This is my Nana's carrot cake. I know that carrot cake isn't a cake that one normally would think of, when you think of a birthday cake. Chocolate cake is probably what would first come to mind, however this cake is so good, that it is the one that is most often requested for birthday cakes in our family! And, as long as we're being honest, since it has 2 whole cups of shredded carrots, there has to be a serving of vegetables in each slice, right? ...right?
Here's your grocery list for this cake, so this can be a go-to for your family, too!
Today, I have decided to not use nuts in my frosting, but they are a really nice addition!
This frosting makes enough to generously frost a 3 layer cake, with a little left over!
First, as always, preheat the oven to 350*, then peel and trim your carrots (cut the tops and bottoms off). I shred mine in my food processor, but before I had one of those, I just shredded my carrots by hand on a box grater. My knuckles are so happy that I finally broke down and got a food processor!
If you end up with a little extra, that's okay! A bit more carrots never hurt anything!
I always love how sifted flour looks; it looks like a white sand dune! Anyway, this is the flour, baking soda and cinnamon all sifted together, and set aside.
Then mix together the eggs, sugar and oil, until well combined. Next, slowly add in the flour, baking soda and cinnamon mixture, and mix until just combined.
Add in the shredded carrots, and again, mix until just combined.
Once everything is combined, prepare three 9 inch cake pans, by either greasing and flouring, or laying parchment paper on the bottoms of the pans, and greasing the sides. I prefer the parchment trick, and spray the bottoms with nonstick spray, lay the parchment paper down (the spray keeps the paper from curling right back up), then spray the tops of the paper and sides of the pan. I have never had a problem with getting my baked goods out, with this method. If you don't have three cake pans, you can, of course, just use the one or two you have and bake in batches, no problem! Just make sure the pan has cooled completely before refilling.
Start off by putting the softened cream cheeses into a mixing bowl, and blending until smooth and creamy, then add in the stick of butter, and mix again until well combined.
Now that the butter and cream cheese are thoroughly mixed, slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, allowing time between each addition for the sugar to be mixed into the frosting. Once all of your sugar has been added,give the frosting a taste, and if you're happy whip the frosting for about 5 minutes, or until you're happy with the consistency. If you feel that the frosting isn't sweet enough, go on and add another cup of powdered sugar into the mix, then whip it for 5 minutes, or until you're happy with the consistency.
Once the butter, sugar and cream cheese are combined, add in one 12-15 oz bag of coconut (and the nuts, if you have them), and again, combine.
And that's it! You have homemade frosting! Once that is complete, set the frosting aside, and get out what you'll need for frosting. You can use whatever base you like, but I prefer using a lazy Susan, so I can very easily access all sides of the cake with just a spin. I got mine at a thrift shop a couple of years ago for about $5, and it's great! I take three pieces of parchment paper, cut into rectangular strips, and place them so that they meet in the middle of the lazy Susan, and place the first cake layer on top of it. After I do that, I add about 1/2 cup of the frosting to a zip top bag, and cut the corner. This is the easiest way (that I've found, anyway) to put the frosting on between the layers.
Carefully cut off the tops of the cakes, to make them level, if you're worried about that. It's perfectly fine to leave them a little domed if you don't want to bother with it. As I always say, it's homemade! It's fine to look like it!
I just happen to have a cake leveler (not sure if that's what its really called, but that's what I call it!), but a serrated knife would work just as well!
So, as you can see here, I squeezed the frosting from the zip top bag onto the top of the leveled cake, and then spread it all over, in an even layer.
Next, put the next layer of the cake on top of the first. I like to flip my second layer over, so that the two tops of the cakes are facing each other. This way, you're sure to have a level top, because the frosting helps to compensate for any imperfections in leveling the tops of the cakes. Continue with squeezing the frosting on top of this layer (refilling the bag as you need to), and place the third layer on top.
I just wanted to end this blog post, by wishing my sister a very happy birthday! I wish I could be there to help you celebrate, but don't worry, I'll have a piece (or two...) of cake to celebrate in spirit!