I really wanted to make Chocolate cake with vanilla frosting, but my husband decided he wanted Carrot cake…and me being the wonderful wife that I am, I made him what he wanted. And as usual, I went on a hunt to find the perfect recipe to suit my needs. I found a fairly straight forward recipe for the base of my cake (http://allrecipes.com/recipe/carrot-cake-xi/detail.aspx). However, I was quite thrilled with the idea of adding pineapple, that I saw in several other recipes. Sometimes I will make my own frosting, but because we had things to do this night, I used store-bought frosting and food coloring to color some of the frosting orange and some green. This cake turned out so freaking moist and, that, I attribute to the added pineapple. Don’t worry if you have no decorating supplies or abilities. This is the first cake I have decorated in this manner and if I can do it, so can you!2 c flours 2 tsp baking soda 2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 2 tsp ground cinnamon 2 c sugar 4 eggs 1 c oil 4 c shredded carrots 1 to 2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans 1 10.5 oz can crushed pineapple, juices drained and reserved 2 cans of your favorite frosting Red, Yellow, Green, and Blue food coloring (if desired to color frosting) #10 or #12 coloring tip…or two sandwich baggies (ziplock works best) … see the secret at the end
Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour desired pan(s)…this recipe is good for 1 9×13 or 2 9″ rounds. I use no-stick spray and always flour the pans with a little bit of the dry ingredients instead of just flour. I find this keeps the cake from sticking, but also keeps the bottom from having a floury taste or coating.
SIFT together the flour, baking soda and powder, salt and cinnamon and set aside. On high-speed beat together the sugar and eggs until pale and fluffy (this really took about 7 minutes for me). Slowly add the 1 c. of oil and juices from the crushed pineapple. Add about 1/3 of the sifted flour mixture and beat until incorporated…continue adding the flour mixture until all is incorporated. Fold in carrots, pineapple, and nuts. Pour into your prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes if using a 9×13 or 30 minutes for rounds…always check after about 20 minutes. Remember that the longer it cooks, the drier the cake will be. Using a toothpick inserted into the middle, I always pull the cakes out when there is just a trace amount stuck to the toothpick (the cake is going to continue to cook for a few minutes after you pull it out of the oven). Allow to the cake to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to complete cooling process. In the meantime, you can prep your frosting. Obviously, I used plain white (vanilla) and then colored some orange and some green. Going back to Art class with Ms. Braun at James Monroe Junior High, red + orange = yellow; green = green…but I added a couple of drops of blue to darken the green. You can play with it here to get the colors you want.
When the cake is completely cooled you can frost it…we like frosting so I was generous in this area. If using two rounds, frost one and then place the other on top…and frost. Here is the fun part, where you all are yelling, “NIKKI, I DON’T HAVE THINGS TO DECORATE WITH!!!! WHATEVER AM I GOING TO DO?” And this is where I tell you to CALM DOWN!!!! Do you have plastic baggies (preferably Ziploc) ? Then you are good to go!!!! Completely frost the cake with the white frosting first. Next, put your orange frosting into your piping bag (or Ziploc baggie) with the #10 or #12 tip. IF YOU ARE USING A BAGGIE, make sure to squeeze all of the air out of the baggie. If using a baggie carefully cut about 1/8th of an inch off of one of the bottom corners. To create a carrot, start at the top and squeeze you bag allowing the frosting to “build up” a little bit and then pull down letting off the pressure to create the tip of the carrot. Using another piping bag or baggie, you can add the green for the leaves of the carrot.
I did the edges as I did just because I had extra frosting. For the top you can use the baggie and just do “dollops” around the cake…you can also do this around the bottom of the cake; however, I used my “flower” tip to do the orange and just my #10 tip to do the green around the bottom.
BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THE DECORATING IS TO JUST HAVE FUN!!!! It doesn’t have to look perfect…as mine clearly didn’t…just have some fun with it and enjoy.