throwback thursday.. carrot cake w/cream cheese frosting and pineapple flowers..

 today's throwback thursday is from easter a few years ago.. it was before i tagged my photos and what not!! this cake was so fun to make and was my first time making a layered cake like this.. not to mention the cake tasted devine.. i got a lot of emails about people and their pineapple flowers not coming out :( i am not sure why they didn't work, they worked perfect for me!! hopefully if you try it they work for you too..

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.. }

prep time: 20 minutes
cooking time: 30 minutes
servings: 10


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 niece who is right after she was married and was expecting her first child called her dad and was in the baking isle of vons and was just exasperated.. "Dad!! I see dark brown sugar and light brown sugar but not 'packed' brown sugar I've been to 3 stores..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..

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 cool 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 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 with remaining cake.. spreading a light coat of over the top and sides.. then place in fridge for 15 minutes.. this will help with any crumbs.. then remove from fridge and frost entire cake..  place back in the fridge for another 15 minutes then decorate with pineapple flowers..

cream cheese frosting
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 package/block of cream cheese, room temperature
3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon
beat butter and cream cheese with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes...reduce speed to low. add sugar, 1 cup at a time, and then vanilla and lemon juice; mix until smooth..

pineapple flowers

the step by step instructions are again found here.. i did mine a little differently in that i actually cooked mine in the oven for 2 hours rather than 1 and once in the muffin tins i put back in the oven which had just been turned off and left them in the off oven for about 45 minutes to an hour.. so a total of 3 hours.. and don't be discouraged if when slicing you get 1/2 slices or not very circular ones.. those are the ones i think make the best flowers.. also i used a mandolin on the the thinnest setting.. but if yours come out to thick cook them longer.. eventually they will dry up and start to curl.. they are very delicate on the edges and they break easy so be careful.. don't use foil they stick to it and you can't get them off.. :/ use parchment paper or a silicone baking mat..
the cake was really moist and so delicious :)

 enjoy and get cook'n!!


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