Monday, March 31, 2008

Carrot Cake with Toasted Coconut and Cream Cheese Icing

I'm playing catch up with all the stuff I haven't posted yet...this is a cake that I made for Easter Sunday at my parents house. Norm and I made the trek to Johnstown to see my parents and grandmother and spend some quality time with them over Easter weekend. My mom will tell you that she doesn't "bake"...but I have learned most of what I know about cooking and baking from her. As I get holder, she asks me more and more to make desserts for family get-togethers. Which I don't mind (and neither do they!) because I can take the opportunity to try out new recipes on them.

This was a cake that I found on the Food Network site, courtesy of Eating Well magazine. I knew I wanted to make a cake, but make a healthier version of a classic...this fit the bill perfectly! It uses whole wheat pastry flour, and I subsituted Splenda for baking for the sugar, and egg beaters for the eggs to keep it lighter.

Instead of the 9x13 pan, I made a layer cake of 2-9" cake rounds and used 2 packages of cream cheese. I also had 1/2 a bar of dark chocolate that I chopped up into the cake batter for a little surprise. I baked everything at home, then assembled it at their house. In my haste, I forgot my camera, but snapped a few shots as we were 1/2 way thru it with my mom's camera. I'll have to post the pics when she sends them to me. Everyone raved about it...and my mom requested that I make it again for our family's 4th of July party this summer! It was definitely a hit = )

Carrot Cake
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup nonfat buttermilk
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained, juice reserved
2 cups grated carrots (4-6 medium)
1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut

2 tablespoons coconut chips or flaked coconut
12 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

To prepare cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Toast walnuts in a small baking pan in the oven until fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes.

Whisk flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl.

Whisk eggs, sugar, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and 1/4 cup of the reserved pineapple juice in a large bowl until blended. Stir in pineapple, carrots and coconut.

Add the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula just until blended. Stir in the nuts. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly.

Bake the cake until the top springs back when touched lightly and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

To prepare frosting & finish cake: Place coconut in a small baking pan and toast in the oven at 300 degrees F, stirring several times, until light golden, 5 to 10 minutes. Beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Spread the frosting over the cooled cake. Sprinkle with the coconut.

1 comment:

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