You've been looking for the perfect Easter dessert and Jello salad just isn't going to cut it with the kids. What you really want is a big, moist carrot cake, decorated to the nines, and served with a hearty scoop of vanilla ice cream. You can even rationalize that you're all getting a healthy serving of carrots with each slice.
Above: with sweetened shredded coconut and white chocolate butterflies using this tutorial.
Carrot cake is the only dessert I serve on Easter and it is always a hit. It is so rich and hearty that people rarely even need to go back for a second slice, especially when served with ice cream and a smattering of Easter candy throughout the evening.
|Carrot Patch. I used real little carrot pieces and planted them in rows of chopped pecans.|
EASTER BUNNY'S TOP SECRET CARROT CAKE RECIPE
3 cups grated carrots
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chopped pecans (optional for nut allergies)
1 (8oz) can crushed pineapple with juice
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 2 circle cake pans or one 9x13 inch pan with shortening all along bottom and up sides, then dust with flour so it cake will not rip when you try to take it out. Or fill regular or mini cupcake tins 1/2 to 2/3 full of batter.
2. In a large bowl, combine grated carrots, flour, white sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in eggs, oil, vanilla, pineapple, and chopped pecans. Spoon batter into prepared pan(s).
3. Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes (for circle cake pans--it will be less time if you're doing cupcakes), or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.
*TIP: The best way to grate the carrots is to buy full, long carrots and grate them with a fine cooking grater (such as a small-holed cheese grater). Most food processors have a food grater, but the holes tend to be fairly big and big grates of carrots do not taste as good as finely grated carrots. You also do not want to blend them, because you need the carrot texture and do not want a paste.
|Easter Basket Weave|
I normally make my carrot cake with the below delicious recipe for a cream cheese frosting but note that the cream cheese frosting does not "firm up" very well. If you are going to do delicate decorating, you will either need to add quite a bit more powdered sugar, or use a different frosting recipe.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar (powdered sugar)
1 (8oz) package Neufchatel cheese (cream cheese works too, but Neufchatel tastes better)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup coconut
In a medium bowl, combine confectioners' sugar, Neufchatel cheese, butter, and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
*TIP: leave the Neufchatel cheese out on the counter for an hour or so and it will be softened for you to mix. If you pull it directly from the fridge, you will need to microwave it for several minutes ON 40-50% POWER (please do not cook it!) to get it softened.
Frost your cake and immediately coat with coconut
|Peep's Nest. Green dyed coconut flakes.|
I LOVE making mini carrot cake cupcakes for the neighbors. Kids love them! I do a big frosting swoosh on top with sprinkles and a chocolate Robin's egg or a big jelly bean.
Have a delicious Easter!