...too dense.  Not this one.  It's moist, lemony, and topped off with an irresistible lemon cream cheese frosting. 

lemon poppyseed bundt cake recipe for a half birthday
Here's the rule, though:  you must not present the half birthday person with the whole cake.  Give the other half away.  It's fun; I promise.

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Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting 

{makes 1 Bundt cake...give away the other half for half birthdays!}

for the cake:
1 box lemon cake mix
1 box instant lemon pudding mix
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup water
4 eggs
2 TBSP poppy seeds

for the frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 lb. powdered sugar
pinch kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract (optional)

Grease and flour a Bundt pan.  Preheat oven to 350.

Combine all of the cake ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat on low until combined.  Increase speed to medium-high and mix for 2 minutes more.  Pour into the prepared pan and bake 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

lemon poppyseed bundt cake recipe for a half birthday
Cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  Place a wire cooling rack on the bottom of the cake (which is facing up).  Invert the pan onto the cooling rack, remove the Bundt pan and let the cake cool completely.
lemon poppyseed bundt cake recipe for a half birthday

To make the frosting: Beat the cream cheese and butter together using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer until smooth, combined and fluffy.  Add in the remaining ingredients.  Beat on low until the sugar is incorporated, then increase the speed to medium-high and mix until thickened and fluffy.

Scoop the frosting into a piping bag, cut off the tip and pipe back and forth on top of the cake.
(Obviously, there is a little Nothing Bundt Cakes inspiration happening here.)

Refrigerate to let the frosting set.  Now, if this is for a half birthday, cut the cake in half and give half away.  Ta-da!  You now have a half birthday cake!
lemon poppyseed bundt cake recipe for a half birthday
*cake recipe adapted from Sample House: Recipes from the Soup Shop and More, frosting recipe is my own.*



  1. This cake is fab! I just posted something similar with champagne custard.
    I love that you celebrate 1/2-birthdays. Any excuse for cake is a good one!

  2. What a lovely idea! My birthday is just after Christmas so no-one ever has any money or motivation to do anything...maybe I celebrate a half birthday instead!

  3. My mom always at least noted that it was a half birthday, I loved it. Now I'm trying to get my husband to come around on it...

  4. I like the idea of half birthday and half bundt cake as well. What will you do with another half ? :>

  5. Half birthdays are new to me. I love the idea of a half cake. :)

  6. I love this tradition! So fun. & this cake looks delicious =)

  7. What a cute idea and a delicious looking cake!

  8. What a cute tradition! We used to celebrate half birthdays but the tradition faded away as we got older. I wish it had stuck, though; I'm all in for eating cake as many times a year as possible!

  9. Wow, amazing cake, sounds yummy! I love the decorations



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