I did promise you a buttercream cake though and I didn't forget! I made it yesterday (before the cold arrived in full force) and we all had it once the clock struck upon the new year.....best first moments of a year I've had yet I do believe!
I'll admit straight away that I started with a boxed cake mix to save some time (o no!). The real standout here is the homemade frosting but if you wanted to work from scratch from the bottom up, any kind of vanilla or lemony batter would work quite well. I buy a vanilla or yellow cake mix for this (set aside just a couple tablespoons worth of the mix for later), follow the directions on the box, and then add a few drops of vanilla extract to enhance the flavor.
Grease the lining of the baking pans and then go for the cake mix which you set aside. This can be sprinkled on after the cooking spray/crisco as it can really help to keep the batter from sticking (thanks for the tip food network!)
Bake according to directions on the box or from your own recipe and let cool for approximately 15–20 minutes before removing.
Now here comes the buttercream frosting, truly a thing of beauty. It's a velvety smooth cream frosting which was popular with housewives in the 50's and my Nana, who passed the recipe on to me, still refers to it as her, "beat the hell out of it frosting," since one needed to do just that in order to get the proper consistency.
She writes beneath the recipe, "My boys liked this frosting and often requested it on their birthday cake. 'We want Nana's beat the hell out of it frosting!'" I crack up when I imagine little kids running around requesting such a cake, goodness.
Here is the recipe just as she gave it to me (the italics are my own comments):
1/2 cup spry (what we would now call crisco)
1 stick oleo (an old-fashioned butter substitute..you'll want to use real unsalted butter!)
1 cup sugar (using powdered/confectioner's sugar will give you the smoothest results)
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt
Beat hard and add 3/4 cup warm milk (add slowly, you may not need quite that much)
Beat the hell out of it. (a stand mixer can work miracles here, seriously)
Add chocolate chips or coconut if you like.
So enjoy! You deserve it after all that work ;)