Monday, April 16, 2012

Crunch, Crunch, Carrot Cupcakes.

Carrots. Carrots. Carrots.

To be honest, I've never ever been a fan of this vibrant, crunchy, sweet vegetable. Adding it to cake was something that I was afraid to do. But no longer am I a carrot cake virgin. In all seriousness, putting carrots inside of a delicious cake is the only way you will ever get me to eat carrots. I mean it.

This post is dedicated to my sweetest friend, Lisa. Happy Birthday! Wishing you the best for another wonderful year! Love you : ) 

Her favorite is carrot cake, and I can't believe I've been making her everything but carrot cake for the many years I have known her. But finally, the day has come!

Enjoy my readers, this a super delicious, not-to-sweet but moist cake.

Carrot Cupcakes

Yields: 24 regular sized cupcakes, 12 jumbo sized cupcakes, or  (1) 13x9 One Layer Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups oil (vegetable preferred)
  • 4 room temperature eggs
  • 2 cups of regular all purpose-flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon 
  • 2 cups of grated raw carrots (I used about 4 medium sized carrots)
  • 8.75 oz. can of crushed pineapple (drained)
  • 1 cup of golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Preheat oven to 350 F Degrees. Mix together all the wet ingredients: sugar, oil, and eggs. Set aside. In another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Combine with egg mixture, until well combined - be sure not to over mix the batter. Next, add in carrots, pineapple (drained), nuts, raisins, and blend. Turn into greased and floured pan 13x9x2 pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool on wire racks. For cupcakes, line with paper liners and fill three quarters of the way up. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. For jumbo sized cupcakes, it took 25-27 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cream Cheese Frosting: This is a pretty simple frosting because you don't want to overpower the cake.

  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 8oz. package of cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 2 cups of confectioners sugar, sifted
Combine the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy for about 2 minutes. Slowly add your sugar, until it is well combined with the butter mixture. Add in vanilla and mix. Make sure cake/cupcakes are cool before frosting. (For piping onto cupcakes, you might want to double the batch of this cream cheese frosting)

*This recipe is credited to my Mom's dear friend, Nell. Thanks so much for sharing with me your book of delicious recipes! : )

Friday, April 6, 2012

I Heart Basketball!

I really do. You probably haven't noticed that I'm a huge basketball fan, and that I can cheer EXTREMELY loud for such a small person. I'm told my neighbors can hear me quite loudly when I'm watching a Laker game at home. :)

So far this has got to be one of my favorite cake requests EVER. A basketball cake for a fan, not just any fan but I'm sure a hardcore Laker fan such as myself.

For the cake, I used the "Sports Ball Pan" from Wilton. Here are my tips (for anyone who is interested in tackling a project like this) :

  • Grease the pan with shortening (not butter, really such a difference!) and dust the pan with flour generously.
  • The directions that come with the pan say that it will take about 40 minutes, which is completely false in my case. I might have a really crappy old oven from the 1990's, but it took me about twice as long. So when baking this cake check your time at 45 minutes (then continue to check at increments of 10 minutes). Total time it spent in oven? 1 hour and 30 minutes!
  • Wait at least 10 minutes before removing cake from pan. It should slide out like butter if you grease and flour it well.
The cake I made was chocolate (with just a hint of coffee) and lovely vanilla buttercream, that was excellent for piping! You can get the recipe by clicking here

I debated using black licorice, black sparkly glitter gel, and black butter cream frosting. 

The winner? Black Licorice. I know it probably doesn't taste as good as those yummy Red Vines, but it makes a deep, edgier, clean-cut black line for a basketball. So what I did was cut strips of black licorice and lined them like a basketball.

Frosting Color? I used Wilton Orange, and a hint of Copper and Brown.

I also created a scoreboard of his birthday, and for the time I used the couple's anniversary date! How cute :) 

As always thanks for reading! Hope you all enjoy your weekend and we have another Laker game tomorrow night! Woot woot!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Italian Cream Cake!

This weather we've been having is just wonderful! All that sunshine makes me want to go out and exercise... seriously! Now, if only I had a dog (like my cousin's) I would be in tip top shape! A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to walk and take care of a dog named "Squirt". I can still hear his paws following me wherever I go. Oh boy, I miss him already!

Today, I am posting a recipe for an Italian Cream Cake. It did receive great reviews, not too sweet and it paired nicely with the light vanilla cake. If you like shredded coconut please add more than a cup, but don't over do it! I would suggest if you want more coconut flavor and crunch add about 1/4 of a cup extra :)

Italian Cream Cake (This recipe is from Southern Living Cookbook: Classic Southern Desserts)

Makes about 20 servings


1/2 cup of unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup of shortening (if you keep yours in the refrigerator, its best if you take it out to get it at room temperature)
2 cups of sugar
5 large eggs at room temperature, separated
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut


1).  Preheat oven to 350 F. Beat butter and shortening in a large mixing bowl at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar beating well. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add vanilla; beat just until blended.

2). Combine flour and baking soda (set aside); add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in coconut.

3). Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter. Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.

4). Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks, cool completely (about 1 hour).

5). Spread the nutty cream cheese frosting in between the layers. Add garnish, as desired. I used blackberries, white sprinkles, and store bought lady fingers.

Nutty Cream Cheese Frosting!


1 cup chopped pecans (I'm sure walnuts will taste just as delicious!)
1 8oz. package of cream cheese (at room temperature)
1/2 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 (16oz) package of powdered sugar, sifted


1). Preheat oven to 350 F. Spread pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan. Bake them for 8-10 minutes until fragrant (you may stir occasionally). Let cool.

2). In the mean time, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Beat frosting at high speed until smooth; stir in the pecans.


Have a lovely week everyone! :)