I believe that the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, that white certainly can be worn before Memorial Day, that a good laugh can turn around even the grayest days, and that no proper birthday celebration is complete without a cake. And candles. Obnoxiously large, multi-colored candles.
Also, that cake looks like a doll cake. In reality it was a behemoth double layer, yummy cake that clearly served more than my Barbie collection. Do better working with angles next time, Elizabeth.
[shakes head at self]
(for the cake part)
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup veggie oil
- 4 organic brown eggs
- 2 cups King Arthur unbleached all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- a little more than 2 cups of grated carrots
(for the icing part— aka the best part)
- stick butter (softened)
- 1, 8 oz. package cream cheese (softened)
- 1 pound powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup Pecans (chopped. or if you’re me, pounded with a meat tenderizer)
(for the cake)
Preheat the oven to 350. Cream the oil, sugar, and eggs in a stand mixer. In a separate, large bowl, sift together flour, salt (don’t forget the salt. I did. oops), baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. With the mixer on, slowly add the flour mixture to the creamed butter mixture and mix just until combined. Fold in carrots with a spatula.
Spray 2 round cake pans with Baker’s Joy.
[sidenote: have you ever heard of Baker’s Joy? it’s the shit. go get some. back to the show-]
Pour batter into the two greased bans and bake at 350 until done (about 25-35 minutes). I like to tap my pans on the counter rather aggressively to get out the air bubbles. Plus it’s great for working out any frustration you might have. [Not that I speak from experience or anything.]
To see if the cake’s finished, you can do the fork test or give the pan a swift jiggle. If the cake moves, it’s not finished baking. Once done, remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
(for the icing)
Chef’s Note: if you’re like me, you may actually prefer MORE icing to cake ratio and in that case, you should double the icing recipe. Because you only live once, right?!
In a stand mixer, cream the vanilla extract, butter, and sugar together. Once combined, slowly add in the powdered sugar. Then mix in the nuts (which, if I’m being honest, were way more fun to pound with a meat tenderizer than they were to chop in a refined fashion).
Once cake is cooled, place bottom layer on a platter. Spread icing on and then place second layer on top. Ice the cake completely (top & sides) and don’t worry about being perfect. Because no matter what you do, this cake will taste magnificent.
Recipe only slightly adapted from a Pioneer Woman original.
devil’s food cake
I haven’t felt much like cooking lately. Between hospital visits and Holiday hoopla, it just hasn’t been at the top of my priority list. But an impending [30th!] birthday celebration with a dozen of my favorite folks gave me a great excuse to try a new recipe- and rekindle my relationship with my KitchenAid mixer.
Saturday morning I work up, bounded out of bed and raced off to the grocery store to gather supplies for my first homemade [birthday!] cake of the year. And let me tell you- I enjoyed every part of this baking process.
Typically I’m the girl that rushes around the kitchen because ohmygod I forgot to sift the flour and the sugar together and now the butter is burning on the stove and when will I learn to read the directions beforehand!? But not this time. This time I actually enjoyed baking. Shocking, right? When I sit down and take the time to pay attention to something it can actually be an enjoyable experience. Gives new meaning to slow down, right?!
Devils Food Cake
(for the cake)
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter (room temp)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 cup water
- 1 cups self-rising flour
(for the icing)
- 1 stick unsalted butter (room temp)
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 Tbsp cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
- 2 Tbsp milk
Preheat the oven to 300°F. Grease and line two 8-inch, round layer cake pans with parchment paper. Cream the butter and sugar together until soft and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs, mixing well after each addition. In a small, separate bowl dissolve the cocoa powder in the water. The add the chocolate mixture alternately with the flour into the butter mixture until all is blended smoothly. Divide the batter between the two pans and bake in the center of the oven for 25- 30 minutes until firm and just coming away from the side of the pans. Cool on a rack.
To make the icing, beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the cocoa powder and milk and beat until combined. Sandwich the cakes together using half of the icing, then use the remainder to top the cake.
Tip: Garnish the cake with chocolate curls! [which I did- but they looked more like chocolate landing strips so no pictures of that were taken. sorry.]
To make chocolate curls to decorate the cake, melt 3 1/2 ounces of dark chocolate (I used 60% cocoa solids), then pour onto a baking sheet lined with parchment and spread it out thinly. Cool until set, then carefully drag a sharp knife from one end of the chocolate to the other to form curls (or- in my case- landing strips).
Also, thank the Lord for cakes intended to look “rustic”. This is another story for another time- but it’s fairly safe to assume I’ll never make a guest appearance on Ace of Cakes.
recipe adapted (I nixed the raspberry coulis) from Pippa Middleton’s book Celebrate! // also available here