this year for easter we had three birthdays... and since becoming a pinterest addict.. (yes i can say it.. and admitting it is half the battle right??..cept i have no intention of entering recovery i am enjoying it to much) i decided to make three separate cakes.. this being a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and pineapple flowers.. ok seriously pineapple flowers who comes up with this stuff.. well whoever does i am glad you did because the cake turned out beautiful!! i woke up at 5:00 a.m. on the saturday before easter and started baking, making, whipping, frosting.. you know name it it gone done on saturday.. finally around 9:00 p.m. i figured i better go to bed.. my feet where killing me.. i only sat down 3 times and after about 10 minutes i would panic ohh no i have so much to do and jump up and start making something else.. i do have to say it was alot of fun!
now i am not much of a baker at all and i had never actually frosted a cake and cared if it looked pretty ha.. i had to watch a video on how to do it!! pete was laughing at me.. i was so nervous.. but then i watched this here.. so i suggest if you have qualms about frosting a cake check out the video or google "how to frost/ice a layered cake" and tons of videos and articles will pop up.. :)
the pineapple flowers came from cruising pinterest one day.. i saw a picture of them and thought that can't be a pineapple.. then when i saw the step by step instructions here.. i realized they are incredibly easy and soo pretty!!
carrot cake (totally inspired by: this recipe.. matter of fact i think i followed it almost exact)
prep time: 20 minutes
cooking time: 30 minutes
2 1/2 cups ap flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. course salt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar (funny story about the phrase "packed" brown sugar..my niece who is newly married and expecting her first child called her dad the other day and is in the baking isle of vons and is just exasperated.. "Dad!! I see dark brown sugar and light brown sugar but not 'packed' brown sugar.. what am i going to do.." needless to say my brother in law barely could answer he was giggling so hard!!)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup of water
1 lb. carrots (8-10 medium) peels and shredded on a box grader or in a food processor (i opted for the food processor)
cream cheese frosting (recipe below)
pineapple flowers for garnish (recipe below)
preheat your oven to 350 degrees (f). butter or spray pam in three 9 inch round cake pans. line bottoms with parchment paper and then butter or spray it with pam.. dust with flour, tapping out excess..(ok i had never heard of the parchment paper step and wow it's genius those puppies popped right out no muss no fuss!) whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger and nutmeg.
beat butter and sugars with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy.. add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. beat about 3 minutes.. add vanilla, water and carrots.. beat until well combined.. about 2 more minutes.. reduce speed to flow and gradually add flour mixture.. i was soooooo grateful for my new counter mixer.. i got for christmas..
scrape batter into prepared pans, dividing evenly. bake, rotating pans halfway through, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes.. let cook in pans on a wire rack for about 15 minutes.. run a knife around edges of cakes to loosen, and turn our cakes onto rack... turn right side up and let cool completely..
using a serrated knife, trim round top of a cakes (if your iffy on this google it and watch a video i did)..place one trimmed cake, cut side up, on a serving platter.. spread a light coat of frosting over cake.. top with the second trimmed cake.. cut side down..spread another light coat of frosting on top of that layer.. then top wiht remaining cake.. spreaking a light coat of over the top and sides.. then palce in fridge for 15 minutes.. this will help with any crumbs.. then remove from fridge and frost entire cake.. (again i can't urge you enough to watch a video if you have never done it before..)
place back in the fridge for another 15 minutes then decorate with pineapple flowers..
several people said it was the best carrot cake they had ever eaten.. and one of them was a retired instructor from le cordon bleu in new york.. sooo yes my head swelled a tad bit.. and it was her b day so this was her cake... it was moist.. a touch spicy.. (not hot spicy) creamy.. the frosting was luscious.. just what you would want in a cake.. and honestly if i can do it anyone can..