A few weeks ago I had a great time making the Perfect Party Cake to celebrate my husband's Grandma's 90th birthday (wow!) I was excited for this week's Tuesdays with Dorie choice because I actually had a good excuse for this enormous, gorgeous cake. I pulled out all the stops- home made strawberry jam, cream cheese icing, and white chocolate for decorating. And it was a big fat mess.
The cake came together perfectly and the flavors were amazing, but my icing was too soft and I used too much jam (I think). I assembled it and then we took it to the party, and by the time we got there (in the 100 something degree heat, of course) the cake made the Tower of Pisa look straight backed. Seriously. I hid it in the back of the kitchen and was relieved to know that each slice looked beautiful with all the layers, even if the whole cake didn't.
Nonetheless, this is one delicious cake you don't want to miss. I've included my favorite frosting recipe that is not so cream cheesy that it makes you sick, but doesn't feel as sugar heavy as most powdered sugar icings do. It's delicious on graham crackers, cakes, cupcakes, spatulas, whatever you have. :) I'd add husbands to that list (like I always tease Auburn, the biggest frosting lover I know, about) but there are nice old ladies from my Church that know about my cooking blog somehow. So make a big batch for whatever you'd like. And don't look to closely at that big blotch of strawberry jam oozing out of my cake. It was freaking good nonetheless.
Perfect Party Cake tips from Dorie (don't miss these!)
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 package of cream cheese, softened (I like to use Neufchatel, less fat and I don't notice much difference)
1/2 C. butter, softened (one stick)
2 T. milk
2 t. pure vanilla extract
dash of salt
6 cups of powdered sugar (more or less to achieve desired consistency, this is a baseline)
1 T. meringue powder
In a mixer with the whisk attachment, combine the cream cheese and butter until they are light and fluffy. Then add in the milk, vanilla, and salt, and blend.
Next, add the powdered sugar and meringue powder, cover the bowl of the mixer with a dish towel, and turn it on low until everything is combined. Then increase the speed for a minute or so until the frosting is light, fluffy, and delicious. The meringue powder will help set the frosting after it dries so it holds its shape.
Add 1 T. Lemon or orange zest and substitute juice for the milk to make a tangy citrus frosting .
Cake recipe posted here from my last birthday. Enjoy!