Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine’s Day Carrot Cake

This recipe is adapted from the Best Carrot Cake recipe on They make it as a layer cake, but I had seen a single layer cake that was shaped to look like a heart, and thought this would be the perfect recipe with which to try it. Next time I might leave off the buttermilk glaze completely, because it is really sweet. It was a huge hit with my husband, though, so it was indeed an excellent choice for Valentine’s Day.

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 large eggs
2 cups sugar
¾ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup buttermilk
1 tsp double-strength vanilla extract
2 cups carrots, shredded
8 oz can crushed pineapple
3.5 oz sweetened fresh coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts

Line 1 round cake pan and 1 square cake pan with parchment paper, lightly greased and floured.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In a stand mixer (or with hand mixer), beat together eggs, sugar, vegetable oil, buttermilk, and vanilla. Slowly add flour mixture and beat at low speed until well blended. Stir in shredded carrot, pineapple, coconut, and walnuts.

Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake for about 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center. Once cakes are done, remove them from oven and drizzle the buttermilk glaze (see below) until both cakes are lightly covered. Cool the cakes in their pans on wire racks for about 15 minutes. Remove from pans onto wire racks and cool completely.

Arrange square cake on a serving platter diagonally. Cut the round cake in half. Arrange 1 half along the top left diagonal edge of the square cake. Arrange the other half on the top right diagonal edge of the square cake. Once arranged, the cake should resemble a heart shape (in 3 pieces). Spread the entire cake with cream cheese frosting (see below).

Buttermilk Glaze
1 cup sugar
1 ½ tsp baking soda
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup unsalted butter
1 Tbsp light corn syrup
½ tsp double-strength vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients except for vanilla extract in a medium pan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and boil, stirring constantly, until well incorporated. Remove from heat and add the vanilla.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
16 oz powdered sugar
¼ tsp double-strength vanilla extract
Red food coloring

Beat together butter and cream cheese until creamy. Add powdered sugar slowly, blending at low speed. Add vanilla. Drop 1-3 drops food coloring to make the frosting pink (for Valentine’s Day, of course!) or more for redder frosting.

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