Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Why did I buy box cake mixes all these years?!?

This week I set out to do some testing of recipes I ripped out of magazines, printed off from a website, or were given to me in some other way. Those recipes were placed in a folder, thrown in a box, strew about my house like I was trying to wallpaper with them or something. Yeah it was not a pretty picture. It was also a waste of resources, something I am trying to get a better handle on this year. So I pulled out 3 recipes I had most if not all the ingredients for to try and see if I should keep them or send them to the big brown bin (our recycling bin is brown). The easiest to try without a second adult to control the Littles was a carrot cake. Our family LOVES carrot cake so it seemed like a perfect match. Plus I found some baby carrots I bought two weeks ago in the back of the fridge. I ripped out the recipe from the All You magazine but since it was torn out who knows when I can't give you the issue date or anything. The cake turned out great (and in one day was gone) and made me realize I will never buy a box cake mix again. The cake was so wonderful and with much more carrots than you would find from whatever brand you choose at the store. Plus I know what was in the cake. True that doesn't make it less calories but darn it there has to be something said for knowing and pronouncing all the ingredients in your cooking. If you are interested in trying it yourself I can tell you that you won't be disappointed.

Classic Carrot Layer Cake
Prep:20 Minutes
Bake:45 Minutes
Cool: 2 Hours <--- this is what they say. I tossed mine in the fridge and cut it down by an hour with no issues.
Serves: 12 (Normal cake slices. We slice ours HUGE. It is a tad on the rich side though and those big slices were hard to finish)

2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup buttermilk (I buy my butter milk and freeze it since I only cook with it. Just have to stir it when you thaw it out)
3 large eggs
3 cups of shredded carrots (I placed mine in the food processor and hit puree. I did NOT wait for it to get liquidfied just nice small chunks. If you feel like you could shred them on a grater but I don't have the patience for that kind of work.)

8oz cream cheese, at room temp
5 Tablespoons of unsalted butter, at room temp
2/3 cup of packed dark brown sugar (it calls for dark but I used light and it turned out just fine)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
3 cups of powder sugar

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 2 8- inch round cake pans. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves. In another bowl, whisk sugar, oil, buttermilk and eggs. Pour oil mixture into flour mixture and stir just until evenly moistened. *it will be thick* Fold in carrots.

2. Scrape batter into cake pans; smooth tops. Bake until cakes are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cakes cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes then invert cakes onto rack to cool completely. (This is where I put them in the fridge to speed up the process)

3. Make frosting: In a bowl, with an electric mixer on high speed, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add brown sugar and vanilla and beat until sugar is completely dissolved. Add powder sugar and salt and beat on low speed until smooth and spreadable. *note. I did not follow these directions and put it all in the bowl and tried to mix it. While it did work to be a nice frosting, when spreading it I found some chunks of cream cheese that did not get blended well. Not a big deal to the taste overall just didn't look so great.

4. Place on cake layer on a serving plate, spoon about 1 cup of frosting into the center and spread with a knife. Place second layer on top and spread remaining frosting on top and sides.

Trust me you will never make it from a box again!

1 comment:

  1. Lisa, it was in All You Oct 2010 issue. And it is to DIE FOR! I love this cake. I made it a couple of times last year. It is nice to know what ingredients are going into your food. (especially with all of my food allergies!)