Friday, June 01, 2007

Cream Cheese Frosting, Take 2

"Aha!" you are probably wondering, "What happened to Take 1?" Well my friends, I regret to inform you that in an epic battle between Kate and Cream Cheese Frosting, Round 1 went unquestionably to the frosting.

Perhaps I should start the story at the beginning? (I heard its a very good place to start) I met "Niane"* through the online dating service known as This used to be a great place to meet people, although, I can no longer recommend it since last year there was a bloodless coup and the current dictatorship is definitely hostile. But back to the story. I met Niane and we instantly had a connection. Birds sang and bells rang. It started out innocently enough, weekends at the gym, happy hours, but soon enough the relationship had developed into a full blown friendship. Like any good relationship Niane and I primarily converse through the magic of email. I highly recommend this form of relationship since it avoids that icky interpersonal contact. We'll fast forward a little bit. Yesterday was Niane's birthday. She's ancient and I was worried she may not survive another year without her hip breaking so we wanted to make it especially nice for her. For me, that means "make a cake." Niane's favorite cakes? Cheesecake, Carrot Cake, and Red Velvet cupcakes from Sprinkles. Noticing the common denominator? Cream Cheese. Niane also loves chocolate. So I figured I would make a chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting. The chocolate cake part I had down pat. I have my favorite, amazing recipe. But cream cheese frosting? Never made it before. (Hmmm this sounds like we're coming to the good part!)

After looking at several recipes I decided it would be easy enough. It appeared to be butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and milk. I could do this.
Attempt 1, or why Kate is a cooker and not a baker
- I looked at some recipes to determine amounts, all the recipes made some reference to "as much milk as necessary to achieve desired consistency." That should have been my first hint. I also probably should have read the instructions first. I put all the ingredients in my pretty kitchenaid and thought "I'll just add the milk now" before turning her on. I estimated I would need about half a cup. THIS WAS A MISTAKE. First, because all the milk flew up and out of the bowl as soon as I turned it on. Now I'm covered in milk. Second, because half a cup of milk is faaaaaarrrr to much milk. I am now the proud owner of cream cheese cream. (Stay tuned for later this week when I will try to use said cream over some chocolate-soufflé type dessert)

Attempt 2, Success!
- I went and picked up more cream cheese and more sugar and tried again. This time I creamed the cream cheese and milk before adding the sugar and vanilla and then, and only then, did I add a smidge of milk, about 2 teaspoons. And voila. Perfect Cream Cheese Frosting.

Niane's birthday was a huge success, good food, great company, and of course the cake was excellent. I really loved the combination of the chocolate with the cream cheese frosting - it might be my new favorite combination!

Niane's Cake
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 eggs
1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup cold coffee
2 tsp vanilla
12 tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar

1. Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour 13 x 9" pan.
2. Sift together first 5 ingredients.
3. In separate bowl combine eggs, milk, coffee, and vanilla.
4. In third bowl beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat 1/3 dry ingredients into butter mixture, then beat in 1/3 of egg mixture. Repeat twice.
5. Pour into pan. Bake 28-32 minutes. Remove from pan, let cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
8oz cream cheese
1 stick butter
1 box (4 cups) confectioners sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp milk

1. Mix cream cheese and butter until smooth
2. Add sugar and vanilla
3. Add milk "as necessary to achieve desired consistency"

*All names have been changed to protect the innocent


  1. Good times and great cake! Yum!

  2. Yay for Niane! You and your cake rule, Nate!

  3. Niane is NOT innocent. Haha. :-) That looks delicious. What a nice friend you are to make her such a yummy cake!

  4. Looks delish. Happy belated birthday to Niane :)

  5. I peed my pamts. I really did. So I'm here sittimg amd laughimg out loud im my owm urime!! THAT WAS THE BEST BIRTHDAY CAKE I EVER HAD KATE!! The best!! Oh God I wamted to just dive imto it after the first bite. You're such a great friemd to go through all this to make my 30th birthday cake. I'm cryimg mow kimda.