Carrot Cake

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“What’ve you been up to?” is the question I have encountered most yet have no idea how to respond every time I am asked. Part of it is because I have been attending to the most random this and that chores and errands, yet another part sheepishly acknowledges the sleeping-relaxing-and-doing-nothing part of my summer. Nonetheless, I cannot believe school begins again in a little over a month and my list of things to do is still so long. With so many things buzzing around, I find myself making my classic carrot cake, the very one whose recipe I have used since freshmen year of high school, six years ago! I made a Mini Carrot Cake version when I first began this blog, but decided I needed to update it and show the steps on how it’s made (aka the three steps that are required). I loved and stuck to this version because the cake comes out gloriously light and fluffy, unlike the dense pound cake like ones you may find at the grocery stores. Each bite is full of flavor and spice, and you can eat it knowing it’s good for you (at least compared to my Ultimate S’mores Brownies).

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To start out, measure out all the ingredients. Have the carrots already grated and ready to use! I measure out the dry ingredients directly into my sifter to save an extra dish to wash.

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With a whisk, mix all the wet ingredients in a bowl. The mixture will be gooey and thick.

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Sift in the dry ingredients and mix those in as well! Try not to over mix.

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Then, switch to a rubber spatula and add your carrots. If you want to add nuts, you would do so at this stage as well. Make sure to lightly toss the nuts in flour beforehand to prevent it from sinking to the bottom of the cake.

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Fold all the carrots until they are completely incorporated.

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Transfer to three 8inch rounds that have been buttered and floured with a parchment paper round lining the bottom. Bake it for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted has come out clean! As it is baking, make the cream cheese frosting.

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Look at how yummers it looks! This is probably the easiest yet most decadent cream cheese frosting you can ever make. I always use a 1:1:1:1 ratio for the ingredients– 1 box cream cheese, 1 stick butter, 1 Tbsp vanilla, and 1 pound of powdered sugar. Over time, I have added one ingredient to it to make it extra special, and that is 1 Tbsp of heavy whipping cream. It lightens the frosting without adding any extra sweetness to it and makes it heavenly!

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Once the cakes are cooled, you can layer and frost your cake! I only used two out of my three layers because I wanted to save the last layer for consumption at a later time! I kept the cake simple and let the flavors do all the talking. Please don’t judge the way I cut my cake above…I don’t know what I was thinking. The cake was just so good….Now, I’m off to share this deliciousness with some dear friends– until next time!

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Carrot cake

makes ONE three-layer 8inch cake

4 eggs

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

1/2 c chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans work well), optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour three 8inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper rounds. Set aside.

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. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let it cool in pans before removing, then allow to chill in the refrigerator until cold before icing!

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 stick of softened butter, unsalted

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened

1 box powder sugar, more or less depending on consistency

1 Tbsp vanilla

1 Tbsp heavy whipping cream

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.

Carrot Oatmeal Cookies

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Has it really been over a week since my last post? Oh my, oopsies. It’s Spring Break now and I had thought I would get caught up, but even spring break has been so busy that I’ve only had time to do so now!

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Last week I made a carrot cake for a bridal shower and decided to make these carrot oatmeal cookies to go along with it since my hands would have been covered in carrot shreds anyways. I had stumbled across the recipe for these cookies on my Instagram and I’ve been dying to make them. And now that I’ve had them and am looking at the pictures and remembering them, I’m dying to make them again.

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These cookies are everything a good oatmeal cookie ought to be while tasting like Christmas in your mouth. It’s chewy and full of flavor in every bite and just magical. The carrot taste is subtle but the cream cheese glaze complements it so well. It’s not even a little bit too sweet at all but just right. The flavors are phenomenal. It’s healthy and perfectly amazing!!!

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Carrot Oatmeal Cookies with Cream Cheese Glaze

makes 25 cookies

recipe adapted from Two Peas and their Pod

1 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled to room temperature

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup shredded carrots

1 cup old fashioned oats

1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes

2/3 cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat baking mat or parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine coconut oil and sugars, mix until smooth. Add egg and vanilla extract and beat until well combined. Next, add the shredded carrots. Mix until combined. Slowly add flour mixture until just combined. Stir in oats, coconut, and raisins.

Drop cookie dough by heaping tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are slightly golden around the edges and set. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

Cream Cheese Glaze

2 ounce cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon milk

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Mix together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Using a spoon, drizzle the glaze over the cooled cookies. Let cookies sit until glaze hardens up. Serve!

Mini Carrot Cakes

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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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!!

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Carrot cake

4 eggs

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.

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