Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

orange carrots on table
Carrots – the star of the show

Summer brings us wonderful fresh produce here in Ontario.  Roasting or cooking up a bunch of sweet carrots is a wonderful addition with any meal but baking them into a classic dessert is an even better use of this veg.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
Carrot Cake

Today’s recipe for a moist sweet carrot cake with coconut and walnuts topped with a light Cream Cheese Icing will be a pleasant treat after any meal and an impressive dessert to take along to your next bbq!

This recipe is a perfect size as it bakes up in a 3-inch high 8-inch round cake pan in about 40-45 minutes.  You could also use 2 x 8-inch pans or use the larger height pan like I did and split the cake for an extra layer of icing.   Remember, if using 2 pans your baking time will be reduced.

Miette baking book is where I found this simple recipe and basically the only change I made was using the flat beater for all steps; Miette uses the whisk attachment for the first step of mixing the eggs, sugar and oil. Miette’s recipe also calls for using currents, walnuts and coconut but I opted for only walnuts and coconut as my add-ins.

I normally don’t add coconut to my baked items but in this cake with the carrots and walnuts it added another layer of flavour that blended together deliciously.  You could leave out the cocont and add in some dried currents or some raisins.  I toasted an additional 1/4 cup of coconut to sprinkle on top of the iced cake.

If possible pick up some fresh carrots at the farmers market as they truly are sweet and crunchy this time of the year and will make this cakes wonderful flavour just that much brighter.

Carrot Cake

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease cake pans and line bottom with parchment paper.

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1 cup shredded carrot

1/2 cup chopped, toasted walnuts

1/2 cup shredded coconut

Method:

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together in a small bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs and sugar, and beat on medium speed about 2 minutes until well combined and light in colour.  Slow the mixer down, drizzle in the oil and then beat on high speed to emulsify the oi.

Add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture in 3 additions mixing on medium after each until smooth.

Add in the carrots, walnuts and coconut and beat just until combined.  Remove from mixer and scrape down sides and bottom of mixing bowl to ensure everything is folded together well.

Scrape into prepared pans and bake on centre rack of oven until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.  Cool completely and ice with Cream Cheese Icing (recipe follows).

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese IcingCream Cheese Icing

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

3/4 cup cream cheese, room temperature

4 cups icing sugar

1-3 tsp. milk or cream

Beat butter and cream cheese together for several miutes until very well blended and smooth.  Add in icing sugar 1 cup at a time and beat on low to combine until spreadable consistency.  You many need a bit more or less icing sugar and if it’s too stiff beat in a teaspoon or two of milk.

Spread between layers and on top of cake.  Garnish with toasted walnuts or coconut.

Refrigerate uneaten portion and bring to room temperature before serving.

Butterscotch Cupcakes

Butterscotch Cupcakes

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Butterscotch Cupcakes…sweetenuf.ca

The butterscotch flavour comes from the brown sugar and butter in these moist sweet cupcakes.  Did you know both butterscotch and toffee are part of the caramel family.  Butterscotch tastes similar to caramel but is sweeter and more butterty in taste which is most likely why I thought they were fantastic.

It is amazing the baking books I discover when I go on the hunt for a particular recipe!  I start looking for one thing and suddenly come across a recipe book or magazine tucked away (usually under several other baking related books or papers) and most often several pages are flagged with post-it notes awaiting a ‘bake-up’.

I’ve probably had this particular book “Caramel” by Carole Bloom for about 5 years and I guess this week it was time for Butterscotch Cupcakes so here you go!

Oh, a couple of things….this recipe calls for Cake & Pastry Flour which I didn’t have on hand.  You can substitite all-purpose flour BUT for every cup of all-purpose flour you use REMOVE 2 tbsp.  Alternately, if you had a recipe calling for all-purpose flour and you only had cake and pastry flour you would need to ADD 2 tbsp for each cup used.  For the batch I made I got 21 cupcakes not 16.  And I used my regular icing recipe and added some already prepared butterscotch sauce to it.  You could add some Dulce de Leche or use a plain vanilla icing.  These are definitely sweet treats but I bet you’ll be adding this to your recipe file.  Happy baking!

