New Birthday Cake?

comments: 77


On Sunday, I baked cake and roasted chicken and made stock and made soup and it was delightful. I cleaned out the kitchen recently — gave away the baking pans and utensils and things I never use, reorganized what I had, cleaned out the pantry, oiled all of the wooden things, got pretty jars for the dry goods. As a result, I've been spending about 400% more time in the kitchen and enjoying every minute of it.

Over Christmas, Andy's mom sent us a lemon coffee cake in the mail. I honestly think it was one of the best cakes I have ever had in my life. I think it is a lot like a pound cake but it just seemed even better than any pound cake I've ever had. She explained that the recipe and the special cake pan she used to bake it was from one of her favorite little shops called Pipka's of Door County (Wisconsin) in Sister Bay. And for my birthday, she sent me the special pan (which comes with the recipe) and some gorgeous vanilla sugar, spiced sugar, and lemon extract. The pan is called a Rehrucken pan and it is long and skinny.


She makes the lemon version, which replaces the almond extract with lemon extract. She also told me that after the cake comes out of the oven and gets taken out of the pan (after six minutes of sitting in the pan, which I think is hilarious [the "six" part] ), she brushes the top with butter and then sprinkles it with the vanilla sugar. So I did that.


I also added a sprinkle of powdered sugar because it's pretty and looks like snow, of course.


Dang, this is GOOD CAKE. Hers was better than mine, so I'll just have to keep trying [wink]. There are many variations listed on the recipe page so that should be no hardship at all! And the pan is just so cool, too. She also sent me a beautiful little Carl Larsson tray (like these, but mine has a different image; can't find mine on the Pipka's site) that fits the cake just perfectly but I forgot to take a picture of it! Well, there will be more cake opportunities. I could see this with whipped cream and fresh raspberries or strawberries in the summer. (I mean, who couldn't see that, right?)

One thing about taking pictures with the phone/Hipstamatic (my big camera is still out there between home and the mountain somewhere): Its very limitations is seeeeeeriously liberating. Like, you can really only take the shot it shows you; you can't zoom in, you can't change the aperture, you can't change the focal length, you can't re-crop it in Photoshop (or you will lose the border thing). Right? You can't put it on a tripod (oh joy!). You just hold it up to something and press the "shutter." This is not how I ever take pictures. Normally I fuss with everything, and in the house I never take a picture without a tripod. Ever. And I re-crop and Photoshop everything, too. With the phone pictures I just whip out the phone and point it at something. Done (though I do still Filter/Sharpen everything after I upload them from the phone — I always do that). I LOVE THIS. Total point and shoot.

I will probably go back to taking regular pictures when my camera comes back, but until then I am psyched about the phone. Thank you again for all of the sweet comments lately. And thanks for the recommendations on different photo apps to try! I have barely scratched the surface yet, so I am looking forward to exploring all of that. You guys are awesome. xoxo

Update: For those who asked, the settings I think I am mostly using on the Hipstamatic app are the John S lens and the Ina's 1969 film. But for most of the first two days I took photos (mostly at Timberline, see yesterday's post) the camera was on shake mode, so it was changing the film and the lens unexpectedly and I didn't know how to turn them back. And then I figured out how to turn that shaking thing off, and now it's consistently back on John S and Ina's 1969 (which come with the app). I also got the Helga Viking lens, but I don't remember which photos I took with that one [sheepish smile]. But I hope that helps!


This is one of my favorite cakes! I've had this pan for years... I really do swear by the original almond version. I have better results when I mix it by hand. If I use the mixer, it beats too much air into it.

A Scandinavian friend gave me this pan and recipe a few years ago, and I love it. I've never made the lemon recipe,'s snowy and cold here in Minnesota so tonight might be the night to "recipe test."

I NEED TO see that Carl Larsson tray - I haven't been able to find a tray to hold this cake EVER. Because it's such a spectacularly shaped cake, you can't just whack it in half and plop it on any old square tray.

