This recipe makes quite a bit of batter! It makes one beautifully high 9″ x 13″ cake or three 9″ layers. I made a 9″ two layer cake and one 9″ x 9″ square cake.
Blend in ingredients well. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. For layer cake: Cool cakes for 10 minutes in the pans, then invert on to baking racks to finish cooling.
For a simple cake in the pan: Be careful not to over bake the cake as the cake will continue to cook just a bit more in the pan after you take it out of the oven – Take the cake out as soon as the cake springs back when poked with your finger. Cool in the pan completely, and then frost.
In a small bowl, combine:
4 oz. cream cheese softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup half & half
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Beat on high speed for 3-4 minutes until very fluffy and creamy. Frosting may be a little stiff (I left this to you to adjust according to your humidity level) Add a little more half & half, 1-2 tbsp. at a time, until you achieve just the right consistency. Chill for 15 minutes before frosting the cakes.
To frost layer cakes – Place the first cake layer on the cake plate. Cover the top with a layer of frosting. Stack the 2nd layer on top. Cover the top and sides with a thick layer of frosting, and don’t forget to swirl it into pretty patterns with the frosting spatula. Sprinkle the edges with crushed walnuts.
Keep the cake chilled in the refrigerator. Remove 45 minutes before serving so the cake can soften slightly before serving.