Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls

Okay, so these posts are a little backdated. But, I’ve told you all this before, I usually make a bunch of recipes, then schedule them all. So these cinnamon rolls I actually made at Easter. How fitting, right?Oh my gosh, they were delicious!! A beautiful combination of carrot cake and cinnamon roll… tons of cream cheese icing. The best of both worlds.I thought these cinnamon rolls would be a little finicky, but honestly, they turned out so well and I was so happy with them. I got rave reviews from everyone who got one. I found the original recipe here, and wow am I glad I made them. I also made a double batch and came out with 2 dozen rolls. There were plenty to go around!Seriously. If you are a fan of carrot cake or cinnamon rolls, go make these, and you won’t be sorry! I also apologize, because I got no good pictures of these rolls. Just trust me though, they were delicious!

Ingredients

Yield: About 8-12 rolls, depending on cut size

For the dough:

¾ c. milk
2¼ tsp. active dry yeast
¼ tsp. sugar
4-4¼ c. flour
6 tbsp. brown sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
2 eggs
1½ tsp. vanilla
¼ c. butter, melted
¾ c. carrots, finely shredded

For the filling:

3 tbsp. butter, melted
¾ c. brown sugar
1½ tsp. cinnamon

For the icing:

4 oz. cream cheese, softened (½ of a regular brick)
¼ c. butter, softened
2 c. icing sugar

½ tsp. vanilla
3-4 tbsp. milk

To make the dough, in a small pot or heat-proof measuring cup, heat milk to 115°F. Add in the yeast and sugar. Allow to proof for 5-10 minutes.Add vanilla to the melted butter.In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine 4 cups of flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. With the mixer on low speed, slowly stream in the yeast mixture. After yeast mixture is incorporated, add in butter mixture.Add in one egg at a time, mixing after each addition, then add in the carrots. Slowly increase speed, until dough comes together. If the dough is a bit sticky, add in the additional flour.Transfer dough to large greased bowl, then cover and let rise in a warm space about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.While the dough rises, lightly spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with non-stick spray. Mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon for the filling in a small bowl.When dough is risen, turn out dough onto a well-floured counter or onto a silicone mat. Roll out into a large rectangle, about 12 x 20 inches. Brush the dough with the melted butter, then sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture over the dough evenly.Roll the dough into a log (I started at one of the long engs) and pinch the ends to seal. Using a knife (or unflavoured floss! – cuts super cleanly!) cut the dough into 8-12 rolls, depending on how big you want them. Just remember – they still have to rise, so keep this in mind.Space evenly in the prepared pan. Cover, and let rise for an hour in a warm place, until doubled in size.Preheat oven to 350°F. Uncover rolls and bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches at least 200°F. Remove from oven and allow rolls to cool 20-30 minutes before adding icing.To make the icing, in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla and icing sugar. Beat on low speed to incorporate. Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Spread over slightly cooled rolls.

Carrot Cake Loaf

I love carrot cake, but I’ve never really made it because it isn’t one of Paul’s favourite types of cake. I went to go make this the other day, and the original recipe, found here, made 2 loaf cakes.

As I went rooting through my fridge, I realized I only had enough ingredients for half that, one loaf, and was perfectly happy. I’m putting the original measurements down, for 2 loaf cakes, but it was really not hard to halve.

I love the warm spiciness of a carrot cake, and the fact that carrots themselves are a bit sweet, so that you don’t need to add tons and tons of sugar. The cream cheese icing on top is decadent, and absolutely delicious. Mine is a little different, in that I didn’t colour the icing to make an icing carrot on top, but instead I used sprinkles – orange and green dino feet sprinkles to be exact – to indicate that it is supposed to be a carrot cake. I think the sprinkles add a touch of whimsy (and texture) to a really delicious cake. If you like carrot cake, you’ll definitely like this.

As a bonus, even though Paul explicitly told me he really doesn’t like carrot cake, he clammed up when I asked him what he thought, then, with the most sheepish grin on his face told me that it was a good cake. Guys, I made a carrot cake hater turn into a carrot cake liker. (Not lover – not yet at least!) Obviously, this still means that the carrot cake is a WIN.

Ingredients

Yield: 2 loaf cakes

For the cake:

2½ c. flour
1¼ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1¼ tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cloves
½ tsp. salt

1 lb. whole carrots, peeled
1½ c. sugar

½ c. dark brown sugar, packed
4 eggs
1½ c. vegetable (I used canola) oil

For the cream cheese frosting:

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 tbsp. butter, softened
3½ c. icing sugar
½ tsp. vanilla
Green and orange food colouring (or sprinkles)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two loaf pans.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt.