Butterscotch Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350F.  Paper line or grease 2 12-cup muffin tins.  Yield: approx. 16

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

2 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups cake flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp kosher or fine-grained sea salt

2/3 cup sour cream

Method:

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter, until fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Gradually add the brown sugar and beat until creamy.

In a small bowl, using a fork, lightly beat the eggs, egg yolks and vanilla together.  Add to the butter mixture in 2 stages, beating well after each addition. Stop and scrap down sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure well mixed.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt to blend.  Add half of this dry mixture to the butter/sugar/egg mixure and combine thoroughly.  Add the sour cream and blend until smooth and then add the remaining dry ingredients and blend thoroughly.

Fill prepared cups 2/3 full and bake about 22 minutes, until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack for about 5-10 minutes then remove cupcakes to cool completely before icing.  Now share!!

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Fill muffin cups
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Sprinkle topped Butterscotch Cupcakes…recipe on sweetenuf.ca

Rainbow Sprinkle Bread

Rainbow Sprinkle Bread

Rainbow Sprinkle Bread
Rainbow Sprinkle Bread w Birthday Cake Crumb Topping

Rainbow Sprinkle anything shouts ‘Spring’ to me, and with April upon us now is the perfect time to share this fun recipe from the Bake Feed magazine.  Seems the creator of this Rainbow Sprinkle Bread loves cake about much as I do.

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Sweetapolita Sprinkles for my Sprinkle Bread…sweetenuf.com

Although this recipe is baked in a loaf pan it is cake…deliciously sweet, dense and nicely vanilla flavoured cake, with sprinkles in it and on top of it!  Kevin Masse’s recipe brings back memories of all the amazing flavours we enjoyed as kids in vanilla birthday cakes so how can there be anything NOT to like about this bread or cake or loaf…whatever you call it, it is sweet and fun and will make you feel like Spring is around the corner with every bite!

Give this a try and share your photos on Instagram.  I’d love to see how your version looks!  I’m sweet_enuf and hope you drop by.

 

Note: I used pure vanilla extract not clear vanilla extract.

Rainbow Sprinkle Bread with Birthday Cake Crumb Topping

Preheat oven to 325F and spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with baking spray and line with parchment for easy removal from pan.

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs

1 large egg yolk

1 tablespoon clear vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/3 cup rainbow sprinkles

Birthday Cake Crumb Topping (recipe below)

Method:

Beat butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment until light and fluffy, scrapping sides and bottom of bowl.  Beat in eggs and egg yolk one at a time, beating well after each, and scrapping down bowl.  Beat in vanilla.

In a medium bowl, whisk together, flour and salt.  Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture and beat only until combined.  Stir in sprinkles.

Spread batter evenly in prepared pan and top with about half to a third of the Birthday Cake Crumb Topping (leftovers can be stored in the fridge and used on ice cream).

Bake for approximately 70 minutes until golden brown and toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.  Let cool for about 10 minutes and remove from pan and cool completely.

Birthday Cake Crumb Topping

Whisk together in a small bowl 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/8 tsp kosher salt.

Using your fingers, work in 2 tablespoons cold butter, until mixture has a sandy texture.

Add 1/3 cup rainbow sprinkles and 1/2 tsp. vanilla and work in with your fingers until small pebble-sized shapes forms.

This can be stored for approximately 3 days in the fridge.

 

Valentine Day Cupcakes (Peanut Butter)


Valentine Day Cupcakes
Peanut Butter Cupcakes w Raspberry Icing…sweetenufblog

Chocolate seems to be the flavour of choice for Valentine’s Day but if you’re looking to switch things up this year bake up a batch of PB & J cupcakes.  Peanut butter cupcakes topped with a raspberry icing are a great way to show your love.

