I have a friend (shout out to Callie!) who makes the most amazingly beautiful cakes. I have tried to make pretty cakes, but the fact is…I usually fail.
I make ugly cakes. The one thing I’m good at, though, is making cakes that people LOVE to eat. They taste amazing. And once you’ve had a piece of my cake, you’ll overlook their outward appearance.
It’s what’s on the inside that counts, right?
Want to know my secret to making great tasting cakes? I’m ready to tell you. I even baked a cake just for this post (ok, really, Reese had a birthday on Sunday. I HAD to make a cake…).
The secret to the perfect cake
The secret is….the frosting matters SO much more than the actual cake. I can dress a mediocre cake up with fabulous frosting and everyone will gobble it down. But if I try to frost a really good cake with canned frosting, the cake sits uneaten.
Then, the secret ingredient: the perfect frosting. Some of my favorite pairings are yellow cake with chocolate buttercream frosting, spice cake with cream cheese frosting, and chocolate cake with vanilla frosting.
Here’s how I do it (it’s so simple, I swear!). I got my trusty old recipe from an old Pillsbury baking cookbook that has literally fallen apart from love and over-usage.
Stand-by Buttercream Frosting
2/3 cup butter, softened (not melted)
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3-4 Tbsp milk
In a large bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy (I typically use hand beaters, but a stand mixer will work as well). Gradually add powdered sugar, beating well. Beat in vanilla and milk until you have your desired consistency.
Chocolate buttercream frosting
Use the same recipe as above but add 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa with the powdered sugar.
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