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.”

    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!

    Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake

    So, I made this cake a few weeks ago when Paul brought home an entire bucket of apples that were given to him by a co-worker. I pinned a bunch of apple recipes, and then decided on this cake because it was so easy.

    Seriously, this cake took about 15 minutes to put together and get in the oven. It was another really easy recipe, that had big flavour and a soft, tender cake crumb.

    I don’t want to talk too much about this recipe, so this post will be short and sweet – just like this cake!

    Ingredients

    Yield: 1 8-inch cake

    For the caramel base:

    ¼ c. butter, softened
    1/3 c. plus 1 tbsp. brown sugar
    3 apples (peeled, cored, and sliced thinly)

    For the cake:

    ¼ c. butter, at room temperature
    ½ c. sugar
    ½ tsp. vanilla
    1 egg
    1 c. flour
    1½ tsp. baking powder
    ¼ tsp. salt
    ¼ c. plus 2 tbsp. milk

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour an 8-inch cake pan and set aside.

    In a small bowl, combine the butter and brown sugar until well-mixed. Spread this mixture over the bottom of the cake pan. Cover the butter mixture with the sliced apples.

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

    In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the butter, sugar, and vanilla, and whip until fluffy. Add in the egg, and mix again.

    Add the flour mixture and the milk alternately, beat until combined, and pour batter over apple slices. Spread out the batter evenly, and bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

    Let cake cool on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes, then turn out onto a cake platter and let cool. Slice and serve cake warm.

    Raspberry Lemon Loaf Cake

    I went to visit my parents a little while ago, and they have a fantastic garden. It’s extremely well-stocked with a ton of fruit and vegetables. I helped my mom pick some fresh raspberries, and then she sent them home with me.

    The raspberries spent about two days in the fridge, and I didn’t know what to do with them. Finally, I found a recipe for this Raspberry Lemon Loaf Cake on Pinterest. I couldn’t believe how easy it was! It took me 10 minutes, and 1 bowl to get everything ready.

    This was a recipe that was so low-effort, but with such a high reward. You need to go make this loaf cake now. The best part is, you can use fresh or frozen raspberries, and it makes no difference. Delicious!

    Ingredients

    Yield: 1 loaf pan

    For the cake:

    ½ c. vegetable oil
    1 c. sugar
    1 c. greek yogurt or sour cream
    3 eggs
    ¼ tsp. lemon zest (I didn’t have any, so I used lemon extract)
    1 tbsp. lemon juice (or more lemon extract if you don’t have any)
    1½ c. flour
    2 tsp. baking powder
    ¼ tsp. salt
    1 c. raspberries, fresh or frozen

    For the glaze:

    ¾ c. icing sugar
    3-4 tsp. lemon juice

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.

    In a large bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar. Add in the yogurt/sour cream, and the eggs, and whisk until smooth. Add in the lemon zest/extract/juice and whisk again.

    Add the flour and baking powder and salt, and whisk again, until almost no lumps remain. Dust the raspberries with a little bit of flour, toss, and add into the batter. Fold in gently with a spatula.

    Transfer batter to the prepared loaf pan, and bake in the preheated oven for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

    Cool in the pan for at least 1 hour, then remove from pan, and cool completely on a wire rack.

    While the loaf cake is still cooling on the wire rack, add the icing sugar to a liquid measuring cup. Add in the lemon juice, a teaspoon at a time, whisking until the glaze becomes thick, yet pourable, thinning out with lemon juice as needed.

    Drizzle the glaze over the cake, and let cool completely. Slice and serve.

    Southern Peach Bread

    This peach bread is so good! It’s extremely easy to make, and takes about 10 minutes to whip up. Also, it only takes one bowl to make everything. How easy is that! Paul loves peaches, so when I told him that I was making a peach bread, he was extremely excited.

    I found the recipe here, from Pinterest, and I am so happy with the results. Little effort, big rewards. Delicious! The only thing I changed was that I left out the pecans because I didn’t have any and I didn’t want to go to the store. I left those in the original recipe though.

    I don’t want to spend much time talking about this recipe, because it’s too good! I’m going to go eat another piece.

    Ingredients

    Yield: 1 loaf

    ½ c. vegetable oil
    1 c. sugar
    2 eggs
    1 c. finely dices peaches or peach puree
    ½ c. sour cream
    1 tsp vanilla
    1½ c. flour
    1 tsp. baking soda
    ½ tsp. salt
    ½ c. pecans, finely chopped (optional)

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom of a loaf pan and set aside.

    In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, and sugar. Add in the eggs, peaches, sour cream, and vanilla, and whisk again.

    Add in the flour, baking soda, and salt a little at a time. If using, fold in the pecans.

    Pour batter into the greased pan, and bake in preheated oven for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.

    Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, let cool 5-10 minutes longer, slice and serve.