Carrot Cake

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Last week I experimented with making a cake for Alex’s upcoming first birthday. If you caught this post, you know we’re planning a striped affair for the little guy. I was trying to come up with an idea for the cake when a neighbor, whose son’s birthday is on Easter this year, told me that she’s doing something like this. You bake a cake in two circular pans, one becomes the bunny’s face, the other is cut in such a way that you make two ears and a bow tie. With a striped bow tie, the bunny would fit our theme!

I thought the perfect cake to use for a bunny cake at Easter time was carrot. We are dedicated carrot cake lovers, always using our mom’s tried and true recipe (thanks, mom!). So, I baked the cake, looked at those two circular pans, and realized that this plan requires more than just stripes on a bow tie. I had to make a whole bunny face, from the eyes to nose to mouth. At that point I came to my senses and remembered that this party is for us (the adults)! We’re definitely getting together to celebrate the little guy, but we have adult goodie bags planned, an alcoholic punch, and plenty of folk who just want a good cake, not a bunny cake. So, a grown-up layer cake it is, look at it from the side and we have stripes!

I’m throwing in a fun curveball by using a coconut milk buttercream to frost the cake. This is purely for fun and because I like making it, but if you’re not a fan of coconut milk, I provide a link to a very similar frosting sans coconut below.

Carrot Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar and a 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup of a walnuts

Directions

  •  Mix sugar, eggs, oil, and buttermilk together.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until moistened.
  • Pour into a greased bundt pan or 9×13 inch baking pan. Bake at 350F for 45 minutes. *I used two 9 inch circular pans and adjusted the bake time accordingly (about 35 minutes).

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Coconut Milk Buttercream

If you don’t have coconut milk or would prefer to use cow’s milk, this recipe is similar to the cloudburst frosting on Posie Gets Cozy.

Ingredients

  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 7.5 tsp flour
  • 1.5 cups butter
  • 1.5 cups powered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  • Whisk the coconut milk and flour in a saucepan. Bring it to a low simmer and continue whisking and simmering for about five minutes. Take it off the heat and let it cool completely.
  • In a mixer, whisk together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the coconut mixture and extract and continue to mix until your frosting is light and fluffy. It looks like the frosting may separate, but if you stick with it, everything will be fine. I put my mixer on a high speed and let it go for a minute or so. I don’t really taste the coconut, but you could remedy that by adding coconut extract.

After your cake is completely cool, layer, frost, and enjoy! I think you’ll find that this is a perfect cake for birthday parties and for Easter or spring celebrations.

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