I can't believe it's been two years since I started this blog. It's been an exciting journey and I am grateful to all of you—my readers—for your comments, suggestions and feedback. You've helped shape this blog, so this is a celebration for all of us.
Last year for our birthday I taught you how to make fancy decorated cookies; this year we'll tackle layer cakes. I chose carrot cake with cream cheese frosting but the same techniques can be used with different flavors.
NOTE: If you prefer things less sweet, I definitely recommend reducing the amount of sugar in this recipe. I found it very sweet, but my taste-testers thought it was just right, so it all comes down to personal preference.
This cake make two 9-inch round cakes or three 6-inch round cakes. Bake the cakes, take them out of the oven and let cool in the pans for 10-15 minutes. Then gently tip them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
In order to build the cakes, you need to cut the tops off. You can do it once the cakes have cooled, or you might find it easier to do after you freeze the cakes for 30-60 minutes.
While the cakes are cooling, prepare the cream cheese frosting. You MUST use room-temperature butter. If the butter is cold you will end up with ugly, unappetizing lumps in the frosting (trust me). Do not be impatient! To bring the butter up to room temperature faster, cut it into pieces.
Mix the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the confectioners sugar, salt and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Do not over-whip. Refrigerate frosting for 15-20 minutes before using. Scoop frosting into a Ziploc bag, seal the bag and make a hole in one corner. Use this makeshift piping bag to squeeze out the frosting neatly.
Cover the top of the first cake with frosting, place the second cake on top. Frost the second cake, then put the third cake on top. Now it's up to you to decide if you want to frost the cake traditionally, covering the entire cake with frosting, or you want make it a "naked cake" and just frost the top. As you can see, I like this newish "naked cake" trend.
Carrot Cake Ingredients
- 2 cups white sugar (or 1 cup white and 1 cup brown)
- 1 ¼ cups oil
- 4 eggs
- 1 lb. grated carrots
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. nutmeg
- Optional: raisins, chopped pecans
Carrot Cake Directions
- Cream the sugar, oil and eggs.
- Add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Mix well.
- Stir in the grated carrots (and pecans or raisins if desired).
- Pour batter into 3 well greased 6-inch round pans and bake for approximately 30-40 minutes on 350° (until a toothpick or skewer comes out clean).
- Leave the cakes in the pans for 10 minutes, then gently tip them out onto a baking rack to cool fully.
Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients
- 1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
- 12 oz. cream cheese
- 1 ½ cups confectioners sugar
- 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 tsp. vanilla
Cream Cheese Frosting Directions
- Let the butter come to room temperature—otherwise you'll end up with lumps.
- Mix the butter and cream cheese until smooth.
- Add the confectioners sugar, salt and vanilla and mix until smooth. Refrigerate frosting for 15-20 minutes before using.
- Cut the tops off the cakes to make them level. (You might find it easier to freeze the cakes first for half an hour—it makes them firmer and easier to cut.)
- Cover the top of the first cake with frosting.
- Put the second cake on top.
- Cover the top of the second cake with frosting.
- Put the third cake on top.
- Cover the top of the third cake with frosting. Serve. (Optional: You can also frost the sides if you'd like.)
Are you celebrating a birthday? Birthdays have an important place in Jewish life, and I encourage you to browse our birthday site and read up on some of the beautiful birthday traditions.
Thank you to all my wonderful readers, and I look forward to another year of delicious kosher recipes and good conversation. Do you have a recipe you'd like to share? Let us know—we'd love to add it to our collection.
Happy birthday Cook It Kosher!