Monday, April 15, 2013

carrot cake

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I absolutely adore Carrot Cake, so does Justin. This post is a little late considering Easter was a couple weeks back. I have never been that organized of a blogger to pull together a week's worth of themed treats just before a holiday. Another reason you see many holiday posts after the actual holiday is I like to enjoy all my "themed" treats on the holiday, not weeks before. So a day late and a dollar short I present to you my contribution to the Easter Dessert Table - really though, do you need Easter as an excuse to make this cake? I didn't think so - Carrot Cake, in my book is an anytime cake to bake.


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Making a Carrot Cake is truly a simple project- especially if you are armed with a grating attachment for your food processor or another quick grating gizmo. Around here local carrots are still abundant from root cellars, when paired with locally ground whole wheat pastry flour this cake makes for a pretty local dessert creation.

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The consistency of the cream cheese frosting was not exactly what I had originally intended - however it provided a much prettier glaze for the cake than a traditional frosting would have. I was pretty happy with the results, plus it tasted good - not overly sweet, but just sweet enough.
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I come from a large family - 13 grand kids plus a handful of great grand kids. Growing up my Mom and Aunts would put together an Easter Egg Hunt for all the kids. As kids do, we started to grow up and a new tradition was born. In place of our Easter Egg Tradition my Mom and Aunt began "The Annual Houle Easter Scavenger Hunt"- and let me tell you it is amazing fun. We divide into Teams (typically 3 Teams of 4-5), the Teams are given a list and a block of time (75 minutes). There is always at least one Sober Driver on each team -when the clock starts we all hop into our Team Car and go off into the city in search of the items on our list- more often then not there are several Team Challenges that need to be completed and a photo taken as proof . Points are awarded for each task completed or item turned in from the list. This year I had to do a handstand, teams needed to go to a laundry mat and fold laundry with a stranger, take photo on a tractor with at least 2 team members in front of  Lowes, find a red balloon - with helium 5 extra points plus several other fun challenges! We are a very competitive family, it gets very interesting when we all convene back to the starting point for the point tallying - lets just say there is a lot of yelling and debating, judges get the final say! The losing team has to plan the next years hunt unless there is a Volunteer. Great times had by all!

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The best part, besides being the Winning Team Captain 2 years in a row was coming back to a big slice of Carrot Cake. If you have nut allergies an alternative topping to the pecans would be a good handful of shredded coconut or toasted coconut flakes. Not a fan of coconut? Then a sprinkling of cinnamon would make this cake look awfully pretty too.
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Do you have crazy family traditions?
How do you typically celebrate Easter?
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Carrot cake
makes (1) 8" 2 layer cake
serves 8
you will need:



for the cake

1.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup cake flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
.5 tsp baking soda
.5 tsp salt
2 tsp Cinnamon
.5 tsp Cardamom
1 tsp white vinegar
.5 cup soygurt or 2 flax eggs
.5 cup apple sauce
.5 cup coconut oil melted
1 cup maple syrup
2 tsp Vanilla extract
2 cups shredded carrots

for the icing
8oz Vegan cream cheese
2 tbsp coconut oil - softened
2.5 cups Confectioner’s sugar
.25 cup honey, agave or maple syrup
pecans - roughly chopped
coconut
 
 assembly :
pre heat oven to 350*
In a large mixing bowl sift together flours through cardamom- set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together white vinegar through vanilla extract.

Toss the shredded carrots with the flour mixture. Slowly add the wet to the dry and mix until well moistened- do not over mix.

Divide batter evenly between 2 greased and floured baking pans (i used coconut oil & pastry flour). Using an offset spatula, even/smooth out the top of the batter in each pan.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a cake tester, when tested in the center of each cake comes out with a few moist crumbs. Remove cakes from oven, place on cooling racks and allow to fully cool before inverting onto a cooling rack for frosting.

While the cakes are cooling, prepare glaze. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or medium bowl if using a hand mixer)  add cream cheese and softened coconut oil to the bowl and whisk until well incorporated and a bit fluffy. On a slower speed slowly incorporate the powdered sugar, once well mixed add your liquid sweetener and mix/whisk until smooth.

