September 4, 2010

Carrot cake of sorts

So my dad's birthday was yesterday and I volunteered to bake his cake. At first he wanted pineapple upsidedown cake, then he wanted applesauce raisin cake, and then possibly carrot cake. It was up to me to decide. I figure, how can you go wrong with all three in one? It had to be a layer cake because putting candles on a flat cake isn't exciting enough for a birthday celebration. Who wants to blow out candles and splatter the wax on the sides of a cake pan? No, the candles have to rise up out of a pretty layer cake!

It wound up being a mish-mash project, with me splicing together recipes and using up some of my and mom's ingredients. First off, one recipe called for all-purpose flour and quick oats but I didn't have any quick oats so I looked to another recipe which called for just flour. A cake with all white flour just doesn't cut it with me, so I used 1 cup white and 1/2 cup wheat. Not too much to make the cake dense, but just enough to add some whole grains. To make it more like the applesauce raisin cake, I added nutmeg. I borrowed the crushed pineapple from my mom's house and ended up 1/2 cup shy of the amount I needed. Applesauce filled in the gap.

Final product came out of the oven looking beautiful. I used a cream cheese icing and put it away for the night where it awaied the addition of toasted coconut to dress it up for the celebration.  Dad loved it and said that until he lets me know otherwise, he wants the same cake every year!

Carrot Spice Cake
adapted from several recipes from Cooking Light

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsps. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsps. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
3 T canola oil
1 large egg
1 T soy flour + 1 T water (or substitute 1 egg)
2 cups grated carrot (about 3 medium carrots)
1 cup canned crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup golden raisins

2 T butter, softened
1 (8 oz.) block 1/3 less-fat cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tsps. vanilla extract
1/4 cup flaked sweetened coconut, toasted

Preheat oven to 325°. Spray 2 9" round baking pans with cooking spray.
Combine flours, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Combine oil and eggs; stir well. Stir egg mixture, grated carrot, pineapple, and applesauce into flour mixture. Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake at 325° for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let sit in pans for 5 minutes, then invert onto wire racks and cool completely.

For frosting, beat together butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla just until mixed. Spread frosting between layers and then over cake. Garnish with toasted coconut.


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