Cake 6: Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cake #6 is a traditional carrot cake with delicious cream cheese frosting. This cake was one of the most moist and delicious cakes I’ve made to date.

I made this cake for a very special reason – because it is my “wedding cake.” My now-husband, Luke, is pictured helping me with this cake. He is a soldier in the U.S. Army, preparing for his fourth deployment – this time to Afghanistan. We did a small courthouse wedding this week, though we plan to have our full-size wedding with our family and friends when he returns. We choose carrot cake because it was in Austin during the SXSW festival, on the coldest day of our trip, that we decided to be a couple while holding a carrot cake cupcake in the middle of the street. Also, carrot cake was his parents’ wedding cake flavor – very fitting, as they have been married 32 years!

Notice that I have a new addition to my kitchen – that beautiful KitchenAid that allows my batter to mix while I drink a tasty ice cold beer and read my favorite foodie magazine – Vegetarian Times. Best. Wedding. Present. Ever. Thank you, hubster!

Ingredients

Carrot Cake

  • 4 eggs
  • 1.25 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 0.5-cup softened butter
  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Recipe Directions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round pans. In a large bowl (or using your handy KitchenAid) beat together 4 eggs, vegetable oil, white sugar and vanilla. Mix in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Shred your carrots either using a grater (or I used my CuisinArt food processor “grind” setting) and stir the carrots into the batter. Add the pecans. Pour into your greased pans, and bake for about 45 minutes or until the toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool for a while, then turn out onto your cooling rack or other cooling surface to finish cooling. (If anyone feels like helping an aspiring baker out, I could use some nice cooling racks!) To make the frosting – in a medium bowl, combine the softened butter, softened cream cheese, powdered (confectioner’s) sugar, and vanilla. Beat it until the mixture is smooth and creamy, then stir in your chopped pecans. Frost each layer of the cake, then ENJOY.

Cake 5: Turtle Cheesecake

So if you follow the FiftyTwoCakes Twitter (if you don’t you should), or check this blog regularly, you may have read that I nearly burned my house down last night. At least that’s what my neighbors think. Apparently my oven got some peach juice or something dripped in it from the last cake, because it was smoking non-stop throughout this cake! Terrible! My whole house is still smoky, and I have the door propped open with the fan pointed outward in desperate hopes that I’ll be able to breathe non-noxious air any minute now. Maybe the funds generated in this week’s “Cash for Cake” box should go toward some heavy duty oven cleaner. Ha!

Other than the fire code concerns, I think cake #5 – a rich, creamy, delicious turtle cheesecake – turned out great! Well… taste-wise anyway. I got in a hurry and forgot to grease the pan… and then I got in a hurry and opened the springform pan too soon. I served the damn thing anyway, but it is just further evidence that my biggest downfalls on this cake project so far have been PLANNING and PATIENCE. One of these days I will make a perfect cake. *sigh*

Ingredients

  • 2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 5 ounces evaporated milk
  • 14 oz. caramel chips or chunks
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • Chocolate glaze or syrup

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan (don’t make the same mistakes I did!). Mix the vanilla wafer crumbs and melted butter together and spread in the bottom of the greased 9-inch round springform pan. Bake this for about 10 minutes while you mix the batter. Melt the caramels with the evaporated milk, and stir constantly until the mixture is smooth. Pour it over the vanilla wafer crust and sprinkle it with the chopped pecans. In a large bowl blend cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until well-blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, and blend well. Blend in the semisweet chocolate chips and mix well. (You can also melt the chocolate chips and blend it in that way and get a delicious dark turtle cheesecake – more traditional – but I didn’t this time. Next time and from here on out I definitely will.) Pour the batter over the pecans. Bake for 40 minutes. This thing is decadent.

Cake 4: Upside Down Peaches ‘n’ Cream Cake

It’s ugly, but tastes good. It may have peaches in it, but don’t let it fool you – it is not healthy in any way. This thing is loaded with sugar and butter frmo top to bottom, and not even the sliced peaches can make up for how deliciously bad for you it is.

