Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Carrot Cake Trifle

This recipe can be made in a 9x13 baking dish, turned into a trifle, or as cupcakes, or a three-layer stacked cake.

Prize-Winning Carrot Cake as a Trifle

Karri Perry-Blue Ribbon Favorites


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tiny pinch of ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs-room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup buttermilk-room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups of finely grated carrot-  Food process once with a grater attachment and then a second time for finely grated carrot.
1 can (8 ounce) crushed pineapple, drained very well
1/2 cup flaked coconut-I use Baker's Sweetened Angel Flaked-in the blue bag.
1 cup chopped toasted walnuts (optional) Toast nuts in a 350 degree oven for 5-7 minutes, cool and chop before adding to the cake. 

Instructions for trifle:
Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray. Set aside

For a traditional layer cake:
Line three 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and lightly grease/spray.  Set aside.

Stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and tiny pinch of ground cloves.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, combine the eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk and vanilla, mixing together until combined and emulsified (smooth with no oily puddles).  Slowly add the flour mixture, stopping to scrape down the bowl.  Mix cake batter just until flour mixture is incorporated.

Fold in the grated carrot, pineapple, coconut and chopped nuts if using.

Pour batter into the prepared baking dish for trifle or equally into prepared cake pans.  

Cake pans: Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

9x13: Bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out cleanly from the center of the cake.

For 9x13: let cake cool completely before cutting.

Making the Trifle: Cut cooled cake into two-inch squares.  Fill a large clear glass trifle dish or bowl with a layer of cake. Add a layer of frosting (recipe below) Add a layer of cake, followed by frosting, ending with frosting on top.  

Edible Easter Grass-available at Target, and Amazon (I used Galerie brand)

Strawberry “carrots”  Candy coated strawberries:
White chocolate candy coating/melts-availale in baking aisle: white candy coating at Kroger, or orange candy melts available at Michael’s/Joann’s or online.
Orange food gel
Fresh-cleaned and dried strawberries
Plate with waxed paper

Follow package instructions to melt candy coating.  Add orange food gel to achieve a good carrot color. Dip each cleaned and dried strawberry into melted candy to evenly coat the berry. 
Let excess drip back into the melted candy coating. Rest finished berries on a waxed paper-lined plate.  Let coating set-up, then place “carrots” on top of trifle to garnish.  Store extra dipped berries in the refrigerator.  Top trifle with edible grass and strawberry “carrots”. Refrigerate until 1 hour before serving. Can be made two days in advance.

Layer Cake:
Remove cakes from the very warm pans after 10 minutes AND remove and discard the parchment paper.  Let cool.

Once cakes are at room temperature, spread the frosting between the cake layers, on the sides and top of cake.  This is not the final coat, this is only the crumb-coat.

Chill cake in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes, then apply a final coating of the frosting, add nuts to the sides for garnish. 

Refrigerate cake overnight, up to 24 hours and then serve. 

** For cupcakes, this recipe makes 36 cupcakes.  Use cupcake liners, fill cups 3/4 full, bake for 17-19 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting

(I usually double this for a three-layer cake)

1 stick of softened butter (8 TBS)
1 brick of softened cream cheese (8 ounces)
3 cups of powdered sugar
1 small tub (8 ounces) of whipped topping
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts-for layer cake sides
Whip butter until smooth and airy, add softened cream cheese, mix until smooth. Add salt and vanilla and sugar.  Fold in the whipped topping—this lightens the frosting.

(If frosting is too thick, add 1 teaspoon of milk or cream at a time until desired consistency is reached.)
Refrigerate the frosted cake, cupcakes or prepared trifle until one hour before serving. 
*Can be made two days in advance, the flavors develop in the refrigerator-it’s delicious the same day-and even better after 24 hours of refrigeration!

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