In a food processor with the grater attachment, shred the carrots, and set aside. Wipe out the food processor.

With the standard food processor blade, add white sugar, brown sugar, and eggs. Process until thoroughly combined. With the food processor running, drizzle the oil into the egg mixture until mixture is thick and emulsified, about 30 seconds.

Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients, and whisk until combined into a thick mixture. Fold in shredded carrots using a spatula.

Pour batter evenly into the loaf pans, and bake in the preheated oven for about 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs.

Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting. I also removed the cakes from the pans to help them cool faster.

To make the cream cheese frosting, in a large bowl of a mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add the icing sugar, a half cup at a time, until smooth. Add in vanilla, then mix again.

Pipe or spread onto cooled loaves.

If you want to decorate with tiny carrots then separate two ¼ cup portions of frosting into separate bowls. Add a few drops of orange and green food coloring into each bowl and mix, adjusting colors to your preference.

Spoon dyed frosting into small ziplock bags, and cut a tiny opening in the corner of each bag.

Gently pipe carrot designs all over the top of the cake, as desired. Carrots are made by squeezing a blob of orange frosting then quickly drawing the frosting in a downward motion. Add “leaves” by making 1-2 small dots on the top of the orange “carrot.”

    Triple-Layer Moist Chocolate Cake

    This cake has been sent down from the Chocolate Gods for us all to enjoy. It is so easy to make, and DAMN it makes a good cake. I originally stumbled across this recipe a few years ago, and it came on my radar again when a friend asked if I could make a chocolate cake for her. The only hitch was that it had to be gluten-free. I turned to a good friend for a recipe recommendation, and she told me to just use a good cake recipe I had and sub in some gluten-free flour. I double-checked that all the other ingredients were gluten-free, and it was AMAZING.

    So yes, I have only made this cake gluten-free, but here’s the deal. I made this cake twice: one test run, and one for my friend. I took the test-run gluten-free cake to a party, and didn’t tell anyone it was gluten-free until after everyone finished it… and they HAD NO IDEA. They said it was an amazing cake and they COULDN’T BELIEVE the cake was gluten-free. That was the only swap I made! This cake is THAT GOOD. *I did forget to get a picture of the cross-section, but this cake was incredible!*

    The original recipe, found here, is not gluten-free, but that is the only change I made – other than the tweaks I made to the frosting. I’m sure it is just as good with regular flour. But man, this is a really freaking delicious cake. For the frosting, I prefer the texture of all-butter icings, so I used all butter in the frosting, and lessened the amount of icing sugar, as I got my frosting to my preferred texture and consistency with less. I have included my changes below, but if you would like the original measurements, be sure to go and check out Life, Love and Sugar. She is fantastic! If you like chocolate, then get ready. This cake will rock your world.

    Ingredients

    Yield: 1 triple-layer 9-inch cake

    For the cake:

    2 c. flour
    2 c. sugar
    ¾ c. cocoa powder
    2 tsp. baking soda
    1 tsp. salt
    2 eggs
    1 c. buttermilk
    1 c. vegetable oil (I used canola)
    1½ tsp. vanilla
    1 c. hot water

    For the frosting:

    2½ c. butter, at room temperature
    5-6 c. icing sugar
    2 tsp. vanilla
    1 c. cocoa powder
    4-5 tbsp. milk

    Preheat oven to 300°F. Line three 8 or 9 inch cake pans with parchment paper on the bottom, and grease the sides.

    In a large mixing bowl, add all dry ingredients and whisk together. Add in the eggs, buttermilk, and oil, and whisk again.

    Add the vanilla to the boiling water, and add in to mixture, mixing well.

    Divide batter evenly between cake pans, and bake for 30-33 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with a few crumbs.

    Allow cakes to cool in pans about 10 minutes before removing cakes from pans and cooling completely.

    To make the frosting, beat the butter until smooth. Add in 4 c. icing sugar and mix until smooth. Add in the vanilla, and 1-2 tbsp. of milk. Mix until smooth, and check for consistency.

    Add in the rest of the icing sugar, the cocoa powder and 1-2 more tbsp. of milk until smooth and spreadable.

    Once cakes are cool, level with a knife. On a cake plate, spread a small dollop of frosting in the center to make the bottom cake stick. Place the bottom layer of cake down, and cover with about 1 cup of frosting. Repeat with the second cake layer and another cup of frosting.

    Add last cake layer, then frost rest of cake. I went for a more rustic, swooshy style of decorating, but feel free to make the frosting perfectly smooth. Slice, and serve!

    Pumpkin Roll

    Fall/winter is the perfect pumpkin season. As I learned the last time I made a roll cake, they are extremely easy to make. Bake a cake in a large jelly roll pan, roll it up while still warm, let it cool, then fill it.

