The last time we went to a cafe, I mesmerized at their cakes. They ranged from mini cakes to 9 inch cakes and the beauty of them was that they just had a simple white buttercream frosting on the outside– no extra frills, no extra icing and no flowers of artificial color. Instead, the cakes were just pure white all around and dusted with either some kind of powder, chocolate shavings, or chopped nuts on top. Their cake variety ranged from red velvets, chocolate, and some others, but the one that caught my eye was the carrot cake. It looked beautiful on the outside and like always, I started thinking about how I can make it myself.
I don’t know where I got this recipe from; the first time I made it was with my best friend in high school, and it has been my go-to carrot cake recipe ever since. My favorite part of this recipe is that you just need one big bowl, and you just whisk it all together until it all comes together. And that’s it. It is really just that simple.
To make them into mini cakes, I used ramekins to make the circular mini cakes, and I got mini bread loaf pans, 5 for $2, to make square mini cakes. In the end, I didn’t like the mini square cakes because they were smaller than I wanted them to be, so in the future, I would just get more ramekins and use them instead. I buttered and floured them, poured in the batter and let it bake.
I wanted to decorate the mini cakes in the same manner that the cafe did, it having a simple white outside with just some kind of simple topping. Of course, carrot cakes have to have the classic cream cheese frosting. To ensure that it can get a clean white outside, I gave it a crumb coat first before giving it a final coat of cream cheese frosting. And while some carrot cake recipes add walnuts and raisins into the batter to bake, I decided to use them as the topping.
This two-three inch mini cake was made over the course of two days. The first was to bake and ensure that it cooled down completely at room temperature, and the second day was to make the crumb coat, refrigerate it to set, and then the final coat and toppings. This time around, I had the help of a close sister. Every time we bake together, I am always blessed by our conversations with one another. Thank you for your help and your company!!
1 ¼ c vegetable oil
2 c white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 c grated carrots
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 inch pan, or for this particular project, I butter and floured two ramekins and 5 mini bread loaf pans.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, white sugar, and vanilla. Sift in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Fold in carrots.
Pour into prepared pans. If baking in the 9 x 13 pan, bake for 40-50 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. If in the mini pans, bake for about 30 min. Let cool in pan completely before icing. If you want to cool it overnight, set in an airtight container or ziplock bag to contain the moisture.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 stick of softened butter
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 box powder sugar, more or less depending on consistency
1 tsp vanilla
Beat together all the ingredients until completely mixed together and combined. Use to ice cooled cakes and if desired, chop some walnuts and sprinkle on top to decorate.