Carrot Cake

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Photo Credit: Ashley Cuoco for Food.com

Who said carrot cake is just for Easter time? Not me. Not only is it pretty, but one can argue that it’s technically healthy cake. Vegetable cake, if you will. Zucchini is a close second. Shredded carrot mixed in sweet cake batter, baked and topped with creamy cream cheese icing. It’s a decadent dessert everyone loves (even my picky husband). This recipe is brought to you by Food.com, who I’ll be working with to take photos for their site! I am SO excited about this new opportunity. The only thing better than baking all day is getting paid to bake all day. Am I right? Check out the recipe below and stay tuned for more food photography!

1 - ingredients

Photo Credit: Ashley Cuoco for Food.Com

2 - process_1

Photo Credit: Ashley Cuoco for Food.Com

3 - process_2

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4 - process_3

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5 - final_1

Photo Credit: Ashley Cuoco for Food.Com

6 - final_2

Photo Credit: Ashley Cuoco for Food.Com

Prep time: 10 mins, Cook time: 35 mins

Cake Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups flour (I prefer King Arthur Flour)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 cups grated carrots, fully packed
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 8 oz cream cheese, packaged block
  • 1 lb powdered sugar
  1. Beat oil and sugar, then add eggs. Add the remainder of the cake ingredients in the order given and beat for 1 minute.
  2. Pour into 2 9-inch cake pans (the original recipe says to fill 3 cake pans but I could only fill 2. Worked fine!)
  3. Bake at 350 F for for 35 minutes. Allow cakes to cool completely before frosting.
  4. To make frosting, beat butter and cream cheese on high speed until smooth. Gradually add in sugar and mix until smooth.
  5. Frost cake and garnish with carrots, crushed pecans, or whatever you want!

Recipe courtesy of Food.com

Buttermilk Vanilla Birthday Cake

2Photo Credit: Ashley Cuoco

Vanilla + Buttercream: a true BIRTHDAY combo! Classic and simple. I know a cute little boy who turned 2 years old today. I decided he needed a big, pretty white cake to blow out candles beneath. Or just dig his little face into. Probably both! When I presented him with this sugary, buttery confection, his eyes widened and he screamed “CAKEY! CAKEEEEY!” over and over again. What enthusiasm!! But really. Why wait for a birthday to bake a cake? Try celebrating your anniversary…a new job…cardboard collection day…a Tuesday? Any reason will do. Satisfy your sweet tooth with this delight!


Cake Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large cage-free eggs
  • 2 cups unbleached cake flour (I used all-purpose)
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp buttermilk*
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. To make cake, start by creaming the butter and sugar in a stand mixer or hand mixer. Add eggs. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add this dry ingredient mixture to the wet while alternately adding buttermilk. Mix in vanilla.
  2. Divide batter into 2 (8″) round cake pans. Grease pans generously with butter. You can also try filling 3 (6″) round pans for a cute small cake.
  3. Bake 20-25 minutes or until edges are a light golden brown. I have a gas oven, and 21 minutes was perfect. Allow cakes to cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing. Transfer cakes to cooling racks. Allow to cool completely before frosting. This is super important!! Nothing is worse than a cake that is frosted when warm. It’s impossible. Letting it cool overnight is best– avoid all temptation!
  4. To make the buttercream frosting: in a stand mixer or in a bowl with hand mixer, whisk the butter for 1 minute. Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Scrape the sides in between each addition. Mix for 20 seconds or so between each sugar addition. Add vanilla extract and buttermilk. Mix on medium high speed for 4-5 minutes. Frosting should look light and creamy. Chill for 30 minutes before frosting your cake.
  5. For best frosting results, use an offset spatula. It has a large surface area, making it easier to spread evenly. Then first frost with a “crumb coat,” which is thin layer of frosting. This ensures that the end result is clean. Chill cake in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before adding the second layer. Then be generous with the rest of the frosting and get creative!

*If your frosting seems too thick or hard to work with, add 1-2 teaspoons more.

1Photo Credit: Ashley Cuoco

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Photo Credit: Ashley Cuoco

Pear Upside-Down Cake

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Photo Credit: Ashley Cuoco

It’s the first day of Autumn! I am overjoyed!!! I’m ready for all things apple, pear and pumpkin. This upside-down pear cake looked so pretty in Bon Appetit Magazine. It has a caramelized top (or bottom, depending on how you look at it) with pear slices on top, and a very light, not too sweet cake beneath. It was perfectly breakfast appropriate on this Autumn Equinox. Get out there and enjoy the cool fall breeze!

Ingredients:

  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, divided, plus more
  • 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons coarse yellow cornmeal or polenta
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 2 medium pears (about 1 pound) (I used Bartlett pears.)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Butter pan; line bottom with a parchment-paper round. Whisk four, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Stir 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high. Boil syrup without stirring, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with a wet pastry brush, until sugar turns dark amber, 8–10 minutes. Remove pan from heat; add 1 tablespoon butter (caramel will bubble vigorously) and whisk until smooth. Pour caramel into prepared cake pan and swirl to coat bottom.
  2. Peel, halve, and core the pears. Place flat on a work surface and cut lengthwise into 1/8″-thick slices. Layer slices over caramel, flat side down, overlapping as needed.
  3. Mix remaining 3/4 cup sugar, 8 tablespoon butter, and vanilla in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add yolks one at a time, beating to blend between additions and occasionally scraping bowl. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  4. Using clean, dry beaters, beat egg whites on low speed in a medium bowl until frothy. Increase the speed to medium and continue to beat until whites form soft peaks. Fold about 1/4 of the whites into cake batter. Add in remaining whites; gently fold just to blend. Pour batter over pears in pan; smooth top.
  5. Bake cake, rotating pan halfway through, until top is golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out with a few small moist crumbs attached, about 1 hour. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Run a thin knife around the inside of pan to release cake. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
  6. Invert cake onto a plate; remove parchment paper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe courtesy of Karen DeMasco on www.bonappetit.com

2Photo Credit: Ashley Cuoco