It started out so simply. I’ll make us a cake for the weekend. A small cake from a book I picked up a while ago called, Little Cakes by Susan Waggoner. I found it at a remainder book store, the ones that pop up in vacant spaces in strip malls, for only five bucks without it’s cute paper cover that you see in the link above. This would be the first cake I made from the book, but which one?
While grocery shopping on Friday, I bought some strawberries on sale at Whole Foods. There would now be cake with strawberries! There was a cream cheese icing recipe with a strawberry variation in the book. So there it was, one Perfect White Cake recipe, one batch of cream cheese icing with strawberries. Simple and delicious.
The mixing and baking the cake went fine, I followed the three easy steps. I also managed to get the cake out of the oven at just the right moment, and since I tend to over bake cakes and muffins, it felt like the hardest step to having a yummy cake was over. The icing would be the quick and easy part. And here is where things went oh so wrong…..
The basic cream cheese frosting went together great. Cream together the butter and cream cheese and add the powdered sugar, no problem. I then decided to get a little creative and mash-up the strawberries with my stick blender, that would be quick and easy. Then without thinking much about how quickly strawberries turn out their liquid, I just went right ahead and dumped in the “mashed” strawberries. After one turn of the hand mixer, I knew I had made a fatal error.
And I promptly ended up with a soupy disgusting mess on my hands. I used all of the powdered sugar I had left, and still it was a sweet pink soup, not icing!
I had no more powdered sugar or cream cheese, so now there would be no icing for the cake, which was upsetting. But really, I was SO mad at myself for not stopping to think about what I was doing!! No amount of powdered sugar could save this and turn it into a bowl of icing. The butter and cream cheese had separated from too much liquid and it was a mess. A gross soupy broken pink mess.
Lucky for me, John came home from work at just that moment to save the day. I sent him off on the scooter to buy powdered sugar and cream cheese!! New icing must be made. The weekend cake must be saved!
So off he went, and I washed up the first batch of bowls. Set out more butter to be softened. Got everything ready to try again. And when he got back I made another batch of strawberry cream cheese icing with the few strawberries that were still left. This time I did not puree them, just mashed them up, but I should have done that right before adding them and there was still too much liquid from letting them sit aside while I got everything else ready.
I had to add almost the whole bag of powdered sugar to get it to an almost spreadable consistency, which left me with about three to four times more icing than I needed for this one little cake. At this point it was getting stupid funny. (I put the rest of the icing in the freezer, maybe I can use it up later!) Even with all the powdered sugar, the icing was still a little soft, but since it would be stored in the fridge, I topped the cake with icing and hoped it would work out. Ahead I forged!
And it did: Behold the amazing Perfect White Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting: It turned out really well. Especially the cake, just the right texture, not over baked, just perfect! Even the icing turned out well in the end, it had a nice strawberry flavor.
So much drama all for a simple cake! Next time I will just follow the directions……