Birthdays get harder to make special the older you get. Add a foreign country to that, and there are challenges to be faced. With Evan feeling a bit under the weather, we enjoyed a nice day of cooking at home. Cooking has been one of the biggest challenges of living overseas, in that it has forced us to make virtually everything from scratch. That has also been one of the biggest blessings of living overseas. There is very little “packaged” food that we eat. Basically, if it isn’t peanut butter, crackers, or the occasional imported item, if we eat it, we make it. And I love it. I can feel the difference when we take a break from cooking and eat out. I hope that this forced truly home cooking is something that I continue to do no matter where we are.
And so, I had a birthday to celebrate yesterday, and what is a birthday without cake? I have to admit, several months ago when we were in the Maldives we stocked up on cake mixes. Something we can’t find here, and they had in abundance. I’ve been saving a funfetti cake for just such an occasion. But, what is a cake without icing? Thankfully, my mom came to the rescue years ago when she made homemade icing. Here is her recipe. I have no clue where she got it. If you are looking for a great icing without chemicals, preservatives, or unnatural flavors, this is it!
2/3 C Butter, softened
4 C powdered sugar
2 T milk
1 tsp. vanilla
* 1 lime, zested
Cream together butter, sugar, and milk until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and/or lime zest.
I did both lime zest and vanilla, and it was wonderful. I loved the freshness of the zest as well as the sweetness of the vanilla, but I’m guessing you could just leave out the vanilla and maybe add a tsp. of lime juice which might just be what I do next time. The icing makes a ton, more than enough for a 9×13 cake pan, and I’m guessing would also be plenty for two round cakes. It is best to use this icing right after making it, as the hardened consistency makes it difficult to ice the cake once it has been refrigerated.