I’ve always pined for a KitchenAid, but since baking isn’t my favorite activity, it’s always seemed silly to me to spend so much on something that will likely just take up space on my counter. But this little guy was a fraction of the KitchenAid price and I just love its lines and overall look. So, with only the vendors assurance that it actually worked (it did look to be in very good shape), I lugged it back to the car mid-fleaing. It gets major points for form over the KitchenAid, but would it beat it when it comes to function? Only one way to find out – I’d have to actually bake something.
Good thing it’s Birthday Season in my downstairs neighbors’ apartment! Two year old Margaux was up next, and when I asked her mom if I could bake for her, she told me she was throwing her a big Pink Birthday Party since Margaux seems more interested in her older brother’s toys and tastes than little-girl ones, and she requested that I make a pink cake.
Oh boy… pink… my favorite…
I think Big A probably tried to force me into liking pink when I was about 2 for the same reasons… and I think it probably had the opposite of her intended effect and planted the seed of my life-long contentious relationship with the color. I can’t remember ever wearing a pink piece of clothing (at least not since I figured out I had a choice) and during my angst-filled teenage years, seeing anything pink just made me mad. Pink and me — we’re cool with each other now, but it’s been a long time getting here. Still, if there’s ever a choice between pink and any other color, I will always pick the other color. But, here I didn’t have a choice. “Pink” was the only parameter for this cake — cake flavor, frosting flavor, decoration — didn’t matter, so long as it was pink.
The good news is that since Big A posted about all those amazing cupcake varieties, I have been dying to try that Sprinkles Strawberry Frosting (I love strawberry flavored things!), which, conveniently, is naturally pink. And it’s the perfect time for strawberries, so, it seemed like a no-brainer to make a vanilla layer cake, fill it with delicious fresh strawberries and homemade whipped cream (stand mixer test #1), and frost it with the pink Strawberry buttercream frosting (stand mixer test #2).
As a “not-baker”, I decided to just buy a cake mix (sorry, but no 2 year old can tell the difference between a mix and a scratch cake…). The Betty Crocker SuperMoist French Vanilla had just the right flavor and texture. I filled the cake with the whipped cream and sliced strawberries the night before to let it set. Since the frosting was pretty sweet, and the cake was pretty dense, this was a nice, light filling that added some welcome freshness to every bite. The frosting was so easy to make and it lived up to my high strawberry-flavored expectations. I think it’s my new favorite! Now, when it comes to decorating cakes, I like it simple and a little sloppy. I love to see the peaks in the frosting, and sometimes when a cake is too pretty, I’m intimidated to cut into it. I like a nice cake that says “get me all over your face!” and I thought my little 2 year old buddy would appreciate the same. A real ribbon bow tucked on top and held in place with a twist-tie (very MacGuyver) and a garnish of more fresh strawberry slices finished it off.
The mixer performed like a champ! Instead of rotating beaters, like on the KitchenAid, this mixer has a rotating bowl, which I found makes scraping down the sides much easier. And when they say “they don’t make ’em like they used to” this mixer may be what they had in mind. That old motor is a powerhouse and so much quieter than any new hand mixer I’ve owned before.
The neighbors always throw a great party, and this was no exception. The cake was a big hit with both the kids and adults. Margaux seemed to like it (she totally got it all over her face!), and I hope it will help her learn to give pink a chance. At least when it comes to food… this blue-jeans-and-t-shirt-kinda-girl just can’t help in the wearing-pink-dresses or playing-with-pink-princess-dolls department…