Cake

  • 2.25 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup real butter at room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 0.5 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 fresh peaches – peeled, cored, sliced
  • A small handful of brown sugar

Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup room temperature butter
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Directions

Mix all ingredients except the peaches together. Blend well. Grease and flour two round 9-inch pans. Toss the sliced peaches in the brown sugar, get them coated well. It will be very sticky. Line the bottom of each pan with the sugared peaches. Pour the batter on top. Bake at 325 degrees for about 40-45 minutes, or until browned. Once the cake halves have cooled, turn one upside down out of the pan so the peaches are facing up. Ice with the traditional buttercream frosting, then flip the second cake layer onto it. Bam – done.

Strawberry Mountain Princess Cake

This is not one of the weekly cakes for the 52 Cakes project, but instead a commissioned cake!

The heat and my impatience threatened to ruin this cake, but there is a very special little girl out there who is turning 6 who needed a pretty princess cake – so I stayed strong! I call this “Strawberry Mountain.” It’s a traditional pound cake recipe with fresh strawberry halves baked into each layer, with a strawberry puree sauce drizzled over the top of each. I made a delicious pink buttercream frosting with fresh strawberry puree mixed in. On top I have handmade white and red icing “jewels” and three biiiig whole strawberries to serve as the peak of Strawberry Mountain. Then, took it to the lovely family’s house and added a tiara and more jewels to take this cake to the next level for our pretty, pretty princess.

I learned a lot in this cake – like to be patient, wait for things to cool completely, don’t overmix, etc. It tasted great, but I have a lot of things I would do differently on the appearance next time. Regardless, I hope our now-six-year-old had a wonderful birthday party and enjoyed the Strawberry Mountain Princess Cake!

Strawberry Cake Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 package of fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup room-temperature real butter
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Strawberry Sauce Recipe Ingredients

  • About 8-10 pureed strawberries
  • 4 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

Strawberry Buttercream Frosting Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 cup room temperature butter
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 drops red food coloring
  • About 3 fresh strawberries pureed

Cake Decoration

  • White icing
  • Red icing
  • Tiara
  • Fake jewels

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, beat well. Blend in the sour cream. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir it into the creamed mixture and blend well. Spread the batter into greased and floured round pans. Press sliced strawberries into the top of the cake. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes. In a small saucepan, stir the pureed strawberries, cornstarch and lemon juice to turn it into a sticky sauce. When the cakes have cooked, poke holes in it with a skewer and pour the strawberry sauce over it. For the buttercream frosting, blend the butter, milk, powdered sugar, vanilla together until creamy. Add the 2 drops of red food coloring and pureed strawberries and blend well. For thte icing flowers, I simply squeezed out a dollop of white onto waxed paper, and then squeezed out a small dab of red using a ridged cap and then tossed ’em in the fridge to solidify while the rest of the cake steps got done. Topped it with three whole strawberries, then adorned it with the princess tiara and gems.

Cake Fail: Cake #4 Postponed

So I had a lot going on tonight. I started baking the cake at about 10:15 or so. Turns out I had a British recipe… and my conversions weren’t so good… and I didn’t exactly have all the ingredients… so I tried to be clever and do some substitutions. Not only was the cake a complete and utter failure, but it might even be the worst dish I’ve ever created in my life. In. My. Life. So it’s midnight. Two hours, a huge mess and 12 bucks later… I’ve got this.

It’s ok. You can laugh. I did. It’s almost good enough to go on Cake Wrecks.

Lessons learned? No, 2.5 cups of margarine will not make up for the fact that you don’t have shortening or real butter. Forgetting to toss peaches in brown sugar to ensure they get caramelized is not “okay.” And tossing a crap ton of baking powder into the batter will not make up for the self-rising flour you forgot to buy. (“How bad could it be?” she asks. “Cakes are pretty forgiving,” she says.) This thing is downright gross.

Sorry dudes. Will have to reattempt with a better recipe and all the ingredients this weekend and make it up to you Monday. Peaches ‘n’ cream is still the challenge, and I’m up to it. You WILL have cake.

Update: The cake fail has been declared a state of emergency at the office.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...