Thursday, December 22, 2011

Carrot Cake for Christmas? Why not? (The 9th Sweet of Christmas)

You probably don't think of carrot cake when you think about holiday sweets, but this particular recipe definitely has its place.  Think about it - spice cake is sort of a fall/winter cake flavor, and that's essentially what this cake is.

Just with some carrots thrown in.

Smear some cream cheese frosting on it and you've got something totally delicious, even though it does happen to have vegetables in it.

I, admittedly, do not care for carrot cake as a rule. I first had this cake at a friend's baby shower.  It was the first time I'd ever eaten carrot cake and not gone, "Eh," leaving most of the piece behind on the plate.  It's moist.  It's flavorful.  And it doesn't taste like carrots.

A coworker's birthday came up a few weeks ago, and because she's not "attached" to a grade level and thus doesn't get birthday treats, each grade level pitched in some goodies and threw her a birthday breakfast.  I was told she loves carrot cake, and immediately thought of the cake my friend's mother-in-law made for her shower.  I was surprised to discover that the recipe came from All Recipes.

First I shredded some carrots.  I think it took about three large carrots to get the three cups called for in the recipe.  I used my large-holed cheese grater and it worked like a dream.

Next I combined the sugar, eggs, vanilla and oil in my mixing bowl and beat it all together.

Then I added the dry ingredients.

At this point, it was basically a spice cake.  I probably could've stopped there and been happy.

Next I stirred in the carrots.

The recipe calls for chopped pecans, but I didn't have any on hand so I used chopped walnuts instead.  You could leave the nuts out if you don't like nuts or are allergic.

Stir it all together and pour into a prepared cake pan.  The recipe says to use a 9x13 pan, but I used my big 10-inch square cake pan from Wilton.

After baking, let it cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then turn out onto a baking rake to cool completely before frosting.  (I apologize, I was making this at like 8 at night and forgot to take a picture of this part.)

After the cake has cooled, whip up the frosting according to the recipe's directions, and frost the top and sides of the cake.  I also decided to tint some frosting light orange and pipe some decorations.

Just so you know, cream cheese frosting doesn't pipe well.  But the end result was still pretty.

Here's a little tutorial for you (or maybe just a tip) when it comes to piping letters.  Trace with toothpicks first.

It's a lot easier to pipe evenly when you have something to trace.

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