"Not Wasting Cake & Paper" Birthday Cake

Despite the birthday (mentioned in the previous post) not meeting Patton Oswalt's standards for being worthy of celebration, I'll take any excuse to make a cake. And the birthday-haver will take mostly any excuse to eat cake; so it's a pretty symbiotic confectionery situation.

For this occasion, I decided to turn one of my favorite cookie creations into a cake. Here's the great thing about basic cake recipes: they are almost infinitely adaptable. You can go mega bonkers with flavor combos; and as long as the foundation of the cake recipe is solid, you're (almost) guaranteed success. I'm saying ALMOST. Like, you can definitely go wrong mixing bad flavors together. But if I'm not eating it, you do you. I've been dreaming about other iterations of this graham cracker cake since I took my first bite. (S'mores? Apple Cinnamon Graham? Burnt honey?)

For the cake:
I nabbed this recipe from Food52. For a twist, I rubbed a small-lime's worth of zest into the sugar before creaming the butter and sugar.

For the frosting:
I sort of used Ina Garten's recipe for cream cheese frosting, but halved and with way less sugar. I think the most common cake mistake is using overly-sweet frosting that obscures the merits of the cake itself. Plus, the point of using cream cheese frosting over buttercream is that cream cheese adds a little tang (HEH), and too much sugar will hide the tang (I'm going to stop saying "tang" now).

8 oz cream cheese at room temp
12 Tbsp butter at room temp
1/2 to 1 tsp vanilla (much to my mother's dismay, I usually don't measure vanilla extract. I've never tasted anything I've made and thought, "boy, that's just too much vanilla".)
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 Tbsp lime juice

Beat everything BUT the sugar and lime juice for a couple minutes on medium high to get it creamy, then add the sugar and then the juice. Continue mixing until you don't have any lumps and you get a texture you like. This made MORE than enough for a two-layer cake. I've been dipping leftover graham crackers in it, because food waste is bad.

Assemble your cake. Decorate with leftover graham cracker crumbs, shavings of lime zest (go easy, that stuff is potent!), white chocolate shavings, sprinkles, or Drake quotes. Dig in. Think about how great life is when there's cake in it.