Sunday, January 29, 2012

Snowflake Carrot Cake

So lately I've had several requests for carrot cake, which I've never tried before because I don't really like it. I think it's a texture thing -- the cake is full of stringy carrots and nuts. I really dislike nuts in cookies, cakes, brownies, etc. We should talk about nuts some time. There are great uses for nuts. Chopped and thrown haphazardly into desserts is not one of them. But I digress. Carrot cake!

This carrot cake turned out amazingly moist and perfectly warm with more than a hint of cinnamon and clove. Here's a  peek at the final cake: Snowy and cool on the outside (January needs more appropriately wintery desserts) and warm deliciousness on the inside.

Did I mention that the kicker here, that actually forced me to go for a carrot cake recipe, was that it was our friend Crispy's birthday. Crisp absolutely adores winter/snow/christmas at all times and in all things and in all places. So we went for it!

Here's a shot of one of the six-inch rounds that I stacked  and later layered with the icy blue cream cheese frosting.

Since I had never even attempted a carrot cake, I searched the internet for "best" carrot cakes, and finally landed on Paula Deen's recipe for the best carrot cake cupcakes. The recipe was really easy to follow and (surprise to me) called for crushed pineapple, which I thought sounded absolutely delish. I made a few very slight modifications to the recipe, but overall, I think it's great.

[Below] Process: frosting an orange crumby cake with wintery cream cheese frosting. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Valentine Donuts

Okay, so I was at Target and, as usual, I totally fell in love with the adorable Valentinesey Stuff (Heart and Whale-shaped cookie jars? Yesplease!) I'm a sucker for marketing displays and awesome things, so I picked up a Nordic Ware Heart-Shaped Donut Pan! I couldn't find it online anywhere -- it's sort of like this, though.

As you can see from the donuts, I had a little bit of trial and error with how much batter to put in the pan, and how thick I should make the almond glaze. The thinner donuts with the thicker glaze won out. They're cuter and they tasted better. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Little M and his mom (and their trusty yellow lab, Isa) take care of Brownie during the week while Lito and I are at work -- so naturally when little M turned two, I had to do something awesome for his birthday. Since he's usually dancing to Elmo or Thomas when I drop Brownie off in the mornings, and since I have this awesome piping tip and because Elmo is easier to make than Thomas, I made Elmo cakes. Voila!

  • Body: Yellow Cake
  • Fur: Red Buttercream Frosting (with a whole jar of Wilton "No Taste" red coloring)
  • Eyes: Sliced Marshmallows and Sparkle Black Gel
  • Nose: Peanut Butter M&M
  • Mouth: Oreo

A couple of things I am happy about:
  1. The fur! The red Elmo fur was actually red, didn't taste horrible (have you tasted red frosting? it's normally pretty gross b/c the coloring is too strong)