“if you eat it in the dark, no one can see it” said my husband after I showed him why we at lazybird bakery do not, and i repeat, do not and will not decorate cakes. it’s too risky. i have FABULOUS ideas in my head that quickly snowball into horrendous displays of creativity. haha. but wow, that cake tastes good, and if you ask me that’s what’s important! remember this, don’t judge a book by its cover.
we’ve been writing this blog for some time now and we’ve yet to run out of ideas which is great, but sometimes we need a little push. so i called my little brother this week and asked him what i should make and the first thing that came out of his mouth was carrot cake. done. perfect. i love carrot cake and pretty much anything with a little spice to it. then throw some cream cheese icing on top, shut the front door. you’re going to need a nap after this one. it’s amazing. thanks Martha Stewart. Read more at Marthastewart.com: Carrot Cake – Martha Stewart Recipes
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup water
1 pound grated carrots (8 to 10 medium carrots)
2 cups pecans (1 cup finely chopped for batter, 1 cup coarsely chopped for decorating sides of cake) optional.
mixing bowls/prep bowls
3 – 9″ cake pans
preheat oven to 350 degrees.
first things first. i went ahead and grated my carrots because it took forever. i haven’t peeled and grated in so long. i forgot just how time-consuming a task it was. so once i grated them, i covered with plastic wrap and placed back in the fridge while i got everything else together.
before using crisco to coat pans, go ahead and trace three circles the size of your pans, onto parchment paper. cut out and set aside. now coat your pans, place the parchment paper down into the bottom of the pan, and cover the paper with more crisco. lightly dust with flour, making sure to flour the edges of your pans. this will ensure that your cake doesn’t stick to the pans once baked!
in a large bowl go ahead and add your flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon. whisk together, making sure all ingredients are well mixed. in your stand mixer bowl, mix your sugars and your butter and whip until creamy. once creamy add eggs one at a time, mixing continuously, followed by vanilla, water and carrots. reduce the speed then add the flour mixture. if adding pecans go ahead and add them now.
using a spatula scrape out dough evenly into the three 9″ pans. bake pans for 15 minutes. turn pans half way around and bake for 10 more minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. once ready pull from oven and set pans on a wire rack for about 15 minutes. scrape edges with a knife to help loosen the cake. flip over onto wire racks and let cool completely.
while that’s cooling or even baking, go ahead and start your cream cheese icing. read more at Marthastewart.com: Cream Cheese Frosting – Martha Stewart Recipes
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 lbs. of powdered sugar
cream cheese icing
first things first. in your mixer blend cream cheese and vanilla extract. once creamy cut the butter into T size slices and one by one, add to the cream cheese while the mixer is going. lower your speed and add the powdered sugar. your icing should be fluffy and smooth. this icing will keep in an airtight container for two days. bring to room temp. and mix well before icing your cake.
now that your icing is ready, set aside and clear off a space so that you can start assembling your cake. there are lots of ways to do this, but here is what i did. I took my first layer and laid it bottom side up. this way i have a flat surface to ice. apply icing. lay second layer same way, apply icing. for the third layer and lay correct side up, so that it is dome shaped. ice. here is where i should have stopped. cakes look great when their layers are exposed. but due to a lapse in judgement i just kept going, as did Martha, if you check her icing recipe. her cake is beautiful and she decided to use the remaining pecans as decoration to the sides. it’s elegant. but if you’re going for a circus big top look, such as myself, GO CRAZY. the sky’s the limit!
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