Carrot Cake {and Happy Birthday to Me!}

I made a cake. Yesterday was my 24th birthday and I wanted to celebrate with something sweet that makes me happy.

Having a December birthday is weird. As a kid, there were a few “Christmas-Birthday” gifts (a 13 year olds worst nightmare) and I often got money which I then spent on other peoples Christmas gifts soon after. Now that I’m in College, my birthday lies in the middle of exams. This sucks big time. No one is available to hang out and I end up having to spend my birthday studying! Silly eh? At lease there’s cake. Cake can always make a girl smile.

Now, you might be thinking “carrot cake for your birthday? Really?”. And the answer is YES!

When I first started dating my boyfriend his parents kept mentioning this little cafe in a town near by that sold “the best carrot cake/cake in general/sweet thing ever”. I was skeptical. You see, I didn’t like carrot cake. The only stuff I’d ever had was at church bake sales and it always had raisins in it. Yech. What are those short, cute, ladies thinking?!

Anyway, I won’t ever turn down a new dessert, especially one with such high praise. As I slid my fork into that double-decker, moist, deliciousness, and placed the cake in my mouth…I fell in love. I fell in love with a cake. And since that first bite I’ve been wanting to make a carrot cake that matched that spectacular taste.

The verdict? This cake is the second best carrot cake ever! haha, I didn’t completely get it. I WILL make this again, and the only thing I would change would be to take out the walnuts. I really like a big slice of cake that isn’t broken up too much, and I find the walnuts do that.

The icing though? Holy freaking moley. You could drink this stuff. It’s so creamy and tastes like a dream.

Let’s get baking shall we?

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 8-inch round cakepans with waxed paper. Lightly grease and flour the waxed paper. Set pans aside. Stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

Put eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla in a large bowl.

Beat them all together at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the flour mixture, beating at low speed until blended.

Fold in grated carrot.

Fold in pineapple, coconut, and pecans. Pour batter into prepared cake pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center come out clean.

Prepare your buttermilk glaze.

Drizzle Buttermilk Glaze evenly over layers; cool in pans on wire racks for 15 minutes.

Cool completely on wire racks.

Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.

Add powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth.

Place a big scoop of icing on top of the cake. And spread it around. Make sure to put it on thick!

Gently place the second cake atop the first one.

Evenly distribute icing on the top and on the sides. If you want to get fancy, you can stick this in the fridge so the icing can set and then add on one more even layer of icing.

Carrot Cake
Recipe taken from the Tasty Kitchen website.

Ingredients:
Cake
2 cups All-purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
½ teaspoons Salt
2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
3 whole Large Eggs
2 cups Sugar
¾ cups Vegetable Oil
¾ cups Buttermilk
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
2 cups Grated Carrot
1 can (8 Oz. Can) Crushed Pineapple, Drained
3-½ ounces, weight Flaked Coconut
1 cup Chopped Pecans

Buttermilk glaze:
½ cups Sugar
¾ teaspoons Baking Soda
¼ cups Buttermilk
¼ cups Butter Or Margarine
½ Tablespoons Light Corn Syrup
½ teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Cream Cheese Frosting
¾ cups Butter Or Margarine, Softened
11 ounces, weight Cream Cheese, softened
3 cups Sifted Powdered Sugar
1-½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Directions:
Cake
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 8-inch (or 9-inch) round cakepans with waxed paper. Lightly grease and flour the waxed paper. Set pans aside.
Stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
Beat eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the flour mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Fold in grated carrot, pineapple, coconut, and pecans. Pour batter into prepared cake pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center come out clean. Drizzle Buttermilk Glaze evenly over layers; cool in pans on wire racks for 15 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on the top and sides of cake.

Buttermilk glaze
Bring sugar, baking soda, buttermilk, butter or margarine, and light corn syrup to a boil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Boil, stirring often, for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Cream cheese frosting
Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth.