Today is my sister’s birthday! If I could make a wish, I wish that we were together to celebrate her birthday. In fact, I wish we lived closer to share every birthday, every holiday and all the days in between! Just over 10 years ago, I left my home town to start a fresh new life with my two young children. I have no regrets except….missing my family. Coming from an Italian family where every event was celebrated with nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles, you name it they were invited; to small, shall I say “intimate” gatherings of three, my children and I.
My sister and I are 10 years apart from each other; yes I’ll say it, I am the younger one. We always were close in a little sister / big sister way but as we got older and both had families and children, the closer we became. Now, with our children pretty well grown, I miss her the most. Once a year visits, if that, are just not enough. But…
Today is your birthday! And here, my sister, is your virtual birthday cake! We all know you are not one with a passion for cooking or baking. If my sister was ever asked to bring the dessert, we always knew a bundt cake was on its way! She’d whip up that box cake mix; pour it into the pan, no layering or frosting required!
These adorable little bundt cakes were baked with love for you. Made from scratch with lots of light, citrus flavor and a shot or two of Limoncello over the warm baked cakes absorbs even more lemony tipsy goodness!
The candles were lit and I made a special wish just for you. Happy Birthday!
2 1/3 cup cake flour
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
½ cup butter, softened, room temperature
½ cup mango/banana puree *
1 cup sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
Lemon zest from 2 large organic lemons
½ cup milk
½ cup Limoncello
For the glaze: ¾ cup powdered sugar, 1 -2 tablespoons Limoncello
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan. Combine the cake flour, baking powder and sea salt together and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Mix in the mango/banana puree and sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the eggs in one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the lemon zest.
Alternate mixing in 1/3 of the flour, 1/3 of the milk and repeat until all is mixed in. Do not overmix. Pour into the prepared pan, leveling the mix.
Bake for 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow the cake to cool about 1 hour. Flip the cake over onto a cake plate to release the cake from the pan and then return back to the pan. Generously poke holes throughout the cake and pour 1/3 of the Limoncello over the cake. Allow it to seep in for about 10 minutes, then pour another third repeating until all Limoncello is used. Let cake set in pan to soak up all the Limoncello, then flip over to plate.
For the glaze: gently warm 1-2 tablespoons of Limoncello and mix into the powder sugar until smooth. Pour over cake and allow to set.
*Note: My mother’s recipe used 2 sticks of butter. I like to replace 1 stick with a fruit puree. I purchase organic baby food in natural fruit flavors to substitute for the butter. Works great, adds another flavor and is less fattening! p.s. I also use baby fruit to add to my oatmeal, fruit pies, quick bread, muffins or cobblers!
I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.