My dear friend Allison's birthday is in just a couple days, February 18th, but given our overly busy schedules, Barry and I decided to have her and her wonderful hubby Pete (who painted this amazing picture over our table) over for dinner a week ago to celebrate yet another year. Of course what better excuse than a birthday to bake! So I made individual lasagnas, salads, and bread for dinner, but more importantly, carrot cake (Allison's favorite) with thick vanilla-flecked cream cheese frosting for dessert. Sound good...you soooo should have had a piece! My mouth is still watering!
So here is the finished cake. By the way, I made a number of gum-paste flowers a couple days prior (more on gum paste at a later date). I then brushed them with gold luster dust and piped on some yellow stamens, they turned out so cute.
Recipe yields a 2-layer 8" cake, but I wanted to change it up so I halved the recipe and made a 6" cake in which I split the 2 layers in half to get 4 total layers.
(Recipe reflects full recipe)
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, melted
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup toasted pecan halves
- 1 pound large carrots, peeled & shredded on box grater to make about 3 cups
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/3 cup nonfat buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease pans. Dust with flour, and tap out any excess.
Place shredded carrots, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, sugar, and ginger in a large bowl; mix until well combined.
Into a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon & nutmeg. Fold the flour mixture into the carrot mixture until combined. Fold in melted butter and toasted pecans.
Bake for approximately 1 hr (less if using 6" pan 40-45 mins). Let cool when done.
8 oz cream cheese
1 stick room temp unsalted butter
3-4 cups of powdered sugar
1 vanilla bean pod or 1 tbsp of vanilla paste
Cream butter and cream cheese until combined. Add vanilla, mix well. Slowly add in powdered sugar and mix until creamy.
-freezing your nob of ginger will help it last longer, I learned this from Rachel Ray :) Just pop your nob in the freezer and take it out when you are ready to use it, works like a charm!
-this recipe is simple, and of course no raisins, but add them as you may...I just like pecans and rich spices!
Just a small little picture tutorial on a couple of the steps...
the finished batter in the pans
first of 4 layers, the thinness of the layers
married perfectly with the frosting
I plotted out the perfect spacing for all of
the flowers so it would look uniform
stems and mini yellow flowers in the grass
finally the top prior to the personalization
Well, I guess that's it! Happy Birthday Allison, here is to another great year!
Happy baking...happier eating!