Here is my present to the Easter Bunny: A spectacularly delicious Carrot Cake with Almond Cream and cute little flowers made from sliced almonds and candy covered chocolate eggs (you could use M&Ms too. It’s really moist, very carrot-y, not too sweet and very flavorful. Came out great and I am actually really pleased. The photos aren’t so great, because I had to take them early in the morning. The cake was a present for a friend and I needed to deliver it early this morning before prime “photography time”. 🙂
for the cake
1 pound carrots
3 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon orange zest
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup almond meal
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
For the frosting
1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup almond meal
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pound confectioners’ sugar
For the decoration
3 cups sliced almonds (some of which should be “intact slices” for the petals
20 or so colorful M&M or Hershey’s Easter Eggs
Preheat the oven to 350F. Generously grease (or use cooking spray) your pan. I used a 9-inch spring form pan.
Rinse the carrots and peel the rough skins off, then grate the carrots.
Place the carrots, buttermilk, oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and orange zest together in a bowl and whisk thoroughly. In another bowl whisk the flour, almond meal, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Fold the flour mixture into the carrot mixture, being sure not to overmix.
Scoop into cake pan about to about 3/4 full and bake for 80 to 90 minutes at 350F, testing after 75 minutes to see if a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 30 minutes before taking the cake out of the spring form pan and allow to fully cool on a wire rack.
For the frosting, cream the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the almond meal and fully incorporate. Add sugar little by little (don’t add all at once as it might be too much) and beat until smooth.
When the cake is cool, cut in half vertically and frost between the two; then frost the outside. Reserve about 50-60 mostly intact almost slices and then using the rest, decorate around the outside (leave the top clear). To make the “flowers”, place 5-6 almond slices in a small circle for the petals and place a candy in the middle.