Wednesday, June 8, 2011

This one takes the cake!

Sometimes, a celebratory occasion warrants it.  Sometimes, your hormones require it.  Maybe, your family asks for it.  And, often times, it can be any combination of reasons.  Bottom line is that it doesn't really matter.  When you want it or when you need it, just make it!

Tonight, I can probably justify my urge to bake with two of the above reasons.  But, regardless, it just sounded good, I had all the ingredients on hand, and I'm not sure anything was going to stop me!

When I first became a wife, I secretly thought it was shameful to make a cake from a box.  I mean, what 'real' wife would do such a thing?!?  After all, all good wives wear aprons, and lipstick, and heels while they cook meals for their husband - all after putting in a 9 hour day at the office themselves.  A real wife uses only the best of ingredients, and wouldn't dare buy a prepackaged mix of any kind.  But, after several failed, and expensive, attempts at the homemade versions, I quickly came to the conclusion that 1) for the price, 2) the simplicity, and 3) the overall taste, you can't beat a good 'ole boxed cake mix!  Truth be known, that Betty Crocker sure knows how to make some great tasting, crowd pleasing, moist and delicious treats!  So, tonight, I found no shame, nonewhatsoever, in making myself (er, my family) a strawberry cake. 

I did have a slight issue with making a cake this evening...  no icing.  But, I knew I had cream cheese, other baking essentials, and the Internet..  So, I started searching online for a cream cheese-based icing.  Not sure that is what you're supposed to make for a strawberry cake, but I figure cream cheese icing can make anything taste better!  I found several recipes, but nothing matched the increments of the ingredients I had on hand.  So, I made some slight adjustments to the several recipes I found online and came up with a delicious concoction.

And, so, this cream cheese icing definitely takes the cake!  It's so simple, and yet, so perfect.  I will use this for my carrot cake, the PW Red Velvet Cake, and any other cream cheese icing-worthy treats in the future.  I hope you enjoy!

Cream Cheese Icing

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. butter, softened
2 t. vanilla
1/4 t. salt
3 cups powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla and salt until well mixed.  Gradually add powdered sugar until desired consistency.  Spread on a cooled cake or refrigerate slightly for a firmer icing.

Oh, and all that fantasy wife stuff isn't realistic.  This is not 1950 and we work as partners.  Okay, he doesn't bake, but we share most household and parenting tasks.  Except mowing the lawn - he does that and I don't really care if I ever learn!  :)

You should all make yourselves a cake this week, just because!  If you need an excuse, you can tell yourself that you need to try a new icing recipe, or maybe you just need one to make a bad day better.  I'm going to go cut myself a piece of strawberry cake with cream cheese icing now.  And, tomorrow, I'm going to take one for breakfast, to enjoy with a nice cup of coffee. 

'Sweet' dreams, goodnight!

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