    This pumpkin roll was just as easy. A few simple steps for a large reward. I’m not going to bore you with a bunch more talking… to cake!

    Ingredients

    Yield: 1 cake

    For the cake:

    ¾ c. flour
    ¼ tsp. salt
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1 tsp. cinnamon
    1 c. sugar
    3 eggs
    2/3 c. canned pumpkin
    1 tsp. vanilla

    For the filling:

    8 oz. cream cheese, softened
    2 tbsp. butter, softened
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1 c. icing sugar

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large 10×15 pan with parchment paper, leaving an extra inch or so of overhang.

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, vanilla and pumpkin until smooth.

    Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just combined and no dry streaks remain. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.

    Bake in the preheated oven for 14-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

    When the cake is done, let cool in the pan for 2-3 minutes, then while still hot, transfer to a flat surface. Roll, using the parchment paper, and let cool completely while wrapped on a wire rack.

    To make the filling, in a medium bowl whip the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and icing sugar with an electric mixer or with a stand mixer.

    Once the cake is completely cool, unroll it and spread the filling evenly over the cake, and re-roll tightly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

    Dust the top with icing sugar, cut into slices, and serve.

    Almond Amaretto Cake

    September is my birthday month! This is the cake that I made for myself. I had a wicked craving for something almond, and this cake really hit the spot. The almond flavour is everywhere, and it really sings in this cake. I was pretty spoiled for my birthday. I came in to my classroom and it was filled with balloons. I had some of my students make me cookies, and a dear friend had flowers delivered to me at work. After all that, Paul made an amazing dinner of maple glazed pork belly, loaded mashed potato spring rolls, and grilled asparagus. Like I said, spoiled.

    I love me some cake, and couldn’t resist when I found this recipe. I found the original recipe here, and didn’t change it either. The cake is moist and delicious, soaked with a luxurious amaretto syrup. It has a ton of almond flavour in the cake, partly because of the almond flour, and partly because of the almond extract and amaretto in the actual cake.

    The only part of the cake without any almond flavour is the buttercream, which I really like, as it gives a bit of a break from the nutty richness of the cake. A smooth, sumptuous vanilla Swiss Meringue buttercream icing, slathered all over the three layer cake. Garnish with toasted slivered almonds, and you have a knock-your-socks-off cake loaded with almond flavour.

    If someone you know loves the flavour of almond, make them this cake to celebrate their next birthday. It’s incredible!

    Ingredients

    Yield: 1 6-inch three-layer cake

    For the cake:

    1½ c. flour
    ¾ c. almond flour
    2 tsp. baking powder
    ¾ tsp. salt
    ¾ c. butter, at room temperature
    1½ c. sugar
    3 eggs
    1½ tsp. vanilla

    ¾ c. milk, at room temperature
    ¼ c. Amaretto liqueur

    For the amaretto syrup:

    ½ c. sugar
    ½ c. water
    ¼ c. Amaretto liqueur

    For the vanilla Swiss Meringue buttercream:

    5 large egg whites
    1½ c. sugar
    1½ c. butter, at room temperature
    1 tsp. vanilla

    1 c. sliced almonds, toasted (for garnish)

    To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour (or brush with Miracle Cake Release) three six-inch cake pans.

    In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, almond flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

    Combine the milk and amaretto in a liquid measuring cup. Set aside.

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla.

    Alternate adding the flour mixture and milk mixture to the eggs, beginning and ending with the flour. Pour into prepared pans, and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

    Cool cakes in pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely before icing.

    To make the amaretto syrup, in a small saucepan combine the sugar and water. Whisk together, and bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, and stir in the amaretto. Let cool.

    To make the Swiss Meringue Buttercream, in the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the egg whites and the sugar. Place the bowl over a double boiler, and whisk constantly until the mixture reaches approximately 160°F.

    Place the bowl of the stand mixer back on the stand mixer, and whisk on medium-high heat until the meringue is stiff and cooled. The bowl should no longer be warm to the touch, which should take about 5-10 minutes.

    Switch to the paddle attachment, and add the butter, about a tablespoon at a time, until it is completely incorporated. Add vanilla and mix again until light and fluffy.

    To assemble, place a small dollop of the icing on the serving plate. Trim cakes so they are flat and level. Brush cakes with amaretto syrup, to make sure cakes are moist. Place one cake layer on the icing dollop. Layer cake with icing, then repeat with last two cake layers.

    Frost the outside of the cake with a thin crumb coat. Chill for 20 minutes. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the icing, and pipe dollops on top of the cake. Cover sides and/or top of the cake with slivered almonds.

    Slice, and serve!