Let us eat cake!

An old-fashioned cake boasting fluffy layers and swirls of frosting is just too good to be relegated to special occasions. Every day is worthy of cake, so here are a dozen places that will keep you in cake, celebratory or not, all year long.

Albemarle Baking Company: The Princess Cake with vanilla cake, bavarian cream and marzipan will make you feel like royalty.

Pretty, pretty princess cake: Indulge in a slice of this vanilla treat from Albemarle Baking Co. 

Anderson Carriage Food House: The Black Forest Cake combines three of life’s best things: chocolate, whipped cream, and cherries.

Baker’s Palette: With two days’ notice, you can create your own cake. We’ll take yellow cake filled with lemon cream and iced with vanilla buttercream, please.

BreadWorks: The Carrot Cake is moist and laden with cream cheese icing, just as it should be.

Chandler’s: The Raspberry Drip combines chocolate and yellow cake with raspberry filling, raspberry buttercream, and melted fudge.

Entire subdivisions of sandcastles will arise this summer, but what about one you can devour? Go architectural with this castle-shaped cake pan from The Happy Cook ($32). Made of durable pro-cast aluminum, this piece of nonstick bakeware will make you a cake worthy of any Renaissance Faire. Storm those walls!

Dips and Sips: Ice cream cake will make you feel like a kid again, especially if it’s chocolate cake with mint chip ice cream.

Foods of All Nations: Give them a day and they’ll give you a customized cake. Our choice? Chocolate cake with butterscotch frosting.

Harris Teeter: The Red Velvet contrasts bright red cake with gobs of addictive cream cheese icing.

HotCakes: The Hyde Park Fudge Cake spreads chocolate glaze over moist chocolate bundt cake.

L’etoile: When just a slice will do, end your meal with this cake that’s been on the menu for 16 years—coconut cake (there’s white wine in the batter) with a coconut cream cheese frosting.

Paradox Pastry: Jenny Peterson’s the lady to call for a cake as unique as you. Naturally, we were drawn to the Irish Car Bomb: Guinness chocolate cake, Bailey’s buttercream, and whiskey-spiked ganache.

Whole Foods: The Strawberries and Cream Cake slathers three layers of yellow cake with whipped cream frosting and strawberries.

Make it at home

Classic vanilla buttercream

Beat 2 sticks of softened, good quality organic butter with a hand or stand mixer on medium speed for one minute. Turn mixer to lowest speed and add 3 cups of confectioner’s sugar, beating until sugar is just mixed in. Increase mixer speed to medium and add 1 tbs. vanilla extract and 2 tbs. organic heavy cream. Beat for three minutes. If desired, add 6 ounces cooled, melted bittersweet chocolate at this point, beating until incorporated. Add remaining sugar if frosting seems loose or add remaining cream, one tablespoon at a time, until loose enough to spread easily. Spread or pipe onto cooled cake or cupcakes.

Though a few of us do take a certain guilty pleasure in canned frosting, the super sweet, thick mixture bears little resemblance to the real deal. Sweet, smooth, luscious and fragrant, classic buttercream frosting is so simple and delicious that you’ll regret ever giving your hard-earned dollars to Betty Crocker.

The key to sublime buttercream is using top-quality ingredients. Baker Maria Porter of Charlottesville Cupcake swears by “Whole Foods organic salted butter, heavy cream that’s good enough to drink and Madagascar Bourbon vanilla.” While Porter’s recipe is understandably a trade secret, here’s a recipe for a classic vanilla butter-cream.

 

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