Thursday, July 3, 2014

Easter Bird's Nest Carrot Cake

My mom sent me this recipe when I was prepping the menu to host Easter this year.
I was skeptical about carrot cake with milk chocolate buttercream - but it works!
I was a little nervous about how complicated it look, but it turned out to be delicious and really not that hard to reproduce!
yield: 1 triple layer 8" cake

for cake
2C flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¾C sugar
¾C brown sugar
3 eggs
1 ½C vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
2C grated carrots
1C crushed pineapple

for milk chocolate buttercream
2C butter, room temperature
14C powdered sugar
1C milk
4 tsp vanilla
10oz bag milk chocolate chips

for garnish
peanut m&ms

  1. for cake: Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Grease three 8" cake pans (or do 1 at a time, use what you have!).
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl; set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together sugars, eggs, oil, and vanilla on medium speed until smooth.
  5. Gradually add flour and spice mixture until well combined.
  6. With mixer on low speed, add carrots and pineapple.
  7. Split batter into three parts and pour into prepared pans.
  8. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Let cool completely.
  10. for buttercream: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter, 7 cups of powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla.
  11. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy, ~5 minutes.
  12. Gradually add remaining powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating for about 2 minutes after each addition.
  13. Beat on medium-high speed for 5 minutes.
  14. Spread a layer of buttercream icing between each layer of cake as you stack your three layers.
  15. When the top layer has been stacked, cut a circle about 4" in diameter in the center.
  16. Using a small spatula, lift out the circle to set aside.
  17. Apply frosting around the remains of the top layer and inside the nest.
  18. Finish dirty icing the entire cake.
  19. Set in the fridge to cool before applying the finished layer of frosting. 
  20. After 30 minutes in the fridge, apply a final coat of frosting.
  21. Smooth out the frosting around the entire cake.
  22. Fill a piping bag with the rest of the milk chocolate buttercream.
  23. Using a #4 tip, pipe lines in random directions and random lengths.
  24. Start piping inside the nest and work your way to the outside top of the cake.
  25. Once your nest has been completed, fill next with your "Easter eggs".
  26. Enjoy!

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