To be clear, I didn’t ask Nelson to bake this cake for himself for Father’s Day, but when he mentioned that he was going to bake it, yesterday, I didn’t argue.
Nope. Sure, I might argue about some things – but I don’t recall any arguments ever being started over Nelson’s offer to bake a cake. I’d be a fool to start now, even with my new weight-loss, healthier eating goals.
Portion control, portion control, portion control!
Nelson doesn’t make weight management easy for me, sometimes, that’s for sure. But he sure is good to us—always cooking up all our meals and baking us sweet treats too.
At least I got my fruit and vegetables—this is, after all, a carrot cake with pineapple. You know…this was probably the most moist and delicious carrot cake I’ve ever eaten. And I’ve had my fair share. Seriously.
Simple plans on a special day.
Since today is Father’s Day, Nelson wanted a break from the kitchen, so we went out for lunch, then returned home to this layered masterpiece of awesomeness. Hellooo gorgeous!
Today’s theme seems to be ‘art’. There’s this cake, obviously. But there’s more.
This morning started with Nelson and Michael going to Toronto to see The Art of Banksy exhibit. Super interesting. Michael has liked Banksy’s work for years, so this was a real treat to see some of it, up close. In fact, Michael, in his early teens, was the one who introduced Nelson and I to Banksy.
I swear that kid of ours, at his young age, is already more worldly and cultured than Nelson and I put together. It makes me happy for Michael… but it also makes me think I need to get out more. But, I digress…
Meanwhile, back at the ranch (suburbia)…
Our painter was getting an early start on painting our bedrooms. Yay… fresh paint and some new bedding and accessories.
What a fun way to change things up after so many years with the same look. It’s true what ‘they’ say… it’s amazing what a coat of paint can do to a room.
It’s a good thing Nelson and I are not trying to do the painting ourselves. We’re creative and useful in many ways… but painting is not one of them. Those who know us recall our attempt to paint Michael’s music room a couple of years ago. Uh… I just shuddered at the memory.
Let’s just say it’s a good thing Tony was available to come and save us from the inevitable disaster we had begun. Nelson’s fine cutting skills are best kept in the kitchen with knives and food, and I’m better off with a camera in my hands rather than a paintbrush.
It’s not that we don’t have a growth mindset, it’s just that Tony is soooo good at painting… and we’re soooo not; nor are we interested in putting time and energy into ‘getting good’. One day, perhaps. Today, not so much.
Enthusiasm or impatience?
Just as one must wait for paint to dry before applying a new coat (or before touching it…despite the sign that says “wet paint – do not touch”…seriously people!)… one must wait for cake to cool before icing (seriously Nelson! ;-). Nelson knows I’m just teasing. We laughed this off and chalked-it-up as just another culinary life lesson.
Nelson might have been a little overzealous when he added the cream cheese frosting between the layers while the cakes were still a little warm, but it certainly didn’t change the flavour, and quite frankly, I think it has a nice rustic charm.
What’s the saying? With great cake and icing comes great responsibility to wait for cake to cool. I might be off by a few words, but I think this was the implied message. Live and learn, and eat well, friends!
Moist and delicious naked carrot cake
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs , room temperature
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 3/4 cups packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups grated/shredded carrots
- 1 cup fresh ripe finely chopped pineapple
- 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans + 1/2 cup for the top
- 250 g or 9oz cream cheese ,room temperature (1 package)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter ,room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups icing or confectioners sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
- Preheat the stove to 350 ºF.
- Spray two round 9 inch (23 cm) cake pans with cooking spray.
- Line the pan bottoms with parchment paper, and spray the top of the paper as well.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer bowl, add the vegetable oil and eggs, and beat on medium high for about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the white and brown sugars and the vanilla, and continue to beat for another 3 to 4 minutes on medium high.
- Stop the mixer, slowly add the dry ingredients. Start the mixer again on low.
- After about 1 minute, increase the speed to medium low and add the carrots, pineapple and 1 cup of pecans, and mix for about 1 minute or until everything’s well incorporated.
- Pour the batter evenly into both pans.
- Place the pans in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out dry.
- Remove the pans from the oven and let rest for about 10 minutes
- Run a sharp knife around the inside edge of the pans. Place a plate upside down over each pan and flip them upside down so the cakes fall on the plates.
- Let the cakes cool completely.
- While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting.
- In a stand mixer bow, add the cream cheese, butter, confectioners sugar, vanilla and lime juice.
- Beat the frosting mixture on medium high until creamy and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
- Place the first cake on a cake plate with the top up.
- Using a sharp knife, cut a sliver off the top to straighten the cake top (time to taste test the cake :-)).
- Add about half of the frosting to the top of the cake and spread evenly and to the edges.
- Place the second cake on top of the first cake, top down (flat side up).
- Press the top cake down a little to seal/stick the edges to the frosting.
- Pour the remaining frosting over the cake and spread evenly to the edges. Feel free to make some designs on the top frosting.
- Sprinkle the remaining chopped pecans over the cake.
- Serve right away or place it in the fridge to help set the frosting and for serving at a later time.
- To speed things up, use a food processor with a grating blade for the carrots.
- On the cake you see in the picture, we didn’t let it cool completely (oops), so the middle frosting came out the sides a little more than we wanted. We immediately placed the cake in the fridge to help set the frosting. This didn’t ruin the cake, but it was a lesson learned. I recommend letting them cool completely.
- Feel free to use raisins or other types of nuts to make the cake your own!