Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My weekend cake-a-palooza!

Well, this weekend I was in full out cake making mode. I made three cakes this weekend. It started Sunday afternoon and continued until Monday afternoon. My dad and a co-worker of mine both had their birthdays yesterday. Dad wanted a carrot cake and co-worker loves chocolate. I decided to make a chocolate cake with chocolate icing for co-worker. Not everyone in my family likes carrot cake so in addition to the carrot cake I made a vanilla cake. My mixer was definitely getting a workout this weekend!
I wasn't able to get pictures of the cakes before they were cut in to so I took a couple of slices that were salvaged afterwards and here they are for your viewing pleasure.

Carrot Cake
2 pounds carrots, peeled and finely grated (I put mine in the food processor to save my (knuckles)
3 karge eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (or you could use the seeds from a whole vanilla bean)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Optional: Raisins, nuts

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Farenheit. Spray 3 nine (9) inch round cake pans with baking spray with flour or grease and flour pans. Whish together carrots, eggs, buttermilk, sugar, oil and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Stir flour mixture into carrot mixture until well combined.

2. Divide batter evenly among 3 pans. Bake 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Transfer to wire racks and let cool 10 minutes, then turn out of pans and let cool completely.

You can top cake with whatever icing you prefer. I used a cream cheese icing and then added nuts around the sides of the cake. I purposely didn't add nuts to the cake batter because I knew I would be adding them to the sides of the cake.

Cream Cheese Icing
1 1/2 sticks of butter softened
12 oz of cream cheese softened (or you could use a brick and a half of cream cheese)
6 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 cups powdered sugar

Cream butter and cream cheese together. Add vanilla until creamy. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time and mix until smooth. The icing recipe will completely cover a three layer cake with some left over.

For the vanilla cake I just used a boxed cake mix and made my own icing. I did channel my inner Amanda (http://iammommy.typepad.com/i_am_baker/) and decide to do something a little different with the cake batter. I used three cake pans and I separated the batter in to 3 bowls. I added red food coloring to one bowl and blue food coloring to the second bowl. I left the third bowl uncolored. I baked the cakes as the box directed and set them out to cool. I wanted a lighter icing for this cake so instead of using a buttercream or cream cheese icing I made a whipped cream icing.

Whipped Cream Icing
1 8 ounce brick cream cheese softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups whipping cream/heavy cream

1. Combine cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and almond extract in a mixing bowl using the whisk attachment. Once combined slowly add in cream, scraping bowl occasionally. Whip until mixture can hold stiff peaks. Apply to cake as desired.

I really liked this icing. It wasn't as sweet as a buttercream or cream cheese icing but was sweet enough to nicely compliment the cake. This recipe for icing covered my three layer cake with about a cup of icing left over. I kept my cake refridgerated until time to serve as a precaution.

The chocolate cake that I made was just a boxed cake mix and a store bought chocolate icing. I was going to make it from scratch but I ran out of time and energy! When I served the vanilla cake to my family they oohed and awwed about it. It took no more energy or time to add a little food coloring to the batter and it made my family feel really special.


  1. You made a carrot cake with REAL carrots?! Mercy.

    Love the whipped cream icing, I think I'll try that one because I'm not loving the buttercream these days.

    I can't get my head around coloured cake batter. I did a pink & purple layer cake once and I couldn't bring myself to eat it! Everyone said it would taste the same but I just couldn't do it!

  2. i love rainbow cakes. I have never made a real carrot cake but this makes me want to