This is the cake I made in honor of my Gramma's birthday. (My mom made the real birthday cake for her birthday party.) Clearly I haven't mastered the skill of frosting a cake well quite yet. At least not with this frosting...
The cake did still turn out to be pretty good. Unfortunately, the layers cracked as I was transferring them out of their pans, so they got a bit dry. The frosting helped a bit, but we ended up eating most of the leftovers in a bowl with milk poured over top. (A good solution for a dry cake, but really just a good way to eat cake regardless. If you haven't tried it, do.)
The recipes for the frosting and the cake are as follows. I regularly use this frosting recipe, it's an old family favorite, from a cookbook published in my Gramma's hometown the year I was born. The cake was a new recipe, and I haven't decided yet if I'll try it again. It was good, but there are so many spectacular cake recipes out there to really justify wasting time on one that's just good. Still, it was very quick, simple, and with a whipped cream frosting, any dryness that may result would easily be covered up. (As opposed to this frosting, as much as I love it, it develops almost a candy shell, which with the right type of cake is fabulous, but with a dry cake only exacerbates the problem.) Either way, I highly reccomend using either recipe, but perhaps not together. :)
Gold Layer Cake, from The Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer
1 cup sugar, sifted
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 egg yolks, well beaten
1 t. vanilla extract (I used this)
1 t. grated lemon rind
2 c. cake flour, sifted before measuring
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
3/4 c. milk
Sift sugar. Beat the butter until soft, then gradually add sugar. Blend until creamy. Beat in the egg yolks. Add vanilla or lemon rind.
Sift before measuring the cake flour. Resift with the baking powder and salt.
Add the sifted ingredients to the butter mixture, alternating in three parts with the milk. Beat the batter until smooth after each addition.
Bake in two greased 8 inch layer pans in a 375ºF oven for a half hour. Spread layers with a good frosting or dust top with powdered sugar. Enjoy!
My Favorite Chocolate Frosting, from Sharing Our Best, Turton Centennial Cookbook
(Recipe by Sylvia Biffert and Judy K. Hansen)
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. milk
1/2 c. chocolate chips
Bring sugar, butter and milk to a boil and add chocolate chips, stirring until melted. Spread on cake.
Additional hints with this: If the frosting cools too much, it will harden before you can spread it well. Simply reheat and add a bit more milk, and you'll be fine. If it gets too thin, add a few more chocolate chips. You'll want to frost when it's just barely too thick to drizzle. Enjoy!