Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Birthday Carrot Cake!

Nobody likes to make their own birthday cake. Lord knows I've done it (plenty of times, in fact.) Some years I actually do get excited about baking for myself, but other years, I just want someone else to make me a cake. So, when my excellent friend Nikki told me she was going to make her own birthday cake this year, I jumped in and put an end to that madness. What are friends for!? 


Lucky for me, she knew just what she wanted: Carrot Cake! But then I discovered that there were so many carrot cake recipes to choose from... It was a bit overwhelming! After much indecision, I decided to go with the recipe from Vegan With A Vengeance. I've heard raves about this recipe for YEARS, but I hadn't ever made it. The recipe is for a Coconut and Macadamia Nut Carrot Cake, but I de-tropicalized the whole affair... Took out the coconut, swapped orange juice and orange zest instead of pineapple juice, and used walnuts instead of macadamia nuts. Oh, and I added an extra cup of grated carrots, because more carrots seemed better. I was just feeling traditional, I guess.

I made two batches, to make a 9x13 two-layered cake. I made the Lemony Cream Cheeze Frosting from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World (a triple batch, for such a big cake!), and then I coated the edges with walnuts.... my new favorite trick. I really love the way that makes the cake look so fancy and pretty. 


My favorite part though, was all the tiny marzipan carrots I made. I was planning on making marzipan carrots, and then I saw a tip on Hell Yeah, It's Vegan to brush on a little cocoa powder to make them look fresh-from-the-earth. It made such a difference! As you can see, I used actual carrot greens for a touch of realism.

How to Make Marzipan Carrots:
They were really easy to make, especially since I used store-bought marzipan. I kneaded in some orange and red food coloring until I got a nice orange color. Then I cut them into roughly equal-sized blobs, and rolled them into little carrot shapes. Next I used my fingernails to roll in the funny little creases that carrots have... and to generally make the carrots a bit more irregular and natural-looking. A light application of cocoa powder instantly transformed them into super realistic baby carrots. Finally, I washed and spun dry some actual carrot greens. I used a toothpick to punch a little hole in the top of each carrot, cut off an attractive bit of carrot greens, and poked it into the hole. Voila! 

here you can see just how tiny and adorable they were.

Most of the baby carrots were scattered around the edges for effect... but I made a few slightly larger ones to decorate the top of the cake with.

In case you were wondering - there was all sorts of other yummy food at the party (steamed Chinese buns, spanikopita, persimmon bread...) including this veggie platter with ACTUAL baby carrots on it. These carrots looked pretty funny, right next to all my baby marzipan carrots!


17 comments:

  1. wow i those those little carrots were real! they are perfect!

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  2. Anonymous8:38 AM

    I thought they were real! You are so talented! I bet the cake is delicious!

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  3. You are seriously the best friend ever! What an adorable cake. I just love all of the carrots. So cute!

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  4. I thought those were real, too! Amazing job Amey! I too have baked myself way too many of my own birthday cakes. Carrot is my favorite, too! Lucky Nikki.
    xo
    kittee

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  5. what a good friend you are, amey! the cake looks phenomenal! carrot cake is my favorite, too. and those carrots- wow! i thought they were real!

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  6. You are the BEST FRIEND EVER!!!! That is one gorgeous cake, and those carrots are totally adorbs!!! Also, I know from experience that the VwaV carrot cake is AMAZING!!!

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  7. You are amazing. That cake is perfect! Can you be my friend?!Carrot cake is my favourite too and my birthday's in a month so I think I'll take your inspiration and make the VWAV one for myself. My Mum did make me a cake last year which was super sweet of her but it was chocolate and I'm not really a chocolate cake girl...not that I'm ungrateful or anything!

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  8. I always make carrot cake for my husband's birthday (I've probably made him 15?). I think I've tried nearly every vegan recipe for it out there. I'm definitely going to try your marzipan carrots. I don't know if my husband will care, but I think they're amazing!

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  9. [ Smiles ] Carrot cake is one of the best cakes out there; it happens to be one of my favourates!

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  10. AMAZING JOB. Love those carrots! Happy Birthday Nikki

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  11. You're such a good friend, awesome job on the cake. Those carrots look amazing! I thought they were real at first, I didn't realize they were so tiny until the pic with the hand. :-)

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  12. Hey sweetie -- Sorry about that birthday cake thing. In all honesty though, I have cooked a fair number for you over the years. I think the disincentive at this point is that I KNOW yours will turn out better than mine. XXOO

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  13. Amey, it is such a fantastic cake! Thank you for sharing the marzipan tips. I love the look of your baby carrots.

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  14. Amazing! She is a lucky girl to have a pal like you. Wish I could taste. Those marzipan carrots are perfection.

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  15. You rock, this is so awesome. And that walnut coating on the sides is such a good idea, I'll have to remember that. Also I can hardly believe those carrots are marzipan...totally had to do a double and triple take on them - you got 'em so realistic!

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  16. You are such a brilliant friend! The cake looks amazing & your marzipan carrots are seriously awesome!

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  17. I made this cake last weekend for my husband. It is by far the best carrot cake I have EVER made or had! So wonderful I am making again this weekend but in a 9x13 so I can share with a few more friends!! Thank you, thank you - this is now the ONLY carrot cake I will make.

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