This cake is good. If you don’t believe me, you can ask one of my several friends who polished it off. With their fingers. In public. In broad daylight. Decent, self-respecting people… except when under the influence of cake.
It’s the frosting that really makes it. Homemade brown sugar frosting that just melts in your mouth. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
You start by making cake. I used a box of yellow cake mix. If I were going to do it again, I’d make cupcakes instead. The frosting hardens quickly, making it very difficult to coat the entire cake in a smooth layer of frosting (I failed, as you saw). Cupcakes would eliminate that problem.
Since I was making a layer cake, I had to cut off the domed top of the cake so I could have nice, even layers. Again- a step you could skip with cupcakes. Then I put my layers in the freezer. That’s a little pro tip I learned from my mom- frozen cakes are firmer, and therefore easier to work with (i.e. slice thin layers, frost, etc.)
Now it’s time to start on the frosting. In a small sauce pan, combine:
1 cup brown sugar (I used light)
1 stick (aka 8 tablespoons) of butter
1/4 cup milk
Melt those down, stirring, until the butter is melted, sugar is dissolved, and it’s just starting to boil. This happens quickly, so you’ve got to stay on top of it. As soon as it starts to boil, pour it into a bowl and add a cup of powdered sugar. Mix, and add another cup. Continue until you’ve added 3 1/2 cups of sugar. It will be a nice, firm but spreadable consistency.
Then I frosted the whole outside. It was tricky, since my frosting had already been cooling a while. But I did my best.
To compensate for the amateur frosting job, I created some fancy decor. I used Microsoft Word to print out the letters of her name, then used some jewelry wire, fake pearl beads, and broken-off shish-ka-bob skewers (and a glue stick) to make a cute little banner. That made me less embarrassed to give it to her with its shoddy frosting job. But once everyone tasted it, it was obvious that there was nothing to be embarrassed about!