Family Tradition: The Birthday Fairy, Yellow Butter Cake, and a Golden Birthday

Family Tradition: The Birthday Fairy, Yellow Butter Cake, and a Golden Birthday

My mom has a bit of magic in her.  Always has.  I think I have this magic in me, too.  Maybe it’s genetic…  My mom invented this amazing thing called The Birthday Fairy (shhh, don’t tell!).

When you wake up on your birthday, did you know the Birthday Fairy has been there?

You might be covered in glitter.  As you get out of bed, you might see a trail of candy and small trinkets leading the way from your bed to the hallway and then down to the living room where your wrapped presents lay in a pile.  You might wonder how the Birthday Fairy knew that you really, really wanted jelly shoes.  (Child of the 80’s alert: I remember thinking this!)

I have implemented this idea ever since I got married (as my initially begrudging husband can confirm), but I have really enjoyed it as my sons have gotten old enough to anticipate the Birthday Fairy coming on their special day.  Plus, this year is extra special, because not only is the Birthday Fairy coming, but she is bringing Golden Birthday themed treats and presents.  And I am making a yellow (golden) butter cake for the occasion!

This month my older son is having his golden birthday.  He is so excited!  A golden birthday is when you turn the same number of years old as the day of the month your birthday falls on.  For example, my golden birthday was when I turned 11, because I was born on the 11th.

A Golden Birthday might entail gold candies, gold cake, gold wrapping paper and decorations, and even bunches of balloons and presents in the Golden Birthday number.  And a Birthday Fairy Golden Birthday might be the most magical of all birthdays!!

Because M knows what a golden birthday is, he has been a little, um, opinionatedabout what should happen.  It’s mostly made me laugh, especially when I asked him what he wanted for his birthday and he said “an iPhone”.  Oh, ok. Suuuure.  I’ll get right on that!

I mean, seriously.  So we have now compromised on this: a few books in Spanish (M is learning), a stuffed Angry Bird, a skateboard, and a pool party.  But since he’s been so excited, I couldn’t just let the pool party be any old pool party.

So, how do I celebrate a Golden Birthday?  I mean, I’m not going to buy the kid an iPhone, but he definitely deserves an extra special party for a once in a lifetime Golden Birthday. 

I wrapped his presents with gold bows, found gold-wrapped candies and gold chocolate “coins”, and even painted a little treasure chest with gold paint and filled it with more gold coins!  We also had honey-sweetened lemonade and ginger ale in clear cups, golden cookies, and golden cheesy crackers!

But back to real food cake: The idea for a golden cake with golden icing was born with this special birthday of M’s.  I just needed to real foodify a traditional yellow cake recipe, and we were good to go!

There are plenty of yellow birthday cake recipes out there, including my Yellow Coconut Cake.  And don’t get me wrong, I love that cake recipe.  But M has already had for his birthday twice, as well as his brother’s birthday, and mine.  (Can you tell we were on GAPS last year?  Yes, the coconut cake is GAPS-legal!)

Plus, now that we have finished GAPS and are eating properly prepared grains, I wanted to figure out a way to get a sprouted or soaked yellow cake recipe off the ground.  What better time than for a freckly little son of mine as he has his Golden Birthday!

When you eat this cake, prepare yourself for a soft, buttery cake gently enveloped in floral honey buttercream.  It’s light, it’s full of nutrient-dense grass-fed butter, and it’s perfect for any party.  Plus, the flour is soaked in buttermilk, making this nutritious cake that much better by being easier to digest.  Savor each bite, because I have outdone myself with this one!

Equipment Needed:

Note Update: Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature, to ensure that the batter comes together nicely.

Yellow Butter Cake

soaking overnight:
4 cups freshly ground or sprouted flour (buy whole grains here, sprouted flour herehow to make sprouted flour here)
2 cups buttermilk (buy buttermilk starters herehow to make buttermilk here)

the next morning:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter (buy grass-fed butter here, how to make butter here)
1 1/4 cups honey (buy raw honey here)
1/4 cup whole cane sugar, preferably coconut sugar (it’s lighter colored) (buy coconut sugar here)
2 teaspoons baking powder (buy aluminum-free baking powder here)
2 teaspoons baking soda (buy aluminum-free baking soda here)
1 teaspoons sea salt (buy unrefined sea salt here)
4 large eggs, plus 2 large egg yolks, preferably from pastured chickens
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (buy extracts here)

Note: to prepare a cake pan lay out a piece of parchment paper and set the cake pan on top of it.  Trace the bottom of the cake pan onto the parchment with a pencil.  Remove the pan.  Cut out the circle with scissors smaller than the one that you drew.  It should fit the pan perfectly, and won’t leave you with any pencil marks touching your batter.  Finally, butter the cake pan, lay the parchment circle onto the butter, and then butter the parchment circle itself.

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour and buttermilk.  Cover with a towel and let soak overnight in a warm place, between 12-24 hours.
  2. The next morning, remove the towel from the soaked flour bowl and set aside.  Preheat oven to 350.
  3. In a stand mixer (or a fresh bowl with a hand mixer), cream butter, honey, and coconut sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the soaked flour mixture, breaking it up into smaller pieces as you add it to the bowl.
  5. Add baking powder, baking soda, and salt, mixing to combine.  Add eggs and yolks, and vanilla, mixing to combine.
  6. Pour cake batter into the prepared cake pans (see note, above), half the batter in each pan.  Take care not to scrape every last bit of batter into the pans, as this recipe makes slightly too much batter.  You don’t want the cake pans to overflow!
  7. Set the pans sharply down on the counter top a couple of times to get any bubbles out of the batter.
  8. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown, fragrant, and set in the middle.  Remove to cooling racks and let cool completely.
  9. Loosen the cakes from the sides of the pan with a spatula or butter knife.  Gently invert the cake pans onto your hand or the cooling rack.

Golden Honey-Vanilla Buttercream

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened (buy butter here, how to make butter here)
3/4 cup set honey (thick honey) (buy raw honey here)
2 teaspoons vanilla (buy organic extracts here)
pinch salt (optional) (buy unrefined sea salt here)
natural yellow food coloring (optional: I have this brand from the store)

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or a hand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment), beat the butter and honey together until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla, salt, and coloring, and beat again until fluffy.
  2. Use immediately to frost a cake: place one cake layer on the cake plate and frost the top of that layer.  Lay the second cake layer on top and frost the top of the second layer.
  3. Gradually work the frosting over the sides of the cake and smooth until the cake is completely covered.  Clean the sides of the cake plate with a damp towel.  Decorate andchill for at least 30 minutes before serving!
  4. To serve, take the cake out of the fridge and cut while it is still chilled.  This helps the fluffy honey icing keep it’s shape, as well as the crumbly, buttery cake.

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