In trying too keep with a very loose theme of "all things orange" for Callie's birthday, I decided to make a carrot cake for her party. Okay, carrot cupcakes. Because, as anyone who's seen me bake can tell you, baking is not my forte. Baking is for people who follow directions. I am not one of them. The cake I made for Scott's thirtieth birthday turned into a big nasty heap when I tried to frost it (I don't think I let it cool long enough, but I haven't tried baking a cake since then). I'll never forget the look on his mom's face as she came downstairs and saw it sitting on my kitchen counter while I tried to fix it. She said something to the effect of, "Why didn't you ask for help?" Good question. She's amazing when it comes to putting together a birthday cake.
Since then, I've gotten smarter and have just gone with cupcakes. That's easy to get away with for a kid's birthday party. Callie's are in the oven right now. The recipe is a little refined for three year olds. (Grapeseed oil? I don't even buy that for myself!) But, the batter tastes good. I'll let you know how they turn out. Here's the recipe, from Simply Recipes. Elise at Simply Recipes adapted this recipe from the Silver Palate cookbook.
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tbsp baking soda
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups olive oil or grapeseed oil
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups shelled walnuts, chopped
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
2 cups of shredded carrots
1 cup of drained crushed pineapple
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
6 Tbsp sweet butter, room temp
2 1/2 cups of confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9 inch cake pans.
2 Sift dry ingredients into a bowl. Add oil, eggs, and vanilla. Beat well. Fold in walnuts, coconut, carrots and pineapple.
3 Pour batter into pans. Set on the middle rack of oven and bake for 50 minutes, until edges have pulled away from sides and a fork prong inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a cake rack.
4 To prepare frosting, cream together the cream cheese and butter in a mixing bowl. Slowly sift in the confectioners sugar and beat until mixture is free of lumps. Stir in vanilla and lemon juice.
5 Once cake is cooled, frost. Sprinkle top with chopped walnuts.Simply Recipes http://simplyrecipes.com