Thursday, September 9, 2010

Carrot Cake (For A Birthday)

My youngest turns TWO today! Of course I'm happy to see him growing and thriving, but I'm also grasping onto whatever "babyness" that's still left. I promised myself I would hang up my (pregnancy) boots with this one. While I love being a mother, I am terrified of pregnancy and childbirth. God knows how many times I muttered to myself, "What on earth were you thinking?!" whenever a tidal wave of nausea hit.


My last pregnancy was the hardest ... backaches, constant fatigue, creaky bones ... all the same discomforts of my first two pregnancies, magnified by a hundred. It was the surest sign of ageing. Gulp.

Now, back to the birthday boy. Since he is still too young to say "I want a chocolate cake, with lots of cream and decorated with Oreos", I baked the cake that I wanted to try for a long time - Carrot Cake!

Thank you, Leon and R for this beautiful Narumi serving set. I adore it!!!

The recipe comes from Smitten Kitchen (which was recommended by Zurin). The only difference was, I omitted the maple syrup for my cream cheese frosting. Instead, I used cream cheese, icing sugar and whipping cream. And it was lovely cake - moist enough but still fluffy. We all enjoyed it.

For the Cake
(from Smitten Kitchen )

- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger (I omitted)
- 2 cups sugar (I reduced to 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 1/4 cups canola oil
- 4 large eggs
- 3 cups grated peeled carrots
- 1 cups coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
- 1/2 cup raisins (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 175 degree celsius.

2. Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in medium bowl to blend. Whisk sugar and oil in large bowl until well blended. Whisk in eggs 1 at a time. Add flour mixture and stir until blended. Stir in carrots, walnuts and raisins, if using them.

3. Butter two 9-inch-diameter cake pans. Line bottom of pans with waxed paper. Butter and flour paper; tap out excess flour. Divide the batter between the prepared pans, and bake the layers for about 40 minutes each, or until a tester inserted into center comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans 15 minutes. Turn out onto racks. Peel off waxed paper; cool cakes completely.

For Cream Cheese Frosting
(my own estimate, sufficient for the single layer of frosting as seen in photos)
- 50g cream cheese, softened
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- Whipping cream, pour as you whisk together with the cream cheese and icing sugar, until you get a spreadable consistency

4. To assemble a carrot layer cake, frost the top of one cake, place the other cake on top and press slightly. Dust the top with icing sugar.

Birthday pressie from me - a toy microphone with karaoke function (that was quickly hijacked by his older sister and brother).

"I get first dibs!"

To my son: Happy birthday, my darling! My wish for you is, and will always be, the same - 平安健健.


  1. I have tears..he is so cute:) Great pics mommy and great cake..:)x

  2. oh your prince is so cute! Will become a handsome man soon! :) Enjoy the cake!!

  3. Happy Birthday, little one! Aww, beautiful pictures, Ju. The cake looks divine :) Hope you all had a wonderful day!

  4. Nothing beats home-bake birthday cake specially from mother. You are doing great Ju!Through the lines,I can feel your maternal TLC you have for your children.Keep up your great work!加油!
    Happy birthday to your prince!

  5. Happy birthday to your boy! What a handsome boy.. :)

    Your carrot cake with frosting looks good, simple and neat. thumbs up!

  6. happy birthday! we are a house of carrot cake lovers and it is on my list for the weekend! enjoy the terrific twos!

  7. Aw he's darling! Carrot cake is a fav of mine and I like that it's likely not as sweet as most layer cakes because you only frost the middle.

  8. Happy Birthday- so cute.

    I had that same wish every year for my monkeys birthday- for them to stay the same.

  9. Oh there is nothing like a little boy! He looks even more delicious than the cake. And the cake looks really delicious!

    He still has that baby neck to kiss and nuzzle...
    very yummy spots IMHO!

    Happy Birthday!

  10. Awww... what a lucky child. :) And you're welcome, Ju. We're really glad the serving set can be put to good use, and in no lesser hands than those of The Little Teochew!

