Everyone has guiding life principles, such as, when grocery shopping for a product you’ve never bought before, say fancy crackers, buy the box with the fewest left on the shelf, for it is likely the most popular. (Hat tip: Mom.) Here are two of my beliefs:
- Lindy hop is about community.
- To quote Deb, “I believe that everyone deserves a cake baked with a symphony of butter, eggs, flour and devotion on their birthday.”
As a lindy hop teacher and organizer I endeavor to foster relationships and fun. One way is through a birthday celebration the second Friday of every month at Naptown Swing with cake and a birthday jam. All of this is pretty typical, but when Craig and I started Naptown Swing earlier this year, I figured that since we had such a tight-knit group I would make a cake from scratch using my beloved KitchenAid for all my friends on their birthday. (See Fundamental Belief #2.) And after I started, it wasn’t really possible to stop! After making twelve cakes this year, I’ve learned a great deal about cake-making efficiency and techniques. I’ve also been repeatedly told, “I don’t really like cake, but I like your cake.” What I hear in that is that far too many people only experience cake from grocery store bakeries that leave an oily coating in your mouth that make you want to scrape your tongue. I will happily take the compliments. It’s good for my baking ego.
Many of you asked for the recipe and I’m happy to oblige. My fellow December birthday and I are both mint chocolate fans, so I decided to create my own. First off, the highly touted Cream Cheese Frosting received an injection of mint extract. Then, I applied it to three layers of chocolate cake. (Take a recipe for a two layer cake and bake it in three pans.) Finally, chopped York Peppermint Patties on the top.
Note: I’m not sharing the chocolate cake recipe because I thought the crumb was too fine and it wasn’t moist enough. I’ll be back once I find a worthy chocolate cake recipe.
(Mint) Cream Cheese Frosting
(Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens’, The New Cookbook, which I received as Christmas gift while in high school. I like this recipe because of the high ratio of cream cheese to butter. Most other cream cheese recipes don’t contain butter or only call for a small amount. The butter makes a nice, full frosting that’s not thin.)
12 oz cream cheese, softened (I use the one-third fat variety.)
1 cup butter
4 teaspoons vanilla or vanilla bean paste
1 1/4 teaspoons mint extract, if making mint frosting
9 cups powdered sugar (Buy two bags.)
Make sure cream cheese and butter are soft to start. Using an electric mixer, blend together until fluffy. Add vanilla and mint extract. Beat until combined. Incrementally add 4 cups powdered sugar, blend together on slow until incorporated. Slowly add 5 more cups powdered sugar. Taste. Adjust flavorings if desired.
Makes enough to frost the tops and sides of a three layer 9-inch cake.