Carrot Cake was not something I was ever interested in growing up. I liked cake. I liked carrots. Adding the two together, though, that just seemed a little wrong. In fact, I don’t think I ever tried carrot cake until I met my husband. While Brian and I were dating, we went to a BBQ restaurant with his family and shared a piece for dessert. I’m not really sure what I expected it to taste like, but I was wrong! I liked it! A few years later, at a friend’s wedding, we had the MOST DELICIOUS carrot cake. (I even liked it better than the brides cake!) I have also had carrot cake that wasn’t so good. When we were choosing the groom’s cake for our wedding, we tasted a carrot cake, but it just didn’t measure up.
When I was thinking about what I wanted to make for Brian’s birthday, carrot cake seemed like a good choice. It has always been one of his favorites, so I figured now would be the best time to leap in and give it a try!
Since this recipe didn’t require a whole lot of mixing, I decided to go old school and let the mixer have a break for a little bit.
After all of the dry ingredients were mixed together, it was time to work on the carrots.
This was the only part of the recipe I really wasn’t looking forward to. Grating carrots is dangerous! Well, for me at least. I always want to grate as much of the carrot as possible, and that is when I get in trouble. Those tiny blades on the grater are ruthless. Thankfully, I got by relatively unscathed this time!
If you are making a carrot cake, make sure your carrots are grated as finely as possible. If you buy the pre-shredded carrots from the store or use the larger side of the grater, your carrots will likely sink to the bottom of the cake. Nobody wants that.
When I was mixing everything together for the batter… well, it didn’t look very appealing. This was a very wet batter, which ending up being great for the cake. Maybe it was just the color and consistency that threw me off, but it tasted good. I guess thats all that really counts!
When the cake came out of the oven it looked great and smelled delicious! After letting it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, it was time to flip the cake out. This is when I ran into a slight problem. The cake came out of the pan without any issues, but the waxed paper I lined the pans with was stuck to the cake!
Flashback to earlier – when lining the pans, my cut outs of wax paper were a little bigger than the bottom of the pan. I figured it would be ok if I just fit the paper in the pan. It ended up lining about 1/2″ on the side of the pan.
Well, the cake ended up cooking over the edges of the wax paper, and it was stuck pretty good! After carefully going around the edges of the cake prying up the paper with a knife, it ended up coming off without any issues. Whew. Crisis averted.
While the cake was cooling all the way, I made the cream cheese icing.
Butter + cream cheese + vanilla + powdered sugar = YUM
Sometimes I think about how I am going to decorate a cake before starting, but more often I just start without knowing what the end product will look like. Thats mostly how this cake was. There were two things I did know though-
1. It would say Happy Birthday
2. There would be pecans
I decided to do this fun chevron look with the pecans on the side. On the top, I simply wrote happy birthday and did a circle of pecans around the edge. Keeping it classy. 🙂
This cake tasted delicious! I am definitely going to be making this recipe again whenever I need a carrot cake. Brian’s sister Julie came in town for his birthday, so we three enjoyed lots of cake. I sent some home with Julie when she left, but other than that, we ate it all. I can’t believe I just told you that. It was so good. Don’t worry, we are making up for it with lots of running this week.
Happy Birthday, Brian! I sure do love you!
Thanks for coming by, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!