Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Happy Birthday with Walnut-Carrot Cake

September is a busy month in our office, school has started and we have three birthdays.  That leaves two of us to plan.  Anita, being the smart one of the two (me, being the other), thought we should order lunch and then have cake and ice-cream.  She is brilliant!

I made the cake, a walnut carrot cake.  The carrots were fresh from the garden.  It is a moist, rich cake topped with a cinnamon cream cheese frosting.  I had to stop myself from eating all the left over frosting, after I ate about a half a cup with a spoon, I did finally stop myself, only because I promised myself I would make cinnamon rolls later this week and use the left over frosting on them...can't wait.
Use the small holes on your grater to make fine shreds for cake and muffins, like on the left.
Use the large holes on your grater for salads, like on the right.

I do feel very righteous when I eat carrot cake.  Carrots are a vegetable and the cream cheese frosting is cheese so full of protein!  You can't go wrong with veggies and protein.  I hope you enjoy.

Carrot Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted from Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook

2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
1 1/4 c. canola oil
4 large eggs
1 c. granulated sugar
1 c. packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 c. finely grated carrots
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Butter two 9" round cake pans.  Line the bottom with parchment and butter parchment.  Lightly dust the pans with flour, tapping the pans to shake out the excess.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; set aside.

In large mixing bowl, combine oil, eggs, both sugars, and vanilla and whisk until the mixture looks light and pale in color.  Fold in the flour mixture in thirds until just combined.  Gently fold in the carrots and walnuts until thoroughly combined.

Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans and smooth the top with a spatula.  Tap the pans firmly on the counter top to remove any air bubbles from the batter.

Bake 40-50 minutes, until the center of the cake springs back a little when touched and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool for 20 minutes, them remove the cake from the pans and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To assemble the cake, level the tops of one of the cake layers with a serrated knife.  Place it cut side down on a serving platter.  Spread the top of the layer with frosting.  Place the second cake layer on top, right side up, and frost the top and the sides with frosting.  Decorate top or sides with chopped walnuts.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
8 Tbs. butter (1 stick), softened to room temperature
2 8-oz. packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
5-6 cups confectioners' sugar

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla until smooth and creamy.  Gradually add the cinnamon and confectioners' sugar, beating until light and fluffy.

September 18, 2012     Daylight 12 hours, 40 minutes, 4 seconds     Temp. 52ºF

1 comment:

  1. OMG! I have some sweet carrots from the garden that are going in this cake... seems like a perfect use for them. I'm all about fall baking! Thanks so much for sharing, I can't wait to try it!!!


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