Yes, 8-bit nerds all around, that is supposed to be the Magikoopa magic spell symbol thingy.  :-)  What can I say, my brother’s exploits defy expression through any medium but the ludo-arcane.  Or at least, his birthday cake did.  :-D

Decorations aside, this is a great cake recipe.  Cake isn’t exactly my go-to choice for dessert, but I love this buttery cake and not-overly-sweet frosting — especially once it’s been refrigerated, which brings out a lovely creamy texture in the cake.  It’s an excellent staple for birthday cake when the cake-baker isn’t given any more to go by than “a vanilla cake” by the birthday-boy-to-be.

But enough yammering; let’s get on with the cake.

Yellow Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield:  2 9-inch cake rounds

Ingredients:

for the cake

  • 2 cups dough mix
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup milk

for the frosting

  • 8 T butter (1 stick), softened
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • milk

Directions:

1.  Early in the day, set out the butter (for cake and frosting) and cream cheese (for frosting) to soften.  When it’s time to start baking, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.  Lightly grease two 9-inch cake pans and set them aside.

2.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the dry ingredients for the cake (dough mix, sugar, powdered sugar, salt, and xanthan gum).  With a pastry cutter (or a fork in a pinch), cut the softened butter into the dry ingredients until crumbly.  Then add the eggs, vanilla, and milk, and mix well.

3.  Divide the batter as evenly as possible between the two greased cake pans, and bake them in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a lovely golden brown.  Let the cake rounds cool completely before taking them out of the pans.

4.  While the cake’s baking and/or cooling, wash the stand mixer bowl out real quick and make the frosting:  Use the whisk attachment on the stand mixer to whip the softened butter and cream cheese together, then add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and however much milk it takes to get the frosting to a spreadable consistency (which will range from none, to a tablespoon or two).

5.  Frost your cake!  Spread some frosting between the rounds to help them stay stacked, and go to town.  As always, a floppy spatula is your best friend from frosting.  I added some food coloring to bits of the frosting to color some makeshift icing.  Once it’s frosted, you have an extra-tasty cake just waiting for everyone to tuck in.  Yum yum.