I love to go to grocery stores and look at the pastries. I love the frosting whipped into perfect flowers or the holiday pumpkin, ghost, turkey (maybe not?) cupcakes on display next to the cakes decorated with frosting princesses, little zooming cars, or snowflakes and pretty patterns. I meander in front of these amazing pastries until someone asks me if I need anything, and I am forced to mumble a polite, “I was just looking” and complete my grocery shopping.
However, I have yet to make a cake or cupcake as perfectly sculpted as those I see in the bakery. I have intentions of doing so for this blog. In fact, I had hoped this most recent cake would be shimmering and full of perfectly molded flowers with legible letters wishing my older sister a happy birthday; alas, time is a factor.
When we (my younger sister and my mother mainly) made this cake, I had arrived in Ft. Worth late Friday evening and the cake (a Central Market mix) was not finished until almost midnight. My energy and hopes of dying vanilla frosting into lovely fall oranges, purples, and reds before molding it into flowers had faded an hour before. Yet, the next morning, my mother, who knew of my dreams for this cake, was up with a cookbook on the table that her mother had used when my mother was young. She was ready to help me with my blog and make frosting for this cake.
Mothers, as a species, tend to be a bit incredible. When I was in second grade, I told my mother I wanted a cake from scratch. I don’t even know what I meant, but my mom worked on that cake all day for me and the result was a cake that resembled a pan of kinda lumpy brownies that came dangerously close to breaking a few of my family memebers’ teeth upon taking our first bites. I must add that this was an unusual circumstance. My mother’s cooking was usually wonderful, and most of my childhood I had princess Barbie cakes decorated with lovely sugary flowers. Anyway, I loved that cake because my mother spent so much time on it for me (there were four of us kids, so needless to say, there was a bit of competition for mom’s attention), and it tasted really good the next day. I guess it just needed some time to settle.
So that recent cool morning, my mother was ready for me. She got out her Better Homes and Garden New Cookbook and we made a quick caramel frosting that was a nice fall color. I took photos and kept my mother company (I am not the cook, just an appreciator of food and those who have the skill to make it). We sat around and talked and laughed while I flipped through the cookbook, admiring the black and white sketches of June Cleaver type women cooking. It took maybe fifteen minutes to make this delicious frosting and dribble/spread it onto the cake. In very little time, we had a delicious frosting and were out the door to celebrate my sister’s birthday and go to the Texas State Fair
- Melt 1/2 a cup of butter and then add one cup brown sugar and stir
- Boil until slightly thick and then let it cool a bit
- Add 1/4 cup milk and beat until smooth
- Beat in about 3 cups sifted powdered sugar until it is the consistency necessary to spread onto cake