Saturday, April 3, 2010
My Easter Cake Masterpiece
I made and decorated this cake all by myself from Scratch- I think it turned out awesome! Not bad for a beginner- I have only taken one Wilton decorating course. :-)
This is a Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese frosting.
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon coarse salt
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ cup water
1 lb. carrots (8 to 10 medium carrots), peeled and shredded on a box grater or in a food processor (about 2 3/4 cups)
(Notes: For Easter I used my Cross pan - I used no nuts in the recipe because i have a picky 13 year old. I baked the cake in my Convection oven at 325 for 60 minutes. Once the cake was out I did not cut it or layer it)
Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter three 9-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper, and butter parchment. Dust with flour, tapping out excess. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and nutmeg.
Beat butter and sugars with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat 3 minutes. Add vanilla, water, and carrots. Beat until well combined, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and add flour mixture, then finely chopped pecans.
Scrape batter into prepared pans, dividing evenly. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around edges of cakes to loosen, and turn out cakes onto rack. Turn right side up, and let cool completely.
Using a serrated knife, trim rounded top of 2 cakes. Place one trimmed cake, cut side up, on a serving platter. Spread 1 cup frosting over cake. Top with second trimmed cake, cut side down. Spread 1 cup frosting over cake. Top with remaining cake. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides. Gently press coarsely chopped pecans onto sides of cake. Refrigerate 1 hour (or up to 1 day, covered) before serving.
Source: Martha Stewart Modified by me
Cream Cheese Icing
(Notes: You won't use all the Icing.)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
8 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (about 2 lbs.)
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
In medium mixer bowl, cream butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add sugar one cup at a time and milk. Mix well. Beat on high until smooth (only 30 seconds to 1 minute). Thin to ice cake smooth; use full strength for piping borders.
Do not use light cream cheese or butter substitute. If margarine is used, icing will be softer.
(About 5 1/2 cups of icing.)