Monday, 29 April 2019

Carrot cake for 12th blogiversary

When I started my blog, I felt I needed to make every great recipe in the world and get them onto my blog immediately.  Fast forward 12 years I am more aware of how impossible that would be given that many recipes I want to make and that these continue to grow every week.  And so it came to pass that after posting 4 fancy carrot cakes on my blog, I go plain and high with a carrot cake this year.  The one thing you can rely on in blogging is change!

My blog started 12 years ago on this day with a vampire cake I had made for my husband's birthday.  Ever since E and my blog have shared a birthday cake.  Some years when Easter is nearby too, we make a birthday cake that can also be Easterly.  I try to keep the red carpet speeches about the blog anniversary to a minimum as I like to do most of my thank yous in my annual new year post.  However who can resist saying thanks to you wonderful people who are visiting, reading, commenting and all.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you. 

But enough dramatics.  Back to the cake.  I really love a carrot cake that is choc full of dried fruit, nuts and pineapple.  Seeds?  Yes please!  Coconut?  Bring it on!  Purple carrots?  Now you have my attention!  But plain old carrots with just a bit of spice and no other add-ons was what was ordered by E.  Though I have my suspicions that this was really down to Sylvia who was doing most of the planning.  We agreed it would be a layer cake with cream cheese frosting and fondant carrots.

The carrot theme was partly because the birthday was around Easter.  We took the cake to my parents to share with family at Easter, and decorated in my mum's kitchen the day before the lunch.  My sister told me that my niece really wanted to make fondant carrots.  Stella wanted to make them so much that she even had some orange and green fondant.  So we invited her to help us.  She was so excited she could barely sit still.

I discovered that not all fondant is equal.  Stella's fondant seemed to last better than ours which had dried out around the corners.  Stella's seemed to have dried out but could be kneaded back into softness.

We looked online at sites like this and worked out the best way to make the carrots.  They took some concentration to make but they weren't too difficult.  The hardest part was making carrots that were the same size.  And we ended up with far more than we needed for the cake. 

Likewise we also had more frosting than we needed.  We added a squeeze of lemon juice to take the edge off the sweetness.  It was quite soft frosting.  My mum suggested that I should use the block of cream cheese rather than the spreadable type that I used.  So I have suggested this in the recipe.  It might have made the middle spread of frosting higher.  I think my lack of experience with layer cakes was also a contributing factor.  Having had a few where the layers threatened to part company, I am just pleased if they stay on top of each other.

Despite my wariness about layer cakes, I was very happy with this carrot cake.  It was soft and full of flavour.  In searching the web for carrot cake recipes, I noticed some had a lot more spices but I thought a teaspoon of cinnamon was just enough.  The cream cheese frosting took it to another level and layers all look fancy.  It looked great on the Easter dessert table and we were pleased to take home some leftovers. Poor E.  His birthday got a bit lost in Easter celebrations this year but he did enjoy his cake.

I have lots more ideas for posts so I am looking forward to more blogging.  Meanwhile I wanted to acknowledge some of the bloggers I enjoy reading regularly.  Some are missing because I found that not everyone has a carrot cake recipe.  As I said, you can blog for a long time and still find that there is still much more to try.  In the end I have 12 bloggers to represent my 12 years of blogging.  So much to bake and so little time!

More carrot cakes from other blogs:
Turmeric carrot cake - Allotment to Kitchen
Vegan carrot cake - Tinned Tomatoes
Browned butter carrot loaf cake - Joy the Baker
Cranberry swirl marmalade carrot cake - Kellie's Food to Glow
Hawaiian carrot cake (GF) - Not Quite Nigella
Carrot cake country show style with glace ginger - Laws of the Kitchen
All American carrot cake - One Hot Stove
Carrot cake with cider and olive oil - Smitten Kitchen
Simple carrot cake - Fig Jam and Lime Cordial
Vegan carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and lebkuchen spice - Seitan is My Motor
Healthy vegan carrot cake - Wallflower Kitchen
Carrot cake with streusel topping - Pinch of Yum

Layered carrot cake with cream cheese frosting
Adapted from the Australian Women's Weekly

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 cups carrot (about 4 carrots), grated
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 cups self raising flour

Cream cheese frosting:
250g block of cream cheese, softened
50g  butter, softened
2 cups icing sugar
Squeeze of lemon juice

To decorate:
1 small Lindt bunny
green and orange fondant

Grease and line 2 x 20cm round cake tins.  Preheat oven to 180 C.

Using electric beaters, beat brown sugar and vegetable oil together.  Add eggs one at at time, beating for a minute or two after adding all eggs so the mixture is creamy and airy.  Fold in remaining ingredients until mixed.  Scrape into tins.  Weigh if you want them to be equal sizes (I did this).

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean and the cakes are starting to pull away from the edges of the tin. Rest cakes in tin for 5-10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

When cakes are cool, make the cream cheese frosting (or this can be made in advance and stored in the fridge).  Make frosting by beating the cream cheese and butter until soft and creamy.  Add icing sugar gradually until you have a nice creamy frosting and then beat in a bit of lemon juice.

Place one cake on a cake plate.  Spread about half the cream cheese frosting on the cake.  Place second cake on top.  Spread remaining frosting on top.

If you wish to decorate with bunny and fondant, place unwrapped bunny in the middle.  Make carrots by making a thin cone of orange fondant, put a little hole up the thicker end and put in a thin piece of green frosting.  Shape orange carrot a little more to hug greenery tightly.  Flatten out green piece and cut into little strips like carrot tops.  Use a knife to make a few lines across the orange part of the carrot.  Place carrots around the edge.

We made the cake the day before and kept it in the fridge overnight because it had cream cheese frosting.  I took it out a few hours before dinner so it would come to room temperature.  It lasted a few more days.

On the Stereo:
Music from the Gilmore Girls: Various Artists


  1. What a lovely blog post and Happy Blogiversary Johanna. I adore layer Carrot Cake and am always amazed at the variations around. Thank you for inc. me in your 12 bloggers x I also adore your fondant carrots and so agree, not all fondants are equal. My blog is also 10 years old, but ack. it passed me by.

    1. Thanks Shaheen - I think lots of bloggers don't celebrate their birthday but once I think of a cake for E it becomes one for my blog! Was very glad to include you in the 12 links - esp as I love your innovative recipes and really must try your turmeric carrot cake one day!


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