In the long, dark and cold stretch that was this past winter (it has passed finally … right?!), cake was the light.

Cookies have always been my joy, but in these past months I have found a new pleasure in baking and decorating cakes.

This desire to make cakes has manifest itself in many, many delicious creations, but the ones I have enjoyed the most, have been the simplest.

I have found no-end of pleasure in swirling cake batter to create the a marbling effect. What Nature does to stone over thousands and thousands of years you can do to cake batter with the lightest touch of a knife.

And I have found true satisfaction in the delicate layers of a simple white cake, encased in pure buttercream.

I can’t quite decide what is most pleasing, whether it’s watching as the butter and sugar slowly cream together to form the base of the cake butter or whether it’s opening the oven to find a warm and soft creation nestled in the baking pan.

But maybe it’s neither of those. Maybe the most pleasing is that careless dusting of icing sugar or even better, that slow and soft slathering of buttercream. It’s like cake has gone to the spa and is getting a massage in butter.

Do you feel that kind of satisfaction and pleasure when you bake? I certainly do. On many a cold Winter day or night, bringing forth a cake has kept the cold at bay.

I keep hearing that Spring is here (at least that’s what the calendar says) and I expect that while it may still be cold, Spring will make itself known shortly.

Soon we will be turning our attention to bunnies and lemons and pretty flowers. That’s all well and good, and right, for you cannot live by cake alone.

Although it can certainly help get you through the Winter.

(The cakes pictured above are the Marble Bundt Cake from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking and the Butter’s Classic White Cake and Butter’s Famous Butter Cream from Butter Baked Goods: Nostalgic Recipes From a Little Neighborhood Bakery.)