Turning to my trusty recipe file on my computer, I found three recipes for carrot cake made with baby food carrots. Since I am basically lazy and do not like the bother and mess that comes with shredding carrots, I thought baby food carrots was a good idea. Then I got to the grocery store and saw that baby food carrots were around $1 a jar, and I needed two jars. Well, I am also cheap, and decided I would figure out how to use either cooked or canned carrots instead of the baby food.
The original recipes I found on my computer called for 2 cups sugar, which I felt was a lot so I reduced the sugar to 1 cup. I thought this was fine considering the amount of sugar in the frosting. I am putting a range from 1 to 2 cups in the recipe. If serving the cake with just a sprinkle of powdered sugar, you might want to increase the amount of sugar in the cake.
I adapted a White Chocolate Frosting recipe from Food.com. It called for 6 oz. of white chocolate bar, melted and cooled. I chose to use half a package of Ghirardelli Classic White Chips. Don’t use Nestle’ brand. These do not melt well. My butter was very soft so I did not need to add any cream or half and half. I frosted the photographed cake pretty heavily so barely had enough frosting to cover the second half of the original cake. I would recommend that another half cup of powdered sugar be added and liquid as necessary. That should make enough frosting to frost both cake halves.
A cake decorator I am most definitely not, but I did color some coconut with green food color to use as grass and added some mini candy eggs for garnish. I used toothpicks to anchor the bunny Peeps to the cake. If anyone wonders why I did not use the green coconut on the ends of the cake, it is because these bunnies are coming from somewhere and going to somewhere. I ran into one unexpected situation when I opened the package of Peeps. They were attached to each other and so there were little uncovered spots of marshmallow left showing when I took the Peeps apart.
1 c sliced cooked or canned carrots
3 T. water or liquid from canned carrots
1 c. vegetable oil
1-2 c. sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 T. vanilla
2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, very well drained (opt.)
1/2 c. flaked coconut (opt.)
1/2 c. chopped pecans or walnuts (opt.)
1 c. flaked coconut (double this if making both halves.)
green food color
1 pkg. bunny Peeps (12)
mini candy Easter eggs of your choice
White Chocolate Frosting (recipe below)
Place carrots and water or liquid in a food processor and blend until smooth. Place in the bowl for an electric mixer. Add sugar, vegetable oil and beat until blended. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Mix to combine. Add to carrot mixture and mix until smooth. Pour batter into a foil-lined 9x13-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cake cool. Meanwhile make the frosting. Add green food color to the coconut and mix well. set Set aside. Cut cake in half, making two 4 1/2x13-inch halves. Frost half of cake. Sprinkle the coconut around the bottom of the cake and along the two long top edges. Insert one end of a toothpick into a bunny Peep. Insert the other end of the toothpick into the center of one end of the cake. Repeat to make a line of bunny Peeps along the center of the cake. You will need six or seven. Use six if you want one package of Peeps to make two cakes. Randomly place mini candy Easter eggs among the coconut grass. Proudly share and slice between bunnies to serve. Makes 6 to 7 servings. You may either make another Bunny Trail cake with the second half of the original cake or freeze it to use later.
White Chocolate Frosting (adapted from Food.com)
half an 11 oz. pkg. (scant 1 cup) white chocolate chips, melted and slightly cooled
1 c. butter, very soft
1 t. vanilla
2 to 2 1/2 c. sifted powdered sugar
1-3 T. heavy cream or half-and-half, if necessary
Melt white chocolate chips according to directions on the package, beating until smooth. Add butter and vanilla and beat with an electric mixer or wire whisk until smooth. Stir in sifted powdered sugar. Add cream or half-and-half if necessary, beating until well blended.
Next month's ingredients are strawberries and cream cheese. Come join in the fun next month. Just visit Sheryl's Dessert Challenge page to find out how.
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