The Icing on the Cake

Literally. /ChrisTreagar

This is so not baby related. Let’s explore more about me and less about Little A.

I am a cake and frosting snob. Everyone who knows me knows it. I am the first to admit it. I will not hesitate to look down on you based on your cake preferences. I bake from scratch and I love to brag about it. I’m pretty awesome.

In my world, cake is just (usually, but there are a few exceptions) a vessel for frosting. There is nothing better to celebrate with or satisfy a sweet tooth with than a mound of delicious, sugary frosting. As long as it isn’t red. Not saying I don’t love the cake part but generally cake is nothing without frosting. I actually have little issue with box cake mixes, either, even though I am a from scratch snob. I’ve been known to keep some in the pantry for emergency use. And sometimes, boxed mix is the only option. I’M LOOKING AT YOU, HARD TO FIND CHERRY CHIP.

But back to frosting. Not all frostings are created equal. I present to you…


1. The elusive “Wedding Cake Frosting”. This hard to find gem beats out my mother’s buttercream by only a sprinkle of sugar. I don’t know if this is a midwest term or my mom’s term or a St. Paul, MN term or what, but “wedding cake frosting” is how I’ve come to know it. It’s that super sugary, borderline fine grit, deliciously decadent bakery frosting. The only points of reference I have to this specific type of icing will only be recognized by Minnesotans – think the old McGlynn’s frosting (remember them?! AMAZING) or PJ Murphy’s bakery on Randolph. I would pay big money for a bucket of that stuff to be delivered to my door. It’s unrecreatable. I don’t even know how to describe it. But you want it.

Hold on. Let me wipe up that puddle of drool. OK. Let’s move forward.

2. The easy to recreate “My Mom’s Buttercream”. This shit is so simple to make it drives me BANANAS when people say they can’t make frosting from scratch. For cripes sake, people. Butter, powdered sugar, milk, vanilla. Blend. DONE. Need chocolate? ADD COCOA POWDER. My mom would make us the best cakes for our birthday parties – the ones baked in character pan and decorated with 34,761 stars of frosting. Not to mention delicious. Even if she used a box for the cake, the frosting made it epic. I don’t know how she had the patience to decorate those things. But man, her frosting is good. And now my frosting is good because I stole her secrets.

3. Safeway. They have the best (in this area, at least) grocery store frosting. It’s the closest to Wedding Cake frosting I can get my hands on, yet still miles away. Costco isn’t too far behind but, considering I never need 48 cupcakes to satisfy my bakery frosting need, I don’t seek it out. I won’t say no if those giant triple size cupcakes show up at an event, however.

4. Swiss Buttercream. Delicious, meringue-y, fluffy, but like all things Martha Stewart, takes 18 ingredients you don’t have plus eggs and an hour of unnecessary time. I’ll make it for a few recipes (Lemon Meringue Cupcakes, looking at you), but I don’t necessarily crave it.

5. Whipped Cream frosting. Peak disappointment when you see a cake or cupcake with mounds of fluffy frosting and your mouth starts watering and you take a bite and it’s GODDAMN WHIPPED CREAM FROSTING. That shit tastes like old dairy and air and failure. The texture is squishy and the whole idea of it makes me want to cry. But some people prefer it. And I judge those people.

6. But there is something worse. Likely, I can usually spot it on a cake before I take a bite. So I won’t have cake. CANNED FROSTING. Oh lord help us. That stuff is Crisco and fake flavor and hatred of the world. If you can open a can of %&@$%! frosting, take an extra five minutes and make buttercream from scratch. And no, Sandra Lee, adding a teaspoon of extract does NOT $#!^@$ remove the “packaged taste”.

Two weeks ago, that would have concluded my list. But there is a recent addition to the frosting world that seriously grinds my gears. I just don’t even know if I want to be in a world that lets things like this happen.

7. DUNCAN HINES FROSTING CREATIONS. Buy a can of frosting. Buy a FLAVORING PACKET. Mix. INSTANT FROSTING. What. the. motherloving. shit. is. this. If you’re going to take the time to incorporate a flavoring packet, SHITHEAD JUST MAKE REAL FROSTING. There are recipes out there for any type of frosting under the sun that take few extra ingredients, would contain less preservatives, additives and gasoline, and would taste twenty times better. I BET SANDRA LEE HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITH THIS.

“Duncan Hines unveils Frosting Creations, a ground-breaking proprietary frosting system that transforms desserts into flavorful and colorful works of art.”

Apparently it contains LSD.

Ground-breaking? And proprietary!? WTF. Maybe it’s because…my place of business…tends to severely overuse the word proprietary, but seeing it in a sentence about frosting had me doubled over in giggles, sarcasm and nausea.


I am trying to look at the website to see what atrocious flavors are available…and the webpage is down. THE WORLD IS TELLING YOU SOMETHING, DUNCAN HINES. Keep that shit to yourselves. I will tell you that I spotted a “Cotton Candy” flavoring packet in the TV ad. Which made me want to vomit. I don’t even understand how these are so magically different than the pre-fabricated canned frostings on the shelves.

“On Sunday, April 1 a coupon for Duncan Hines Frosting Creations™ also will be available in many local circulars and newspapers.” (from Yahoo  Finance. Seriously.)

I hope this whole thing is a #$^@#%$ April Fools joke.

I just. I don’t even know anymore. Between mashed up cake reformed into balls and this shit I just don’t know. People scare me. I wonder if they have taste buds. It makes me sad. THINK OF THE CHILDREN WHO DON’T KNOW ANY BETTER. Like someone I know, whom I had to ween off of canned strawberry frosting and Funfetti cake.

Someone in Minnesota see if PJ Murphy’s will overnight some frosting to me. Or, you know, just have them send me a cake. And some donuts. They make amazing donuts.