I was creating a tutorial on using chocolate transfer sheets for the website yesterday, so I made a little cake to demonstrate on. Since it was only for show I didn’t want to spend much time making it, so I used a cake mix and a new easy frosting recipe.
(Side note: not to be a snob, but this cake mix was so gross. I don’t know if it was old or if it’s just been a really long time since I had a cake mix, but this one was terrible. It didn’t even taste like chocolate, just chemicals. That was actually a blessing, since I didn’t want to eat any of the cake!)
Ahem. This post is actually about the frosting recipe, which was weird and kind of terrible but also so easy I thought I should share. I got it from a cake decorator I know from a livejournal baking group. She went on and on about how great it is, how it stands up in any heat, smooths out perfectly, pipes well, etc. So of course I had to try it, right? Here’s the half batch recipe I used:
1 regular-sized tub of Cool-Whip (any variety, not generic)
1 3.5-oz instant pudding mix (any flavor)
1/2 cup ice cold water
Mix the Cool-Whip and instant pudding in the bowl of a stand mixer. (I used the paddle attachment and it worked fine, I don’t know if the whisk is better or not). Once combined, add half of the water and mix it, stopping often to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the other half of the water and continue to mix until it is glossy and fluffy.
Okay, so looking at the ingredients, I don’t know exactly what I expected, but in retrospect, it’s easy to predict what I got: frosting with the flavor and texture of fakey instant pudding. (Duh). Pros: super simple, comes together in about 2 minutes, absolutely no cooking skills required, stays set in the heat and firms up at room temperature, but never gets “hard.” Cons: chock-full of chemicals and gross things like hydrogenated oils, waxy mouth-feel, very artificial taste. I might use this recipe again if I needed something for looks but not taste, but I wouldn’t use it for any desserts I actually wanted to, you know, eat.
The bright side is that I didn’t binge on chocolate cake, and all the baked goods turned out pretty adorable anyhow.