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Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

carrot cake with cream cheese frostingCommunity meeting training dinner, 3/20/13

Carrots don’t make it health food, but they do add some vitamins.

Cake:

  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 cups grated carrots (from 5-6 large carrots)

Frosting:

  • 8 oz cream cheese or 1/3-less fat cream cheese (neufchatel cheese), softened
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

Cake:
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9×13 pan.

In a large bowl, combine oil, white sugar, and brown sugar. Mix well. Add eggs, applesauce, and vanilla, and mix thoroughly to combine.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add this flour mixture to the wet ingredients in the other bowl and stir until just combined. Add carrots and mix to combine.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake 30-35 minutes, until cake springs back when lightly poked and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Frosting:
In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and butter. Using an electric mixer, combine thoroughly. Add sugar and vanilla and beat until completely combined. Spread over cooled cake.

Serves 24.

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photo (2)Chocolate Yogurt Cake

Community training session dinner, 2/6/13

This simple cake doesn’t need a mixer. You can make a loaf cake, a sheet cake, or even layers – try frosting them with this cream cheese frosting.

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (or use vanilla and see changes below)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (3/4 cup if using vanilla yogurt)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (omit if using vanilla yogurt)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, optional

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9×9″ cake pan, or use two 8″ round cake pans, or one loaf pan.

In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.

In a separate bowl, combine yogurt, sugar, vanilla, and eggs. Mix well. Add yogurt mixture to the flour mixture and stir gently until just combined.

Add oil and fold in: place the spatula in the center of the bowl so the edge hits the bottom. Slide the spatula under the batter, up the side of the bowl, and then flip the batter you just scooped into the middle. Continue this motion, turning the bowl to get all sides, until the oil is fully incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared pan(s), then sprinkle with chocolate chips, if using. Bake until cake springs back when gently poked and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean: 15-20 minutes for 8″ rounds, 22-27 minutes for 9″ square, and 40-55 minutes for loaf.

Fruit, Yogurt, and Cake Parfaits

Community meeting training session, 11/14/12

These easy parfaits are a great way to use fresh or frozen fruits with any crumbly, not-so-pretty cake you might have.

For each parfait:

  • 1 small slice cake (such as Yogurt Pound Cake)
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen and thawed fruit, any kind

Cut or break the slice of cake in half. In a small bowl or glass, layer half the cake, then 1/4 cup yogurt, then 1/2 cup fresh fruit. Repeat layers with remaining cake, yogurt, and fruit.

Winter Squash (Pumpkin Spice) Angel Food Cake

Committee meeting working lunch, 9/6/12

Garden training picnic, 9/19/12

This light, airy cake becomes perfect for fall with the addition of pumpkin or squash and fall spices.

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup cooked squash puree (you can use canned pumpkin, or any winter squash roasted and mashed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups egg whites (about 12 whites)
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white sugar

Preheat oven to 350.

In a small bowl, combine flour and powdered sugar. Whisk or sift together to combine well. In a separate small bowl, combine squash or pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set both bowls aside.

In a very large bowl, use an electric mixer to begin beating the egg whites. When they get foamy, add the cider vinegar, vanilla, and salt. Continue to beat until whites are no longer clear, then gradually add the white sugar. Beat until shiny stiff peaks form.

Dust the flour mixture over the egg whites and gently fold in, using a spatula to cut down to the bottom center of the bowl, then slide up the side and fold the mixture over. Repeat this folding motion, turning the bowl to get all sides, until no flour streaks are visible.

Add the squash mixture to the batter and repeat the same gentle folding in motion, until fully incorporated.

Gently spoon into an ungreased tube pan or angel food cake pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until cake springs back when gently poked. Invert the cake pan on a rack or a stand that keeps the cake off the table. Allow to cool completely while upside down before removing from pan and serving.

Serves 10-12.

Beet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Community training dinner, 6/19/12

This cake is a lot like carrot cake, except pinker. It’s a great new way to use beets straight from the garden or farmers market.

Cake:

  • about 1 lb beets, approximately 4 medium
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk

Frosting:

  • 8 oz cream cheese or 1/3-less fat cream cheese (neufchatel cheese), softened
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

Cake:
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9×13 pan.

Wash and peel beets. Using a large grater, grate the beets to make 2 cups grated beets. Be careful about your clothes – beet juice stains (the stains are a great color, but they’re hard to get out).

In a large bowl, combine white and brown sugars, oil, and eggs. Mix thoroughly. Add the grated beets and stir to combine.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Add 1/3 of this flour mixture to the beet mixture and stir. When combined, add half of the milk and stir in. Add another addition of flour and mix, then the rest of the milk and mix, and finally the rest of the flour. Mix until no dry spots remain.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake 30-35 minutes, until cake springs back when lightly poked and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Frosting:
In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and butter. Using an electric mixer, combine thoroughly. Add sugar and vanilla and beat until completely combined. Spread over cooled cake.

Serves 24.