Monday, September 28, 2009

Homemade, Not Store Bought. But I'm Flattered.

A few weeks ago my mom shared my blog with her co-workers. Her cubicle neighbor forwarded my blog to her friend in another state who then emailed me to order a surprise cake for her friend. Who is my mom's cubicle mate. Got that?

She asked for either a rum cake or a carrot cake. After a few emails back and forth we both decided on a carrot cake. She wasn't sure about the addition of raisins, nuts or coconut so I settled on a carrot cake recipe from Alton Brown that The Repressed Pastry Chef made a couple months back.

The cake recipient was very pleased with her birthday cake. When my mom presented her with the boxed cake she said "I thought your daughter made this?". She thought it was purchased from a bakery! She was gracious enough to share with her co-workers. Soon after my mom sent me a text that said "Your cake was a hit. Everyone loved it!"

I doubled the recipe and made a triple layer cake. With the remaining batter I made carrot cupcakes. While they were on the cooling rack, my older brother and husband kept sneaking by and eating them. I had 3 left to photo, so here are the carrot cake and cupcakes! Perfect for a fall day or just because it's a Monday.

Carrot Cake from Alton Brown via TRPC
  • Unsalted butter, for the pan
  • 12 oz., approximately 2 1/2 cups, all-purpose flour, plus extra for pan
  • 12 oz. grated carrots, medium grate, approximately 6 medium
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 oz. sugar, approximately 1 1/3 cups
  • 2 oz. dark brown sugar, approximately 1/4 cup firmly packed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 6 oz. plain yogurt
  • 6 oz. vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round and 3-inch deep cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.

Put the carrots into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process for 5 seconds. Add this mixture to the carrots and toss until they are well-coated with the flour.

In the bowl of the food processor combine the sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and yogurt.

With the processor still running drizzle in the vegetable oil. Pour this mixture into the carrot mixture and stir until just combined. Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 45 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees F and bake for another 20 minutes or until the cake reaches 205 to 210 degrees F in the center.

Remove the pan from the oven and allow cake to cool 15 minutes in the pan. After 15 minutes, turn the cake out onto a rack and allow cake to cool completely. Frost with cream cheese frosting after cake has cooled completely.

NOTE: I don't remember exactly how long I baked the cupcakes, so keep an eye on them and test them after the first 20 minutes. Remove from oven when a toothpick inserted in the center on the muffins comes out clean.

40 comments:

♥peachkins♥ said...

That's a very beautiful cake!

Donna-FFW said...

EVERYTHING you make looks like it sauntered out of a bakery. You should should should be in business.

cookies and cups said...

gorgeous! it does look professional, but if she's paying you for it, I guess that makes you a pro ;) I made a carrot cake last month for an order and I was THIS close to using that recipe, but went with another (with coconut)...yours looks really good and it's always nice to hear that it was a success! Good thinking making some cupcakes to enjoy yourself!

Michel-lee said...

Just beautiful. I've got to try that recipe. The cake looks better than store bought and the cupcakes are scrumptious.

Kim said...

That is one impressive cake!! I love how you decorated with pecans - so pretty! I could eat about 100 of those cupcakes right now :D

Jennifer said...

It is beautiful!!! You are a pro for sure!!!

symphonious sweets said...

OMG! congratulations on the cake order it is absolutely stunning. Are you now in business? I want one!

Lissaloo said...

Monica that cake is absolutely Gorgeous! Wow. I hope it leads to many more orders for you :)

Dawn said...

I'm impressed too! I have orders coming in for thanksgiving already and I didn't even know I was taking them! Me and my easy-bake oven are crazy.

Debbie said...

I would have definitely thought that cake was from an upscale bakery. Just beautiful and it looks delicious. Can you tell me how in the world you get the nuts on so perfectly around the sides of the cake?

mimi said...

Beautiful cake. What are you going to call your cake business?
Mimi

New England Girl said...

Absolutely gorgeous! I can't get enough of how perfect everything you make looks. :)

Valerina said...

Your cake does look perfect! But I bet it had that unmistakable homemade taste. :)

girlichef said...

SEEEEEEE!! You're the bestest cake maker around!!! Seriously, it is super gorgeous! And yum on the cupcakes, too...love the top :D

April said...

that is awesome, and it looks too good to eat, well almost too good..HA..you really should open a bakery, really you should!!!!

Coleen's Recipes said...

Have you ever thought of starting a bakery? Your cakes are gorgeous.

unconfidentialcook said...

I would have thought the same thing! It's absolutely gorgeous!

Linda said...

What a gorgeous cake! You are so talented.

BigSis said...

Wowee, that looks good! You're a pro, as usual!

