The Art of Cake Baking and Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

| September 14, 2010 | 4 Comments

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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

Category: Dessert, Recipes

About the Author ()

Sarah Walker Caron is a writer, editor and recipe developer who loves to create delicious recipes the whole family can enjoy together. Her work has appeared in countless publications including iVillage, BELLA NYC Magazine, Yum for Kids magazine and more. She lives in Maine with her two food-loving kids.

Comments (4)

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  1. CAKES! I abandoned cupcakes a few years ago for the exact same reason as you. It’s just way easier. And, I have to confess: I never ever ever level a cake. *hangs head in pastry shame*

  2. Tonia 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.

  3. 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.

  4. zoe p. says:

    PS. New Haven’s wonderful Cupcake Truck is opening an actual store! http://fooddriven.blogspot.com/2010/09/toppings-cupcakes-to-open-this-saturday.html

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