Tag Archives: cake

Carrot Cake With Orange Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting

30 Jul

Yep. I made a gigantic layered cream cheese-frosted carrot cake. In the middle of summer.

Sometimes, you just have to go with your gut. My gut wanted carrot cake.

There’s walnuts and fresh ginger. Those are the kickers. Sweating like a crazy lady, I grated 1.3 pounds of carrots by hand. I called it my workout for the day.

I baked the cake in two 9-inch cake pans to make a two-layer cake. They baked off with nice, flat, even tops, so I did not have to trim the cakes before frosting. Hallelujah.

I’ve used bundt pan in the past. You could make your life easy and do it that way, too. Or you could join in me in the madness of layer cake making in the middle of summer.

Pro tip for ultra silky frosting: You MUST MAKE SURE YOUR BUTTER AND CREAM CHEESE ARE ROOM TEMPERATURE so that everything whips up nice and silky smooth. You may want to sift your powdered sugar to get rid of lumps.

When I frosted the cake, I used a combo of different techniques I learned from reading, watching videos, and working in restaurants. In the end, I did it in my own free-form sloppy way, but somehow it turned out looking pretty great.

Cake frosting is a bit complicated, there’s this thing called a crumb coat, then the cake gets refrigerated for about 30 minutes, and then I put on the final layer of frosting. You could read Joy’s tutorial to help you get started. Melissa Clark has a great video tutorial as well. I recommend using a small offset spatula. I don’t have a cake stand or cardboard cake rounds. I just used a flat plate and turned the plate as I frosted. Works fine.

Oh, and never frost a cake that is right out of the oven. Make sure it is completely cool. Meg Ray from Miette Bakery in San Francisco will vouch for this tip.

I hope I didn’t scare you. Maybe one day I will attempt to do a more in-depth cake frosting tutorial, but I’ve got to get a little more confident first. Just have fun. Good luck. Don’t forget to share.

Carrot Cake with Orange Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting

adapted from Martha Stewart

NOTE: The original recipe calls for 3 sticks of melted butter. I swapped canola oil for the butter to reduce the saturated fat content of the cake. I wanted to save up and use the butter in a rich cream cheese frosting instead.

Serves 10-12; store any leftovers it in the refrigerator (I actually think the cake tastes better a few days later cold from the fridge…)


* Unsalted butter, for pans
* 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
* 1 cup walnut halves
* 1 1/3 pound large carrots, peeled
* 3 large eggs, room temperature
* 1/3 cup buttermilk (I have used plain Greek yogurt in the past and it works just as well)
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 2 cups sugar
* 1 ½ cups canola oil
* 1 ½- 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger (depending on how spicy you like it)
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Cream Cheese Frosting (this makes a LOT of frosting, you will probably have some left over)

*3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
*3 bars (8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature
*3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
*1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
*2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
*Pinch of salt


1. Heat oven to 375°F. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans (or a bundt pan). Dust pans with flour, and tap out any excess. Set pans aside. Spread nuts in a single layer on an ungreased baking pan, and toast in the oven until lightly golden, about 7 minutes. Remove pan from oven, and let stand until completely cool. Reduce temperature to 300°F. Roughly chop the nuts, and set aside.

2. Peel the carrots and grate them to yield 1.3 pounds, or a little over 3 cups (you could also use a food processor).

3. Peel the ginger (I like to use a metal spoon) and use a microplane to grate the fresh ginger.

4. Place carrots, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, sugar, vegetable oil, and ginger in a large bowl; whisk until well combined.

5. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Using a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the carrot mixture until combined. Fold in the toasted nuts.

6. Divide the batter between the two cake pans (I weighed my pans to make sure they were even), and bake until a cake tester inserted into the middles comes out clean, about 50 minutes to 1 hour. Remove pan from oven, and transfer to a wire rack to cool, 15 minutes. Turn cake out onto rack; let stand until completely cool.

7. To make the frosting: place butter in bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese, and beat until well combined and fluffy, about 2 minutes more. Add sugar, orange zest, ginger, and salt, and beat for 5 minutes.
*any leftover frosting can be kept in an airtight container for about 7 days (I had a little over a cup leftover).
Frost the cakes as you wish. I recommend watching some online video tutorials first.

Lime Yogurt Cake

9 Jun

Last week I made a 3 bean summer salad. It was filled with fresh corn and onions, avocado and tomato, cilantro, jalapeno, and lime juice. I had a few extra limes hanging around my kitchen, and decided to make tequila and gin cocktails  bake this lime yogurt cake.

I have always been a fan of yogurt cakes, and incorporating citrus helps to enhance the yogurt’s tang and balance the cake’s sweetness (see my Meyer Lemon Yogurt Cake and Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake).

Deb from Smitten Kitchen explains the Classic French Yogurt Cake method: Most people don’t measure them — the math is based on the volume of your yogurt cups (they use two), to which you add an equal amount of sugar, a double amount of flour, a little less than one of oil, two eggs and some leavener and flavors.

The result? A shining balance between dense and fluffy, not-too-sweet with a soft perk of lime, eat-me-any-time-of-day cake.

The cake is perfect with a simple dusting of powdered sugar and a cup of hot coffee. I am also enjoying it for breakfast and dessert alongside European-style plain yogurt (from Trader Joe’s), a tiny drizzle of honey, and dried blueberries (although fresh would be ideal).

P.S. Did you know that Greek yogurt  (try to choose low or non-fat) contains about 18-20g of protein per serving? Take that, bacon and eggs!

Lime Yogurt Cake

from SmittenKitchen

1 cup 2% plain Greek unsweetened yogurt (I used Fage brand)
1/3 cup vegetable oil (olive oil works as well, for a slightly different flavor profile)
1 cup sugar
zest of one lime
1/4 cup lime juice (about 2-3 limes)
2 eggs
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour (258g)
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the sides of a 9-inch round cake pan or springform pan with oil (I used butter plus a dusting of flour) and line the bottom with parchment paper if the pan is not springform.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, oil, sugar, lime zest and juice. Add the eggs one by one, whisking well after each addition. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together, right over your yogurt batter. Stir with a spoon until just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let stand for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the pan to loosen. If you’re using the springform pan, unclasp the sides. Otherwise, flip the cake onto a plate and flip it back on the rack. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

NOTE: You can make this cake ahead and keep it well-wrapped in the freezer. I froze mine for a week and took it out a few hours before serving and it was perfect. 

Rhubarb Recipe Roundup

16 Apr

Because spring is here.

Because the weather in New York City is so. freaking. beautiful.

Because I just signed myself away to 13 weeks of online medical biochemistry.

Because I am going to attempt to make spanakopita tonight, delving into the abyss that is filo dough.

Because summer dresses are cute, and I’m always on the hunt for more.

Because I have been washing my hands with used coffee grounds to rid my skin of dryness. A caffeinated exfoliant!

Because I swoon over fresh peas, favas, and spring garlic…because rhubarb gets me going.

Rhubarb is around the corner, or might even be available in some areas already. Get into it and make a crumbly coffeecake, a strawberry rhubarb pie, or, what I am craving most today, some creamy cold rhubarb ice cream.

Big Crumb Coffee Cake With Rhubarb-enjoy with a tall glass of coffee for breakfast, snack time, or dessert

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie-strawberries and rhubarb were meant to come together in a pie

Rhubarb Ice Cream– creamy dreamy ice cream with chunks of rhubarb dispersed throughout; just the way I like it