Anna said...

This begs the question: why DON'T you have a business doing this? You have such a gift. These all look glorious.

Ingrid said...

It's just not right that you take one course, buy a turntable, and your cakes come out looking bakery perfect. To top it off they taste (I'm sure) waaaaay better than the bakery version which so often look out fantastic but taste just so-so.

I want one of the cupcake ones. Don't be offended but the raisin's got to get! LOL!
~ingrid

Monica H said...

Cookies and Cups- You should give this a cake a try. It's loaded with carrots and there are no other fillers to get in the way.

Symphonious Sweets- No I'm not in business, but I'd make a cakr for you anytime.

Lissaloo- I have gotten a couple cake orders, an order for cupcakes, cookies and fudge!

Dawn- I didn't know I was accepting orders either but I'm happy to fill them :-) It will keep me busy this holiday, I'm sure.

Debbie- I chopped the nuts but was sure not to use anyof the powdery bits/ that can muck up your frosting. I tilted the cake over a plate and pressed the nuts in! Simple, but a little messy.

Mimi- I have no idea. The thought hasn't crossed my mind.

Girlichef- Thank you so much. Your comments always make my day.

April and Coleen- It's SO much work. I'm not sure I'm ready yet to invest in that. But the option is always there.

Anna- baby steps :-)

Ingrid- I put those raisins on there just for you!

Katie said...

The carrot cake looks fabulous and you decorated it so beautifully. I'm sure it was a wonderful surpise, especially for a Monday

Natalie said...

So, I have been reading your blog for a while now, but this is my first comment: you are fabulous, by the way. I have long been searching for the perfect cream cheese frosting.......... my husband prefers it not to taste too "cream cheesey," but more butter creamish and I have yet to succeed in the balance. Any thoughts?
Natalie
natj621@msn.com

Mini Baker said...

you have some of the yummiest recipes! your blog is for sure my favorite (i've finally made up my mind! haha) (don't tell the others hehe)
Good luck on the cake order!
-Mini Baker

Marisa said...

Hi!!! I just stumbled on your blog and am loving looking at all of your recipes. I'm now starving!! I can't wait to try so many of your recipes.

Maria said...

I need to try this cake. I have some carrot cake lovers in the family:)

Juliana said...

Wow, wow, wow, this cake is just perfect...it sure looks like from the bakery :-)

Monica H said...

Natalie- I'll email you.

Mini Baker- Thank you. You are too kind. I won't tell anyone :-)

Marisa- It's dangerous looking around while hungry!

Maria- Try it, I'm sure they'll love it.

Juliana- Thank you!

oneordinaryday said...

Everyone's right ~ definitely looks like a bakery cake, but I'm sure tastes way better. I love how you decorated it. I would never have thought to do that. It's gorgeous.

Smitten Sugar said...

Wow! This does look like it could be store bought! All of your stuff always turns out so beautiful! Love the decorations

Susan said...

this settles it. carrot cake cupcakes next. for sure. YUM!!!

Peabody said...

What a great compliment that they thought it was store bought looking!

Margaret aka: Fact Woman said...

Oh My Gosh! The cake was gorgeous!!!! I love that carrot cake recipe, it's one of our favorites.

thereddeer said...

Just found your blog - and can I just say wow! Your cakes are beautiful and the photography is stunning!

I love it all :)

bella said...

Monica, If I were your mother, I'd be sharing your blog with everyone that I knew....it is such a joy to visit and read. Congrats on the cake order! This is a beauty! Che Bella (How Beautiful) and of course carrot cake is so good! Love your new header and background too! I love blue! Ciao, Roz

ButterYum said...

Adorable - I love the way you decorated that cake... will file it away in my memory for future use!

:)
ButterYum

Cathy said...

Your cake and cupcakes are perfectly beautiful. Carrot cake is a favorite here, especially with the cream cheese frosting. Wonderful photos.

Kerstin said...

Awesome, thanks so much for this recommendation Monica - I just saved the recipe and can't wait to try it!!

Heidi said...

Well...no one has posted a comment on this recipe since May 2010. What a pity! I just tried this recipe for the first time last week, and I loved it. Foremostly due to the amount of carrots in this recipe. If there ever was a true carrot cake recipe, this is it, the rest are imposters with their meager amount of carrots.

I've just made another 1/2 batch, because this recipe DOES make a more than sufficient amount of batter, into cupcakes, then added raisins and walnuts, because I was in the mood...

But love the texture, and it is better on the 2nd day, it is moister on the 2nd day, but yes, the texture, it is like in fact you have a carrot based dry mix. Love it, love it.

First thing I've tried on this blog...but have my eye on some other things...

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