I can’t believe Easter has come and gone! What a fun weekend it was! The kiddos woke up and rummaged through their Easter baskets. Both kiddos don’t really care too much for the chocolate. They were most excited about the toys (stickers, bubbles, etc.). Are these really my children?
This year, I made this carrot cake. I remember spending one summer in Atlanta when I danced with the Atlanta Ballet’s summer intensive when I was in high school. Every day at lunch, I’d get a sandwich, chips, and a piece of homemade carrot cake from a deli across the street. Everyone else was chomping on celery and carrots…and I couldn’t get enough of this place’s carrot cake. It was heavenly. I wish I could remember the name of this place, but I do know it closed down some years ago.
This is a different taste than the carrot cake I remember but still delish. It’s for a more “mature” audience, meaning it’s not packed with much sugar at all. That’s saved for the icing. This isn’t the kind of cake you want to make for someone that doesn’t like carrots but will eat them if they’re hidden in something. These carrots are bold and unapologetic about it.
The night before, I made the actual carrot cake and the cream cheese frosting and frosted and decorated on Easter morning before going over to our aunt’s house for brunch and an egg hunt with the kiddos.
My vision for the little egg nest turned out pretty cute, right? And it only required a bag of coconut and some Cadbury mini chocolate eggs.
You first make your carrot mixture. Did I mention this recipe is chocked FULL of carrots — 7 to be exact?
Then you make the sugar, egg, yogurt mixture.
Combine and bake that sucker.
While you’re waiting on the cake to bake, go ahead and toast the coconut. You can toast the coconut in the microwave, stove, or in the oven. I prefer on the stove. It’s easy. Simply saute the unsweetened coconut in a small pan for about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Voila. Go to bed and finish the rest in the morning (although you will want to take the cake out of the pan before retiring for the night).
Oops! There might be some accidents along the way. And OMG! What happened to my floors? Note to self: summer project will be to clean the grout. What do I use? I NEED HELP!
I just used a Wilton icing tip (#) and a disposable frosting bag, some toasted coconut, and Cadbury mini chocolate eggs. Turned out pretty cute, right? Enjoy!
Up close and personal…
- Unsalted butter, for the pan
- 12 ounces, approximately 2 1/2 cups, all-purpose flour, plus extra for pan
- 12 ounces grated carrots, medium grate, approximately 6 medium
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 10 ounces sugar, approximately 1 1/3 cups
- 2 ounces dark brown sugar, approximately 1/4 cup firmly packed
- 3 large eggs
- 6 ounces plain yogurt
- 6 ounces vegetable oil
- Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter and flour two 9-inch round and 3-inch deep cake pan. Line the bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.
Put the carrots into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process for 5 seconds. Add this mixture to the carrots and toss until they are well-coated with the flour.
In the bowl of the food processor combine the sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and yogurt.
With the processor still running drizzle in the vegetable oil. Pour this mixture into the carrot mixture and stir until just combined. Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 45 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees F and bake for another 20 minutes or until the cake reaches 205 to 210 degrees F in the center.
Remove the pan from the oven and allow cake to cool 15 minutes in the pan. After 15 minutes, turn the cake out onto a rack and allow cake to cool completely. Frost with cream cheese frosting after cake has cooled completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting: (I doubled this recipe since I was doing a layer cake)
8 ounces cream cheese
2 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
9 ounces powdered sugar, sifted, approximately 2 cups
In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and butter on medium just until blended. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. With the speed on low, add the powdered sugar in 4 batches and beat until smooth between each addition.
Place the frosting in the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes before using.
This is an slightly adapted Alton Brown recipe found here.