April 12th sounds like a great day to eat carrot cake, right?
It also sounds like a great day to have a birthday, right?
Well I must be lucky because I get both of those today, a birthday and a carrot cake! (It is also Beverly Cleary’s birthday-she is 100! love her). And the weather in New York has been gorgeous. The only downfall is the streets are filled with a ridiculous amount of people again (where do they all come from!?), but at least my neck of the woods stays pretty chill – except for that new music venue that opened up down the block and that rapper who moved into the old firehouse…
I always think a birthday cake should be representative of the person whose birthday it is. Also maybe where they are in their life? Like when you were 10 and you would get a picture on the cake of your favorite hobby. I guess as an adult it’s different (or not!) – and it’s more about flavor and texture.
I feel like a carrot cake right now.
I contemplated many versions of carrot cake but when I saw this one in Tartine All Day, as I was browsing cookbooks in a book store, I knew it was the one. I loved that it used different flours (like teff flour – which is like a superhero flour) because I think it adds a lot more flavor. I also liked her description of carrot cake being the birthday cake of choice for youngins in Switzerland and England, I thought how perfect for my 29th birthday, my last bit of childhood before I turn 30 next year.
So now that I have my cake it is time to think about one more year of my twenties. Even though forty is the new thirty I still feel like turning thirty is a big deal. So…
a list of 29 before I turn thirty (in no particular order):
- have nice hair (as in don’t cut my own hair anymore and learn how to style it)
- make my bed every morning
- understand physics
- floss everyday
- learn how to use excel spreadsheets (or rather re-learn)
- have a better music collection (help!)
- pray and meditate everyday
- keep in touch with people better
- make a perfect poached egg
- know the difference between whisky, scotch, bourbon and rye and while we are at it maybe red wine too – know more about red wine?
- memorize important phone numbers
- have better phone skills and probably overall better communication skills
- save for retirement (wow I can’t believe I just wrote that)
- master the sewing machine
- finish things that I start
- do more cardio
- figure out what I am doing with my life (AKA-somehow get parents to worry less about me)
- wear silk scarves around neck
- acquire and use airline miles
- read the news more
- know more in general
- get over fear of driving on the highway
- document life better
- know how to cook amazing things by heart
- be less serious because this list is stressing me out and a woman in my Pilates class called me out on being too serious, but I think she meant it in a good way.
- spell better (is it too late for that?)
- be stronger
- be wiser
- be kinder
Confession. I don’t remember the last time I made a layer cake, I am more of a pie, tart and flaky stuff kind-of girl. This is a layer cake. So I did my best, and hope to get better. It tastes freakin awesome though! Also I got a kitchen-aid for my birthday!
It worked like a charm, I love it so much. I feel a lot spoiled and a little bit more like an adult.
recipe only slightly adapted from here
Teff Carrot Cake
1 cup sugar
1 cup coconut sugar (or more sugar but coconut tastes good if you can swing it)
3 large eggs
1/2 cup applesauce
1 ld carrots, peeled and grated
1 cup warmed coconut oil, just so it is liquid
juice of 1 lemon
1 1/4 cup teff flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 cup oat flour
2 tsp cinnamon
grated nutmeg or 1/4 tsp ground
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup toasted and chopped pecans (or walnuts but we like pecans better)
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
6 tbsp butter, room temperature
3 cups confectioners sugar
juice 1 lemon
-pre-heat the oven to 350°F. butter two 9-inch cake pans and put a circle of parchment paper in the bottom. you can also just use one cake pan and do two rounds.
-beat the eggs and sugar with a hand mixer or a stand mixer until thick and light in color, a couple of minutes. you want a ribbon of egg when you take the whisk out. add the applesauce, carrots, coconut oil and lemon and mix well.
-in a separate bowl mix the flours, spices, baking soda and salt. add the flour to the egg mixture with a wooden spoon or spatula. fold in the coconut and pecans.
-pour half into each cake pan (or save half for next round). bake about 35-40 minutes. let the cakes cool about 10 minutes and then invert onto wire racks or plates. let them cool completely before frosting.
-for frosting, mix butter and cream cheese first in a stand mixer or a hand mixer until well combined and then add confectioner’s sugar and lemon and mix until smooth. spread frosting on one cake then place the other on top and spread all over.