I know its not quite yet fall but for me it so totally is.
my birthday is september 1st and as far as i'm concerned its now time to shift the brain into fall mode. which just so happens to my absolute favorite season.
best temperature, best clothing options, and another change of the food season. food sure as hell have seasons.
one of the simple things that helps me kick start fall is getting to enjoy the return of the pumpkin spice lattes! i know its silly, but its the little things that really count. granted it still is a little warm outside, like low 90s warm but that's not going to stop me from ordering my pumpkin spice latte every damn birthday. and thanks to my starbucks gold card that latte is usually free. sigh, i love september-so good. this most recent birthday i was especially lucky with an overcast rainy morning, thanks for help setting the mood.
but before we go getting full pumpkin crazy, because i get it.. i'm a little early excited. i thought we could ease in to this amazing season with a spiced carrot cake. that's it ..we're just slowly dipping our toes in.
change is best served with cake.
caution juicing can lead to dessert:
juicing is wonderful and its something i think i'm still fairly new to but really want to be better at. the only problem is they don't mention the part where when you juice for too long you may have pastry daydreams. like a real giant case of the cake crazies. you think you're totally fine enjoying your yummy fresh juice cocktails feeling all healthy and then bam! it just happens. full on carb hallucination.
for me it happened when i was cleaning out my juicer after making a generous amount of pressed carrot juice and there was all this leftover carrot pulp and what? all this orange goodness was just going to go in the trash?
uh hell no, that's going in a CAKE!
and that's when i started gathering ingredients.
i opted to switch things up and use olive oil for slight flavor change. apple sauce helps keep the cake moist.
sifting together your dry ingredients keeps things lighter. these spices are really going to remind you of the holidays ..but just a little. baby steps.
most carrot cakes have raisins and walnuts, but we're not doing that. this just isn't that kind of cake. instead we're using sweet coconut shreds and dried cranberries with the perfect amount of tartness.
because this carrot pulp came from my juicer, i did add 1/3 cup of juice back in to increase the moisture level a tad. with grating carrots you wouldn't need to do this step.
properly preparing your cake pans is super important. don't let all of your work and promising batter go to waste because of an under greased pan. i used parchment paper but enough butter/crisco with a generous sprinkling flour should usually do the trick.
be fair and even.
clean toothpick ready from the oven and now the cakes need to relax and cool.
meanwhile we start the frosting.
i have been trying to think of a reason to explain why brown butter? but i just keep thinking always.. always brown butter. when in doubt brown butter it out. it seriously is a flavor secret weapon and now you all know if you didn't before. and also know that i'm going to keep talking about it too.
i have made a lot of different frosting but this one easily makes my top 3 favorite, it's goood.
once you have removed the fully cooled cakes flip them so that you have a nice flat surface when you begin frosting.
with a two layer cake i stick with a 60/40 frosting ratio, using most of the frosting on the bottom cake and mid section. then finish with the remaining on the second cake, remember flat side up!
and just like that you have cake.
i hope you feel a little better about saying goodbye to summer and hello to fall.
should you be juicing and daydream of cake, know you are not alone. it happens.
olive oil carrot cake
olive oil carrot cake with brown butter cream cheese frosting
- 1 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup apple sauce
- 3 eggs
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 2 1/2 cup shredded carrots
in a separate bowl mix together dry ingredients, set aside
- 1 cup all purpose flour sifted with,
- 1 1/2 cup cake flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp all spice
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
for the frosting
- 1/2 cup brown butter, cooled
- 1/2 butter, softened
- 1 8oz cream cheese, softened
- 2 16oz packages powder sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
for the carrot cake batter
in a kitchen stand mixer with a paddle attachment
- use both brown & white sugar mix with olive oil and mix together on medium speed for 3 mins, scrape down sides. add eggs and vanilla extract and continue to blend together for 3-5 mins. add shredded carrots in batches until fully incorporated. with mixer on lowest setting add dry ingredients slowly until a few white streaks remain, add apple sauce. with a spatula by hand fold in shredded coconut and dried cranberries.
for the brown butter cream cheese frosting
in a kitchen stand mixer with a paddle attachment
- with the mixer on medium to high speed blend together brown butter, butter and cream cheese. scrape down sides when necessary and mix for 2 mins and add vanilla extract. continue mixer until fully incorporated about another 3 mins. with the mixer on low slowly add powder sugar in small batches. as you add more sugar frosting consistency will become much firmer.
preheat oven to 350°
- in two 8" round cake pans prepare for baking by greasing pans with butter. next line with circular cutouts of parchment paper and sprinkle with a tsp of all purpose flour, remove excess flour if needed.
- separate cake batter evenly between two prepared round cake pans. bake for 37-42 mins, until you can insert a toothpick and remove clean.
- once both cakes have completely cooled frost the layered cake using the brown butter cream cheese frosting.