To glaze your cakes, enure your cakes are fully cooled prior to glazing!

Set one cake round on your serving platter or pedestal - place approximately 1/3 - 1/2 cup of glaze onto the cake round, with an offset spatula evenly spread the glaze to cover the top of the cake. Place the second round on top of the first. Spread remaining glaze on the top and sides of the cake. Top the cake with pecans, toasted coconut or cinnamon in a pattern that is pleasing to you.


20 comments:

  1. i love carrot cake, too! if i had my way, our wedding cake would have been carrot ;) alas, chocolate won.

    i have a very hard time posting recipes for holidays before they actually happen, too. luckily, carrot cake is perfect ALL TIMES OF YEAR!

    i love your family's tradition of the scavenger hunt. me, i hide under the blankets until easter is over. not a fan of easter, haha ;)

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  2. I love carrot cake! It is one of those classic but oh-so-good-cakes that never get old! Thanks for sharing your version of it!

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  3. This is a thing of beauty. And so is your darling cake stand!

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  4. I think that icing looks perfect. Carrot cake is one of my absolute favorites! I love it when you make something I haven't veganized yet so I don't have to! xx

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  5. This looks beautiful! i didn't even realize that carrot cake was reserved for Easter, I love it all year round! I have been looking for a vegan carrot cupcake recipe, I might see how this works! Thanks for posting, Alex

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  6. the cake looks soo sooo gorgeous! I can eat a carrot cake on any day too. i'd pick a carrot cake over chocolate most days too. beautiful Heather. perfectly beautiful.

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  7. Good lord that is probably the most beautiful cake I have ever seen!! I spy some homemade vanilla extract in the background ;)

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  8. Gorgreous, love your cake plate! I like that the frosting looks a bit thinner than normal, sometimes the full on frosting can be a bit much!

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  9. Your Easter traditions sound so fun! Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is one of the few types of frosted cakes that I really enjoy...and I'm definitely in the view that it can be eaten any day of the year! Love how glossy your frosting turned out, and the sprinkle of pecans on top is the perfect finishing touch!

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  10. Ooooooo! Looks amazing!!!! ^_^ We decided to order carrot cake for our wedding. Jesse is obsessed. I will have to make him this version in the mean time. I also like carrot cake, but often opt for lemon cake or chocolate cake. Hmmmm. who am I kidding!? I love cake of all kinds! lol

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  11. Your family scavenger hunt sounds hilarious and so fun! This cake looks so pretty and I would love to have a slice right now. My Dad loves carrot cake, I'll have to make this for him!

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  12. That's such a fun tradition! In high school, my friends and I did something similar, but not for Easter. To celebrate the end of summer, we did a Photo Scavenger Hunt, which eventually morphed into a Video Scavenger Hunt. We had to record someone ordering a cheeseburger with no cheese, striking up a conversation with a store mannequin, and other silly stuff. It was great fun when we all watched the videos at the end of the night!

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  13. Beautiful carrot cake and gorgeous photos and styling! Absolutely lovely!!!

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  14. Hi, this is a great post. I wondered if you would like to link it in to the new Food on Friday which is running right now over at Carole's Chatter. We are collecting recipes using carrots and/or leeks. This is the link . I hope you pop over to check it out. There are lots of great recipes already linked in.

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  15. Oh man, this cake is a beauty! I adore carrot cakes! What a treat for your family!

    I love the scavenger hunt idea for Easter! I'll have to remember that for when the twins get a little older (and we can let them roam a little farther on their own). :-)

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  16. This looks amazing! I love carrot cake, but since becoming vegan all my attempts have been slightly off, either with flavour or texture.
    This is a recipe I will definitely be trying out in the near future, I love the idea of a glaze instead of a heap of icing, and I've never tried cardamom in it before. I reckon this one will be a winner!
    On a side note, I love the sound of your family Easter, sounds like loads of fun!

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