Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Carrot Cake!

It's guest blogger time again. I have a wonderful friend that I met via the Knot. Her name is also Jess!


Hello there! My name is Jess, and I love baking! If I go a week without baking
something, it’s very unusual. I never really write about it, so this is a first for me.
My husbands birthday was the 14th, and he told me he wanted a carrot
cake....something I’ve never made before. I freaked out a little when I asked his mother
for the recipe because she told me “it’s kind of hard to make, are you sure you just don’t
want me to do it?”. Of course, I told her no, I was up to the challenge! So here we go!

Carrot Cake

2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
3 large eggs
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups grated carrots
1 (8oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 (3 1/2 oz) can sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts

Creme Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 (3oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 (16oz) package powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanila

A couple notes -
I couldn’t find a can of sweetened flake coconut, so I bought a bag of it and just
measured it out. 3.5 oz comes out to be just about 1 cup.
I also bought whole walnuts and chopped them using my food processor. It was
cheaper than buying ones that were already chopped.
And, I forgot to get grated carrots, so I took baby carrots that I had at the house and
chopped those up in the food processor as well.

Obviously, you should make your cake first.
I find it helps to get all your ingredients out and set them in one place.
Preheat your oven to 350*
Grease&flour (or cheat and use bakers joy like I did) a 9x13 pan and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Set aside.
In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer) beat the eggs. Then add in the sugar,
vegetable oil, buttermilk, and vanilla and mix well.
It should look like this when you’re done:
Add the flour mix, and beat at a low speed until it is well blended. Make sure to scrape
the sides of your bowl a few times to get it all mixed in.
It should look along these lines:
Fold in (with a spatula or wooden spoon) the carrots, pineapple, and coconut. Fold just
enough so that is all gets mixed in well.
Pour the batter into your prepared pan,
 and pop it in the oven for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, cover your pan loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil and then bake for
10-15 more minutes. (the foil prevents the top from browning too much).
Your cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let cool, then frost with the frosting!
Mine looked like this when it was all done:
To make the frosting, mix your butter&cream cheese together with a mixer (or in your
stand mixer) until it’s nice and creamy. (If you’re using a stand mixer, don’t use the wire
whisk attachment ... it just gets stuck in all the little slots and it’s annoying.)
Then add the powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until it’s all nice and smooth. (Be
careful after adding the powdered sugar not to turn your mixer on super high, or disaster
will strike!)
The icing should look along these lines when it’s all mixed together:
Ice your already baked&cooled carrot cake, and make it look pretty like this:

Cut and enjoy!

Verdict -
According to my husband, the cake was a “winner”. He wouldn’t say much other than “it
tastes good”. So take that as you will. I don’t like carrot cake, so I didn’t personally eat
I had about a cup of icing leftover. You could probably cut out the extra 3oz of cream
cheese and cut back on your powdered sugar to make less, or just really pile on the
icing on your cake. I stored mine in a container and put it in the freezer.

The cake really was pretty easy to make. It took a little bit longer to bake than I thought
it would, but I took mine out a few minutes early so that it wouldn’t get dry. It’s a nice
alternative to a regular chocolate or yellow cake.
Try making it yourself and see what you think!

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