The Art of Cake Baking and Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe


For the last five years or so, I have been a full-fledged, card-carrying member of the Cupcakes-Are-Easier club. Obviously, the small size — perfect for portion control (unless, of course, you eat several of them instead of just one), perfect for little hands, etc, etc …

But you know what? After making a cake for the first time in close to a decade, I recant. Cupcakes are cute, for sure, but they are not easier. All those little tins to fill with liners and batter. It’s a lot of work. Seriously. But cakes? Cakes are pretty simple.

You start by baking the cake and letting it cool completely. This one was a chocolate one, from a boxed mix. _MG_6013Sometimes I bake from scratch, other times I don’t. In this case, since I was working on the frosting recipe for Tablespoon, the cake wasn’t my primary focus so using the boxed mix let me focus right where I needed to.

Then, you level the cakes. And yes, this is a must-do. Basically, leveling the cakes is nothing more than cutting off the bulge on top of the cake, so that both layers have a flat top. Save the remnants — they are perfect for making trifles. You can even freeze them for later use.

_MG_6017Next, you fill and frost the cake. You can use a pastry bag or go ultra simple with a plain ol’ storage bag with a corner cut off. I have a few pastry tips that I use, though I only use one for any given project, so fancy decorating? Not here. In any case, it takes all of 10 minutes to level, fill and frost a cake in a rush, if that. And there is something so inviting, so decadent about a layer cake.

Color me a convert. Forget cupcakes — I am all for the full-on cake.

How about you? Are you still mad for cupcakes, or are you ready for a return to the real-deal cakes?

What about the frosting? This is a super easy, perfectly sweetened cream cheese frosting. Use it on whatever cake you like – carrot, pumpkin, chocolate, whatever. I prefer it served chilled.

Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting
yields enough to frost and fill one 8″ or 9″ round two-layer cake
NOTE: Scroll down for the printable recipe

2 8-oz. packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3 cup confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine the cream cheese, butter, confectioners sugar and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer.

Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase speed to medium and beat for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.

Use immediately on a fully cooled cake.

Save Print Share View View Foolproof Cream Cheese Frosting


  1. says

    I love cupcakes but I’ve made the switch back to cakes too. I think everyone is looking more towards comfort food & cakes offer more nostalgia. I’m especially loving Bundt cakes right now & have some great posts planned around them.

  2. zoe p. says

    I love cake baking but I tend to focus on the cake rather than the icing . . . so much so that, like Tonia, I generally just pour the batter into a bundt pan and go from there. Maybe serve (or eat) with fruit or whipped cream or jelly or a glaze . . .

    I let other people make (and sell) me cupcakes.

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