Birthday Bonanza!

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Hope you all had a wonderful New Years.  The past couple weeks have been crazy.  Have you ever felt like you worked all day, but had nothing to show for it.  I have been running around dealing with disasters.  I feel like every day I end up right back where I started never getting anything checked off my list.  Finally today I think I made progress.  Including, but not limited to, having my blog hosting fixed.  I don’t know if you’ve been having any problems loading the sight, but that should be better now.

Husband’s birthday was this week though, so I spent that day cooking his favorite dinner and baking him a carrot cake.  It was fun.   The carrot cake recipe I used was from modified from AllRecipes. And my decorating idea from Chocolate Carrots.

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Cake
4 eggs
1/2 cup melted butter
3/4 cup apple sauce
2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup chopped pecans

Frosting
5 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup cream cheese
1 cup white sugar

DIRECTIONS:
1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a three 8 inch round pans. (I actually did 6 inch pans and a couple cupcakes.)
2.    In a large bowl, beat together eggs, apple sauce, butter, white sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla.  In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Add dry ingredient to your egg mixture.  Stir in carrots. Fold in pecans. Pour into prepared pans.
3.    Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
4.    To Make Frosting: Constantly whisking, heat flour, milk, and cinnamon over low/medium heat until it forms a thick batter (think brownie batter consistency). Remove from heat, add vanilla. Allow mixture to cool completely. Using a stand mixer (or handheld and a large bowl) cream together butter, cream cheese, and white sugar until light, fluffy, and no more graininess. Add flour mixture and continue to beat on medium/high speed until its fluffy with stiff peaks.

Note 1:  Instead of apple sauce and butter you may use 1 1/4 cups oil.  The original recipe called for vegetable, and I didn’t have any.  I might also try coconut oil.

Note 2: For this icing I subbed 1/2 cream cheese in for butter.  But that causes the icing to not hold its shape as well, especially in higher temperatures. It still looks beautiful, but it’s probably not going to work for really fancy decorating.

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