  11. Cake looks great and Happy Birthday to your boy!

  12. Happy Birthday to your lovely boy!

    And yummy-looking cake too...

  13. Hi Ju, Happy 2nd Birthday to your youngest child. And what a lovely carrot cake. Will try this recipe out, the next time when I want a carrot cake :) Thanks for sharing this great cake :)

  14. aww - bless. My little one is two next month. Why do they have to grow up so fast ? He's a little cutie.

    Oliver ADORES carrot cake with a passion. I don't think I'll have a choice next month :-)

    Happy birthday Littlest Teochew from all of us xx

  15. Happy birthday to your handsome princess, the cake looks yummy too.

  16. Happy birthday to your little cute boy! Love the cake and the chili and tomato prawns too Ju!

  17. Happy Birthday to your beautiful boy!
    I adore carrot cake, yours looks wonderful!

  18. Hi Ju. Your little boy is so cute! ...and the carrot cake looks so delicious! Will you make me a cake for my birthday too? : P

  19. Happy Birthday to your son, Ju :) You're fantastic! I'm looking forward to trying it out.

  20. He's very cute. Happy birthday!
    Your cake looks so moist and delicious.
    Looked at your little boy, licking his finger. He'll be very quick to learn how to ask you bake him more desserts. :)

  21. Happy Birthday to your youngest :)...what a happy and lucky family.

  22. Happy Birthday to the little one and congratulations to you!
    I understand the constant grieving and pleasure of the last baby growing up!

  23. OH-MY-WORD! Your son is so cute that HE actually distracted me from the lack of frosting on that yummy, moist cake! LOL!! Happy birthday to him! He is so precious.

    That cake looks amazing, but it seriously needs more frosting LOL! I obviously have a much sweeter tooth than you hehe.

  24. Happy Belated Birthday to your lovely son!! Your carrot cake looks wonderful!

  25. Hi Ju,
    Very nice carrot cake you have. You should truly try frosting the cake. I really have confidence that you can frost a cake very well as you really can produce very beautiful foods! I'm sure your boy is happy with any bakes you made for him! I wish him a happy belated birthday.

  26. AWWWWWWWWWWWWWW he looks SO GROWN UP in the shirt! so mature and not babyish at all. Certainly much more mature than when I saw him at the Gardens. happy birthday to your little 2 year old. My youngest grandkid is 3. I feel so old.

    Gosh I almost forgot I made this cake.i had to click on the link to recall if I ever baked this cake. THAT is age catching up on me... I dont know whether to laugh or to cry. thing I was good (the cake)

  27. Happy Birthday to your little one! Yummo cake too. But wasn't it just last month you blogged about his first birthday? Didn't u or am I mistaken?

  28. Hi Ju,

    I like to find out the kind of measuring cup that u are using. Is it a American one or the Australian one? I don't own one coz most of the time I select recipe that uses grams =( Hope you can help me so I can go look for a measuring cup to buy coz ur recipe looks too delicious not to try

  29. Thanks so, so much, friends! I really appreciate your lovely comments and well wishes.

    Angie: American (standard) measuring cup. I didn't know there was an Australian version! It's just that the original recipe was in cups, and so I left it be. I always convert using this site's converter, cos I am more comfortable baking in grams too:

  30. He is SO SO cute!! How sweet. What a lovely cake! A lucky boy he is!

  31. What a cuty he is!! A lovely boy!!

    Your Happy Bithday carrot cake looks magnificent!


  32. Hey:)
    i absolutely love your cake recipes, they always come out flawless! just wondering if this recipe is done all by hand? the whisking & stirring etc? like muffins? thanks so much for spreading your love of baking/cooking:)

  33. Hi Lauren, thanks for your compliments. Yes, all done by hand. :)

  34. Chance upon ur site while searching for a carrot cake recipe. I made 12 large cupcakes with ur recipe and cut down the sugar for the cream to 1.5cup. This is My very first attempt and they turn out great! Thanks for sharing! Will try ur other recipe soon ...