I’ll give you cake guesses as to what I made in school this week. Umm I mean, eight guesses. Eight layer guesses.
Ahem. This week at school we made cake. Lots and lots of cake. And buttercreams and Bavarian creams and ganaches and fruit mousse and chocolate mousse and Marty Moose. It was delicious.
Cakes on parade:
Nice little lineup, huh? Maybe try this one:
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
I was never big into carrot cake, but I think it’s mostly because of the walnuts. Being as I’m allergic, I always shied away from walnut-clad cakes and, since most carrot cakes are choc full of that tricky nut, I never had the pleasure of enjoying this delightful treat. My version uses pecans, and is both dense and flaky, faintly sweet from the carrots and sufficiently tangy from the cream cheese frosting. I suggest you try it. Especially if you’re finding yourself fading in your early January resolution to “eat healthier this year.” I mean, come on – this thing is bursting with bright, health-inducing carrots. It’s like eating a salad. Except it’s way better. Because it’s cake.
For the cake:
- 125 grams cake flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 220 grams granulated sugar
- 170 grams vegetable oil
- 60 grams pecans, chopped
- 165 grams carrots, grated (about 1 large carrot)
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 450 grams cream cheese, room temperature
- 180 grams butter, room temperature
- 200 grams powdered sugar
- zest of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter and flour one 9-inch cake pan. Sift the dry ingredients together and set aside.
Whip the eggs and the sugar in an electric mixer until foamy and doubled in size. When you lift the whisk from the bowl, the egg/sugar mixture should fall in a thick ribbon from the whisk and keep it’s ribbon shape for a few seconds after it falls into the bowl.
Very slowly drizzle the oil into the egg/sugar mixture. Once the oil is fully incorporated, add the sifted dry ingredients and mix just to combine. Gently stir in the nuts and grated carrots.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake the cake at 350ºF for 30-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Immediately (and carefully! The cake will be fragile and crumbly) unmold the cake onto a cooling rack.
To make the frosting, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar until smooth and soft.
Add the lemon zest, sour cream, and vanilla extract.
Once the cake is cool, slice it carefully into two layers. Spread a small amount of frosting onto the bottom layer and cover with the top layer. Completely cover the layered cake with the frosting. This recipe makes a lot of frosting – you may have some left over. If you wish, pipe rosettes on the top of your cake using a star tip, and garnish with extra chopped pecans or marzipan carrots.
Note: This is a very delicate cake, so, if you have time, you might want to consider freezing it overnight before cutting and icing – the frozen cake will be easier to cut and assemble. The cake is best served the day it’s assembled/decorated.