carrot almond cake

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so i have to admit, i don’t go bonkers over the traditional carrot cake. i know i know, sorry, i’m totally un-american. the one with pineapple in it and all the rich, thick cream cheese frosting – it’s way too much for me. i much prefer something simpler, not too much topping, and if it just happens to be healthy, well then i am IN.

last week for a gathering of friends, i chose to bring this for our dessert. it’s lightly adapted from one of alice medrich’s cookbooks and i think it IS DIVINE. i made some fresh whipped cream to go on top and it was the perfect thing – light and cool and not too sweet. it is made with almond meal, so this lovely just happens to be gluten free, if you are cooking for someone who doesn’t eat gluten. and let’s be serious – this could totally double as breakfast if you were so inclined..

carrot almond cake

ingredients

1 1/4 cup almond meal

3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar

2 cups cleaned & finely grated carrots, lightly packed (about 3 medium-large carrots)

1 orange

4 large eggs, separated (at room temperature)

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon (slightly heaping)

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp cream of tartar

fresh whipped cream, for serving

directions

  1. position a rack in the lower third of the oven. preheat to 325. butter or grease the bottom and sides of an 8″ springform pan.
  2. whisk together the almond meal and 2 tbsp of the sugar; set aside.
  3. lay out about 4 paper towels on the counter. grate carrots onto paper towels in 2 batches. for each batch, gather up the towel corners and squeeze as much of the carrot juice as you can out of the grated carrots into a cup or small bowl. (drink or discard the juice.) set aside.
  4. zest the orange into a separate large bowl. add egg yolks, salt, cinnamon, vanilla, and 1/2 cup plus tbsp sugar and mix with a spatula until all are incorporated. sprinkle grated carrots on top and then set aside.
  5. in a cold metal mixing bowl with a mixer (hand or standing) beat the egg whites and cream of tartar at medium-high speed until the mixture holds a soft shape. slowly sprinkle in the 2 remaining tbsp of sugar, beating at high speed until the egg whites are stiff.
  6. scrape 1/4 of the egg whites on top of the grated carrots and fold in with a spatula. add the remaining egg whites to the bowl, pour in the almond meal mixture, and fold them in.
  7. pour batter evenly into prepared springform pan. bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the sides are beginning to separate from the pan. cool completely on a rack. (to remove from the springform pan: slide a thin knife around the sides of the cake and underneath and transfer onto a serving platter.) serve with fresh whipped cream. will keep for about 4-5 days in a sealed container or tight plastic wrap.

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dark chocolate birthday cake with malted chocolate buttercream frosting

dark chocolate birthday cake with malted chocolate buttercream frosting | via she likes to eat

for her last 2 birthdays, the little she has requested a very specific dessert for her party. she has asked for “chocolate with strawberries“. as you know, if you read this blog, she is carazy about sugar. it has been said that sugar is her love language and i completely believe it.
chocolate is at the top of her sugar list, especially cake and frosting that is of the chocolate kind.

this cake recipe and this chocolate buttercream recipe are my go-tos – i never stray from these when i want chocolate cake and frosting. i have never found better. the cake recipe is a jacked up version of making a box cake – it has a perfect base and then with these add ins, is just as wonderful as made-from-scratch. actually, it’s better.

and this chocolate buttercream recipe is adapted slightly from joy the baker.
you should look no where else EVER when you want to make chocolate frosting. promise me, mmkay?

dark chocolate birthday cake

ingredients

1 box dark chocolate fudge cake mix (i like duncan hines)

3 eggs, whisked

1/2 cup butter, melted (plus more for pans)

1 cup water

2 tsp vanilla

directions

1. position rack in the middle of the oven. preheat oven to 350.

2. coat 2 round cake pans with cooking spray (coconut oil spray is my favorite) or melted butter. line each on the bottom with a parchment round. then spray the top of the parchment round generously with the spray. flour both pans, patting out excess & making sure its covered evenly.

3. add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix well. divide batter evenly among the 2 pans and bake for about 25-28 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

4. let cool on 2 drying racks for about 10 minutes. then invert the cakes into your hand, remove the parchment, and then return to rack to cool completely.

malted chocolate buttercream frosting
adapted via joy the baker

ingredients

3 sticks butter, softened

1 cup cocoa powder

3/4 tsp salt

4 cups powdered sugar

2 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup ovaltine

directions

1. cream together butter, cocoa powder, and salt. scrape down the sides of the bowl and add powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. as the sugar begins to incorporate, raise the speed of the mixer. beat until smooth.

2.in a 2-cup measuring glass or bowl, stir together heavy cream and ovaltine. pour the cream and ovaltine mixture into sugar mixture in a slow stream, until you have reached your desired consistency. (you may not need all of the ovaltine mixture.)

3. now frost your cake!

enjoy:)

pumpkin vanilla cinnamon roll cake


my husband and i just went to our first holiday dinner party of the season with a handful of our closest friends. it was potluck-style, so each of us girls brought several dishes. i brought the i-can’t-stop-eating-it marinated cheese,  sweet potato pudding and this amazing dessert from the picky palate.
it’s now one of my favorite holiday desserts.
mainly because it has this cinnamon roll buttery-sugary-icing going on that makes me now crave it all year long.
simply said, it is melt-in-your-mouth, butter and brown sugar gloriousness.

pumpkin vanilla cinnamon roll sheet cake
makes 16-20 squares

ingredients

1 box yellow cake mix

4 eggs

1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 (3.4 oz) box instant vanilla pudding mix

1/2 cup sour cream

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin

1 stick butter (8 tbsp)

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup heavy cream (start with 1/4 cup and add a little more if needed)
directions

1. preheat oven to 350. spray a jellyroll pan with non-stick cooking spray.

2. place cake mix, eggs, oil, buttermilk, pudding mix, sour cream and pumpkin in a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer) and beat with a mixer until well combined (about 1 1/2 minutes). pour into prepared jellyroll pan, spreading evenly.

3. place butter into a microwave safe bowl and melt, about 30 seconds. add brown sugar and cinnamon to bowl, mixing until combined. drizzle mixture evenly over the cake, then take a knife and run it through to swirl.

4. bake cake for 30-35 minutes, until cooked through and remove. while the cake is cooking, place powdered sugar and cream into a bowl and mix until creamy and smooth. drizzle over warm cake then let cool for 20 minutes before cutting into squares. (refrigerate if not serving the same day.)

enjoy with milk!