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No sugarcoating here: When you mix two essential cake recipes with 27 easy frosting, filling, and decorating ideas, you end up with 256,620 (really—do the math) delectable options. Sweet!
For Ashley....strawberry filling: 2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped strawberries ~ 1/2 cupsugar ~ 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch Directions: Bring all ingredients to a boil in a heavy sauce pan, stirring constantly and crushing berries slightly with back of spoon. Boil 2 minutes to thicken, stirring constantly (mixture will be slightly chunky). Pour into bowl and cool completely.
Caramel Frosting adapted from Cook’s Country yield: about 2 cups Ingredients 3/4 cup (6 ounces) packed dark brown sugar 1/8 teaspoon baking soda 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour 3 tablespoons cornstarch 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt 3/4 cup (6 ounces) whole milk 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract 12 tablespoons (1-1/2 stick/6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened, cut into 12 pieces