Let Them Eat Cake
This past Friday good friends of mine took first place at an entrepreneurship competition and earned a fairly size-able cash prize (literally, the cardboard check was about 6×3 ft. . .) and recognition for their online start-up, Vendr.
After receiving a cake-saver for Christmas and having 0 friends with January birthdays, I was giddy with excitement for a reason to finally use it. Naturally, before baking my first double-layer cake I had to consult with the kitchen expert in my life—Mom. She was full of little tips and know-how’s that come with years of experience baking for all our family and friends. (Proof)
I grew up in a home where no matter the occasion: birthday, good report card, athletic achievement, or just-because, there was something sweet and homemade waiting for us after dinner. It wasn’t until I moved away to college and saw the reaction on people’s faces when I baked for them that it dawned on me—I was spoiled!
The cake itself was just a simple Duncan Hines yellow cake mix but I wouldn’t dream of using store-bought frosting. I mean, let’s be real, I’ve never heard someone take a bite of a frosted cake and exclaim “this is amazing, how did you make the CAKE part?” (For all you frosting haters out there, I don’t understand you, therefore, you’re excluded from this generalization.) I decided to give the renowned NYC-based (go figure) Magnolia Bakery vanilla butter-cream recipe a try and I have to say the reactions were pretty positive. That or my boyfriend’s friends are too scared to hurt my feelings. . . Either way, for my first try at a double-layer cake I was pretty happy!
Spreading a thin “base-layer” of frosting helped to smooth out and cover up crumbs so they wouldn’t get caught in the frosting.
After applying a “crumb coating” of frosting and covering the bottom layer with a thick coat to hold the layers together I plopped a generous amount on top and spread out from there. For me, over-compensating then smoothing off the excess works better than trying to ration frosting portions. The crumb coating ensures the second layer of frosting will keep its fluffy and smooth consistency without picking up excess crumbs. (Honestly, is there even such a thing as too much frosting?)
It’s much easier to fill piping/decorator bags using a wide glass to open them up.
While I clearly need to work on centering the writing, the final result turned out much better than anticipated!