I cannot even begin to tell you how relieved I was to wake up this morning, knowing that Easter is over, and I can finally take a moment to catch my breath. I also want to say a big thank you to everyone who came to our house over the weekend, whether it was to attend the 5th Annual Easter Egg Hunt for Money, to drop off Easter goodies, or just to stop by and chat for a bit. B.O.B. Bob, Brenna, and I are truly blessed to have such amazing family, friends, and neighbors. In simple non-cursing Colleen words “Y’all Rock!”
The one thing that I have consistently served for Easter over the past several years, is my father’s Aunt Celia’s Carrot Cake. It’s always been one of my father’s favorites, and I’ve found that it’s a hit with some of B.O.B. Bob’s family as well, because of it containing no nuts. B.O.B. Bob and his younger sister both have nut allergies; so neither of them had ever had carrot cake in their lives before I came along. This cake brings back a lot of memories for me, most of them revolving around church socials and functions, which were a pretty regular occurrence in my childhood. This carrot cake was almost always set aside for my father to buy if there was a bake sale, because he loved it so much; although he’d love it even more if you left the icing off completely.
My dad is not a fan of anything that contains cream cheese, sour cream, or any type of “weird” cheese, and somehow he can tell by just looking at something that it may have it hidden inside. Seeing as I’m not a huge fan of frosting or icing, I have absolutely no problem with watching someone scrape the icing off of a cake; chances are I’m doing the same thing. I tried to make it a bit easier for him with this cake, by using pineapple rum filling, in lieu of using the same vanilla cream cheese buttercream that the cake is frosted with. I had a feeling that that little bit of extra-added buttercream would be enough for him to not want to take the trouble of eating a slice.
My brother, being the ever predictable Eeyore, was not a fan of the pineapple filling; he thought it took away from the flavor of the carrot cake. He also happened to choose a piece of the cake where some patching was done, so perhaps he has a point; certain parts of the cake needed a lot of filling to level off the cake. I don’t think I will ever make this cake in the same way again. It really is better to bake the entire amount of cake batter in a Bundt pan, as opposed to splitting it between two cake pans. You can try it with the two cake levels, but it doesn’t turn out nearly as well. You will also have to be extremely careful when moving the layers around during cake assembly, to avoid crumbling and breakage. One of my cake layers completely caved in upon itself, so the very center of the cake took a lot of filling to even out the crater. Sorry you weren’t a fan Matt, but next year perhaps I’ll do things a bit differently. I’m thinking cupcakes may be the way to go; perhaps something that looks a bit like this.
I’ll be sharing some photos from “The Hunt” later in the week, but for now I’m just going to sit back, breath, and think about catching up on all of the things I’ve put off over the last couple of weeks. Eventually I might even get around to putting away all of the Easter decorations, but I’m really in no hurry to get started on that process.
- 2 Cups Granulated Sugar
- 1 1/2 Cups Canola Oil
- 3 Eggs, Room Temperature
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
- 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- 2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
- 1 (10-oz.) Bag Shredded Carrots
Pineapple Rum Filling:
- 1 (20-oz.) Can Crushed Pineapple
- 1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar, Packed
- 1/4 Cup Spiced Rum
- 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
Cream Cheese Icing:
- 1 (8-oz.) Package Cream Cheese, Room Temperature
- 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
- 1 Pound Box of Powdered Sugar (Additional for Thickening)
- 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
- Heavy Whipping Cream (Optional for Thinning)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease and flour two 8-inch cake pans; set aside
- Whisk flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl; set aside.
- On medium speed, mix the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla for 2 minutes. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and then mix on low speed just until incorporated.
- Chop the shredded carrots up very fine and then mix them into the cake batter with a spatula.
- Divide the batter evenly between two 8-inch cake pans. Bake for 35 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
- Take the cakes out of the oven and allow them to cool for 10 minutes.
- Place a paper towel over each cake pan, followed by a cooling rack. Flip the entire thing over and tap on a counter. The cakes should slide easily out of their pans.
- Allow the cakes to cool completely before attempting to fill or frost.
Pineapple Rum Filling:
- Place all ingredients into a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Cook the mixture for 15 minutes, stirring often.
- Allow the mixture to set overnight in the fridge.
- Drain well to remove any excess moisture before using it to fill the cake.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Sift the powdered sugar; set aside.
- Cream the butter and cream cheese together for 3 minutes on medium speed.
- Add the vanilla and salt, and then mix for 1 minute on medium speed.
- Slowly add the powdered sugar into the mixture on low speed.
- When all of the sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium and then mix for 3 minutes.
- Add whipping cream 1 teaspoon at a time if you wish to thin the frosting consistency, or add powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time to thicken the frosting consistency.
Assembling the Cake:
- Fill a large Ziploc bag with some of the frosting.
- Snip the tip of the bag off, and then pipe a continuous ring of frosting around the perimeter of the bottom cake layer.
- Spoon the pineapple rum filling inside of the ring of frosting, making sure to spread it out evenly with the back of the spoon.
- Place the top cake layer on top of the pineapple filling.
- Frost the entire cake with the remaining cream cheese frosting.
- This cake should be baked in a Bundt pan. If I had not wanted to use my newly acquired cake decorating skills, I would have used this method. I would suggest you use a Bundt pan and bake the cake for 1 hour. You can spoon the pineapple rum filling over the frosted cake slices before serving.
- Buying shredded carrots will make your life easier. I chop them up more fine because otherwise I find the cake to be too chunky. You can also throw them into a food processor for a bit to chop them, but I find that it’s not worth cleaning the food processor.
- The pineapple rum glaze is best left to sit overnight in the fridge, so that the rum can really work its way into the pineapple. You will want to drain off any excess liquid so that your cake does not become soggy.
- If you plan to add additional piping or decorative details to a two-layer version of this cake, you will need to double the buttercream recipe.
- You will want to keep this cake in the fridge because of the butter and cream cheese. Pull the cake out of the fridge an hour before serving to allow it to come to room temperature.
- Add chopped walnuts or pecans to the cake batter; they will not alter the cooking time.
- Add lemon or orange zest to the cream cheese frosting.
- Add raisins into the cake batter.
*Aunt Celia used a cup of nuts in her actual cake, and would also use some in her frosting. I have altered the icing recipe above. The original recipe called for a 3-oz. package of cream cheese, 1/2 stick of butter, 1 box of powdered sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
ORIGINALLY POSTED 04/21/2014
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