Carrot Cake for My Gram

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My kids and I recently came back from our trip to California. While I was there, I used an entire 5 pound bag of flour…yeah, I went a little overboard spoiling my parents and my Grandma during those two short weeks 😉 I was glad to, and honored to cook with my 85 year old grandmother – the one who inspired me to cook in the first place. While it was a lot of time and effort to make so much for them, I was flattered to hear that my Gram actually learned from me!! and my Dad said my cinnamon rolls reminded him of his mother’s 🙂

Because Gram’s birthday happened the week after we flew in, I told her I would bake her a birthday cake. She couldn’t eat chocolate (huge bummer), but she loved carrot cake. Problem for this baker was that I have never made one, let alone eaten a piece in over 10 years!! Thankfully, a quick search at Pinterest led me to find this recipe that sounded tasty – kind of flimsy evidence to go on, but I went with it. I didn’t try any of it because of my Whole 30 craziness, but the family really enjoyed it and said it wasn’t too sweet and the frosting was perfect. That sounds like a win to me! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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Carrot Cake – adapted from Sprinkle Some Sugar

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup light brown sugar (or dark)
  • 5 eggs + 1 yolk
  • 1 tbs cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 3 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups finely grated carrots (about 7-8 carrots)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 8 oz package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • a pinch of salt

Directions –

For the Cake
Preheat oven to 350°. Line the bottom of two 9″ round baking pans with parchment paper and lightly grease and flour sides. Be sure to get every inch! Set aside.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, clover all together and set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the oil, brown sugar and granulated sugar together. Add in the eggs one at a time, egg yolk and vanilla and mix until smooth.
Pour in flour mixture and mix until just combined making sure everything is well mixed. Fold in the grated carrots by hand with a rubber spatula or spoon. Batter will be thick, this is okay. If you are adding pecans or raisins, do so now.
Distribute the batter evenly into both pans. Place in preheated oven and bake for 30-40 minutes. Start checking cake at 25 and check every 2 minutes after that. Once a toothpick comes out clean, cakes are done. Let them cool on wire rack or counter for 20 minutes. Flip pans over and cakes should pop right out onto wire rack or parchment or wax paper lined counter. Let them cool completely. While they are cooling, mix up the frosting.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream together the cream cheese and butter until fluffy and light in color. Add in the vanilla and mix until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time on low until combined. Whip frosting for another minute or so until smooth and creamy.
Once cakes are completely cooled, cut the domed tops off so they are completely flat and even. Place one cake on the bottom of a cake stand, facing up. Spread some frosting on top until completely covered. Add second cake, bottom up, and frost the rest of the cake. I found it much easier to do one thin layer of frosting, set it in the fridge and as it firmed up a bit, add another thick layer – the frosting looks much more even this way. This cake is even more moist and flavorful the second day once the flavors have all settled in with each other.
Store cake covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

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Who doesn’t look forward to this time of year? It’s one of my favorite because of all the season-specific flavors. Who eats pumpkin bread in the spring? That’s just wrong! 😉 If my husband loved pumpkin flavored anything, there would be far more recipes to prove my love for it – however, he loathes it…so, I know that he wouldn’t even try these. How I wish I could justify making a pumpkin cheesecake! 😉 Oh, well! More for me and the kids I guess.

Verdict: These muffins baked up fragrant, beautifully light, sweet and they’re spiced just right. Thanks for reading, enjoy! 🙂

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Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Muffins –  adapted from Make the Bread, Buy the Butter

  • 1 ½ cups AP flour (187 grams)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp all spice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup vegetable oil (*I used grapeseed*)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Oil for greasing or paper liners

Directions –

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, all-spice, baking soda and salt.

In another bowl, beat the pumpkin with the oil and sugars. Add the eggs one at a time. Beat in vanilla.

Stir dry ingredients and then chocolate chips.

Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners, or lightly grease. Scoop in batter.

Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm, or cool and store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days.