The scent alone of these peanut butter cupcakes will have your mouth watering!  You could enjoy one sans the icing as they are wonderfully moist but why anyone would miss an opportunity for raspberry flavoured icing is beyond me.

This delicious and easy to make recipe is from “Salty Sweets” by Christie Matheson.  It bakes up a perfect 12 cupcakes and I’ll bet you already have everything you need at home.  So, don’t waste time as Valentine Day is fast approaching.  Be your own Valentine and bake up a batch just for yourself.

Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Raspberry Icing

Preheat oven to 350F.  Paper line a 12-cup muffin tin.

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

3/4 creamy peanut butter (not natural)

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup whole milk

Method:

In small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of a mix master cream together the butter, peanut butter and sugars until light and creamy.  Scrape down bowl.  Add in egg and vanilla and beat together for about 30 seconds.

With mixer on low add in 1/3 of the flour mixture, then 1/2 of the milk, then 1/3 of the flour, then remaining milk and last 1/3 of flour, mixing until just combined after each addition.  Don’t overmix.

Divide batter evenly between the 12 cups and bake for about 20 minutes until tops spring back lightly and a tooth pick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Remove and let cool completely before icing.

Raspberry Icing:

Beat together 1/2 cup softened butter and 4 cups icing sugar.  Add in a tablespoon of cream or milk one at a time until you have a firm icing.  Add in 1 tsp of vanilla and mix.  Add in a couple tablespoonfuls of seedless strawberry jam and mix together well.  If icing is too thin add in a few tablespoons more of icing sugar until desired consistency is reached.

Peanut Butter Cupcake w Raspberry Icing
Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Raspberry Icing…sweetenufblog

 

 

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Pumpkin Cupcakes

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Perfect Pumpkin Cupcake – Sweetenufblog.ca

Continuing where I sort of left off on last weeks blog (Spiced Pumpkin Loaf) , as I’m not one to use up my calories on pumpkin flavoured beverages, here is another scrumptious, simple and sweetenuf recipe containing the flavour of Fall…pumpkin.

If you didn’t see this weeks Instagram (sweet_enuf) here is how to make your own pumpkin puree if you prefer fresh to canned.  Cut 2 small or 1 medium Pie Pumpkin in half and clean out the seeds and membrane.  Place cut side down in a baking pan and fill with 1-inch of water.  Bake in preheated 375F oven for 30-40 minutes.  Cool completely and scoop out cooked pumpkin.  Puree slightly in a food processor.  This pumpkin will look more yellow that the canned version and any unused pumpkin can be frozen.  I yielded about 1-cup of puree from a small pie pumpkin.

Now back to these light, moist and mildly spiced cupcakes.  This recipe is virtually made in one mixing bowl so there is no excuse not to whip these up the next time you have a hankering for some sweet pumpkin flavour. Frost these cupcakes with the tradition Cream Cheese Frosting or any of your favourites.  I made an icing with butter, icing sugar, vanilla and whipping cream, which I know is a hit in my house.  Add a little pumpkin pie spice or some cinnamon for more Fall flavour.

For Cream Cheese Frosting:  Using an electric mixer, combine 3 tbsps of softened butter with 2 1/3 cups of icing sugar and mix well.  Add in 4 ounces of softened cream cheese and beat until incorporated.  Turn up mixer to medium speed and mix until frosting is light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Yeilds 12.  Preheat oven to 325F.  Paper line a 12-cup muffin tin.

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp salt

3 tbsp butter, room temperature

1/2 cup milk

2 eggs

3/4 cup pumpkin puree

Method:

In the bowl of an electric mixer put flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and butter and mix on low until mixture has a sandy consistency.

Add 1/2 of the milk and beat until well mixed then add remainder of milk and mix well.

Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each.  Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl.  Stir in pumpkin puree by hand until evenly distributed.

Fill the muffin cups 2/3 full and bake in preheated oven for aproximatley 20 minutes until tops spring back lightly when touched or a tooth pick inserted in centre comes out clean.

Cool for about 10 minutes then remove cupcakes to cool completely before icing.