Amy, I will try to find the tray on line. I think it came from the same place. . . .

Beat by hand. Got it.. Yummm!!!

You have no idea how much I want lemon cake now.

I am loving these photos...simple and warm. familiar like my childhood photo album. cake looks dang good too!

Delish! I would be "practicing" with that recipe too, I think.

I've been using Hipstamatic photos for my blog too - for the same reasons. It looks like we like the same "film."

mmm. lemons...

My husband and some of my friends don't get that I like making my birthday cake each year. This year I made the Caramel Cake from smitten kitchen and I was nearly swooning from happiness!

Okay, here are some trays that are similar (though mine has a different image -- can't find it on the Pipka's site though):

Have you ever made Ina's Lemon Pound Cake? (She also has a recipe for an Orange Pound Cake which is my favorite). I have a pan that is similar to yours that I found at Ikea last year. It is much longer and skinnier than a loaf pan and it is RED! I use it when I make banana bread and it makes the PERFECT sized slices. Happy Baking!

Gee whiz... I had no idea that I need a pan, more recipes, an iPhone, pretty cake trays! And cake too, of course! Thank you... and now I am off on a link journey!

Ahk! It's round on the bottom!
I just followed your links, and now I am more smitten than ever!
Such pretties. Such charm. Such an ache it gives me to play, bake, and pretend I am a smidge-bit Swedish.
Thank you Alicia.

That cake looks delightful! Do you read Cook's Country? Their latest issue (Feb/March) has a recipe for a ginger wafer cookie called Fairy Gingerbread. It looks like something you would like!

Cake sounds perfect and I'm heading to the site NOW! I'm not usually a fan of baking, but I'm trying and this sounds darned good! Thanks.

If you have an IPhone 4 you CAN zoom - just tap the screen and slide the bar to zoom and if you have a 3Gs just extend your arms ;-) (I'm cracking myself up)

Mmmmmmm! Mmmmmm!!! :) Alicia, you are such the Baker!! A girl after my own heart...:)

I am lovin' your new iphone too!! Great photos! Although, I DO LOVE your photos you have been taking all along with your other camera too!

At first when I was viewing these I thought your counter-top had miniature tiles. Then I realized it was the cooling rack on top of your counter. Very cool photos!! I have been playing with some of my camera photos (when I have time) in the Picnik program (the free features). It is very fun, and very addicting!! :)

Thanks for sharing the Carl Larsson link. I love his art!! The trays are so sweet!!! :) I will be keeping these in mind for future gifts, and for my own wish list!

Kathleen Loughran says: January 11, 2011 at 10:21 AM

I probably shouldn't tell you this if you haven't found it that is but Photoshop has a free app for the iPhone. Love it.

I have some fresh lemons waiting to be used, however no fancy pan. I think my daughter and I are going to have to make some of this today. Right now, in fact !

Oh, be still my heart! Lemon cake is my favorite!

A work friend made this cake (almond version) for DH for his bday and sent a brand new pan home with him so I could make him more! I guess I better try it now that I have your recommendation, too! It looks and sounds delicious, in all it's variations =-)

Yum lemon cake - just the right thing to eat for breakfast right?! :)

Hey, yo, I'm in Wisconsin too. :)

I hope that your camera and your knitting is almost home to you. I honestly don't know which I would miss more, my camera or my crochet projects.

Too funny, I have that same pan, and my MIL makes that almond cake in hers--it's become a tradition for baby and bridal showers and christenings. My husband's maternal grandmother had a summer cabin on Washington Island, WI (which is in Door County, I believe), and DH's family went up every summer for a couple weeks. A couple years ago, right before she died, Grandmama bought one of those pans for each of her grandkids/their spouses. I don't use it often, but whenever I see it in the cabinet I think of her and smile.

oh, alicia. don't tempt me. lemon cake is my husband's favorite and his birthday is next month...

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at