Birthdays and Baked Goods

[Michael’s birthday cake, May 2008.]

I’ve said it before, but it’s true: birthdays call for cake, and a bit of spoiling.

So tonight, to celebrate my dear M‘s birthday, we took ourselves all the way down to Fort Mason to watch the sun set from one of the nicest spots in the city: Greens. He had vegetable and tofu skewers on pistachio Israeli couscous and I had pea and ricotta ravioli in a light lemon-butter sauce piled on again with sugar snaps and chive blossoms. We both shared the ‘Indian sampler’ — dal, a filo pocket, coconut rice — to start with, and finished with cappucino and biscotti. We sat at a window table and watched the sun sweep down into the bay while a heron flapped silently by, cutting low across the water. It was a fine place to be on the first day of May. Then we came home through the cool night for cake and presents.


We have a little tradition that the birthday person gets breakfast in bed, so this morning began with two (warm) blueberry muffins and a cup of green tea. Now, this might seem rather plain — just tea, and muffins — but we are not really the fanciful sort and anyway, these are my favorite muffins ever so I think I can be excused (I think they’re his favorite muffins ever, too, which is good since he was the birthday boy).

I’ll leave you, just quickly, with the recipe; I’ve got to get back to my chocolate cake.


Blueberry muffins, from

2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup milk
8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs
1 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Butter 16 standard muffin cups.

In a bowl, stir and toss together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together the milk, butter and eggs until smooth. Add the flour mixture and stir just until blended. Add the blueberries and stir just until evenly incorporated.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each one about three-fourths full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan.

Makes about 16 standard muffins.

Join the Conversation

  1. What a cute little cake!

  2. I love love LOVE breakfast in bed. My sundays are dedicated to eating muffins and coffee with music on in the background and a damn good book in my hands. Seems like birthday celebrations are everywhere as I am trying to cram two bday parties in two days. Did I mentio nthat I am baking things for both of them?! Ahh, oh well.

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