Pumpkin Cupcakes
Pumpkin Cupcakes a la Sweetenuf – Sweetenufblog.ca

 

 

 

Fudgey Brownies


Fudgey Brownies
Fudgey Brownies

Today’s fudgey dense and sweet Brownie recipe is super simple.  So easy you may want to make a batch for dessert tonight to serve with a scoop of ice cream or a little whipped cream.  If you can, pick up some Ontario strawberries. Slice on top of the ice cream or whipped cream and you have an upscale dessert sure to please!

I used 3 types of chocolate in these sweet enuf treats.  Add-in 1/2 – 3/4 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans if you desire.

Fudgey Brownies

Preheat oven to 350F and grease and line an 8-inch square baking pan.

Ingredients:

3 ounces dark or bitter sweet chocolate

3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate

2 ounces milk chocolate

1/3 cup butter

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

Method:

In a microwave safe bowl, combine the chocolate and butter, and microwave on medium power until chocolate is almost melted.  Stir until melted and smooth.

Whisk in the sugar and then whisk in the eggs one at a time until combined. Gently whisk in the vanilla.

Using a wooden spoon mix in the flour and salt.

Spread evenly into prepared pan and bake for about 25-30 minutes.  Edges will be firm and centre will be almost set.

Let cool completely before cutting.

Peanut Butter-Nutella Coffee Cake


Key IngredientsThis drab and dreary weather calls out for something sweet and fun to help fight the urge to stay in bed and hibernate.  Who wouldn’t want to get out of bed for a piece of delicious coffee cake combining not only peanut butter and Nutella but having the added crunch of praline nuts and a peanut butter crumble topping!

Whether you stay up to binge watch your favourite shows on Netflix while enjoying this moist and flavourful coffee cake or hop right back into bed to relax against your propped up pillows, I think you’ll agree this is a delicious addition to your morning.  Or afternoon or before dinner pick-me-up or…

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This recipe is from the Bake from Scratch ‘One Layer Cakes 2017’ issue and I made a couple of slight modifications.  Mostly because I didn’t follow my own advice to do the one thing you should always do when trying a new recipe…read it through thoroughly and pay attention!

I must say my slight modifications, which were layering the warmed Nutella in the middle and on top of the cake batter and using Praline Mixed Nuts instead of roasted salted peanuts did not detract in any way.  I also subbed in cream for the whole milk as I had some in my fridge.  Now you have options! Follow the original directions or switch it up like I did and enjoy.

Peanut Butter-Nutella Coffee Cake

Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9-round or 9-inch square cake pan.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1/4 cup sour cream

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup whole milk

3/4 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (Nutella), warmed

Peanut Butter Crumble – in a small bowl combine 1/2 cup all-purpose flour and 1/4 cup packed brown sugar.  Using your fingers or a wooden spoon mix in 2 tablespoons soft unsalted butter and 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter.  Mix in 1/2 cup chopped roasted salted peanuts.

Method:

Prepare peanut butter crumble and set aside.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together the butter, peanut butter and sugar, until light and creamy.  Scrape down sides of bowl.

Add eggs, one at a time and beat well after each addition.  Add in sour cream and vanilla and beat until combined.  Scrape down sides of bowl.

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt until combined.

Gradually add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with the milk, starting and finishing with the dry ingredients, until combined.

Adding top layer of PB Cake
PB Cake batter atop warmed Nutella

Pour half of batter into prepared pan.  Top with chocolate-hazelnut spread, making sure to spread to edges.  Top with remaining cake batter, smoothing to edges.  (A small offset spatula works great for this.)

Sprinkle Peanut Butter Crumble evenly over top of batter.

PB & Nutella cake topped with Praline Nuts and Streusel
PB Crumble and Praline Nut topping bf baking

Bake in preheated oven for approximately 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.

Note: If edges begin to brown quickly loosely cover cake with foil until completely baked to avoid excess browning.

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PB-Nutella Coffee Cake with PB Crumble & Praline Mixed Nuts sweetenufblog.com
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