Okay. So a few weeks ago, I turned 23 and decided to celebrate with cake. But eff the cake because I admit to using a box to make it. (Hey. You know what? Whatever. Alton Brown said it was okay.)
(It was Duncan Hines. That's good stuff, you know?)
(Okay, it's time to move along.)
No one ever claimed Birthdays were healthy. That said, the important part about this cake was the amazing frosting I made for it. It's my grandmother's recipe, so I dare you to tell me it was anything but amazing. But even without grandma behind me on this, take one taste, and you'll agree with me. It's light. It's fluffy. It's vanilla in a good way. And it's blue. (Well, you could make it any color, but really, come on.)
Grandma's Fluffy Frosting
(I'd really recommend doubling the recipe if you want enough to frost the cake and the middle layer too, but it's up to you).
What you need:
*2 tbsp flour
*1/2 c milk
*1/8 stick butter or margarine
*1/4 c shortening (Guys, come on. You're making cake. It's not diet food. Get over it.)
*1/2 c sugar
*1 tsp vanilla extract
What you do:
Combine the flour and milk in a small saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until thick. You're basically making a roux. Cool in the 'fridge.
While that's cooling, cream together the butter, shortening, and sugar. Add the vanilla.
Add the cooled roux to this and beat for 4 minutes.
Once it's all good and fluffy and evenly mixed, add a few drops of whatever color you want to it and fold it in. (I divided up the frosting into 2/3 and 1/3 so that we could dye the outside frosting blue and the inside yellow, for further festivity. You can do whatever you want, though. Be creative!) Then, frost your cake like it's 1999.
Some tips on neatly frosting a cake:
(Not that I'm great at it.)
*Place your cake on a lazy susan or other spinny object, so it'll be easier to coat it in even strokes.
*It's always easier to remove frosting than add, so put all your frosting on top and then use a spatula to guide it out and over the edges.
*In the middle layer, don't go all the way to the edges. Go almost to the edge, so there's some squish room, and also so the colors won't mix when you do the outside. The outside frosting will cover any gaps you might worry about.
(See? TV does teach you things. Those tips are courtesy of Good Eats, which I admit to watching vigorously whenever possible. You should watch his frosting episode for more tips, if you're interested. I mean, he makes buttercream, and I'm not ashamed to tell you I prefer this fuffy frosting over that any day, but it sure was useful.)