So guys... I totally missed my two-year blogaversary. I think I was maybe busy weeping over something not at all sad and fretting over something not at all important. Which, you know, is totally normal for me. Anyway, I'm also a little bit shocked that we've (and I mean it when I say "we" since this blog would be nothing without the kind words I've received from its readers) made it to the two-year mark, and I really can't thank everyone enough who has read this blog, learned from it, commented on it, asked me about it and even just nodded and politely smiled when I mentioned it. It always warms my heart a little bit when someone mentions that I haven't posted a new recipe in a while (Hi George! Thanks George!). It also kind of kicks my butt and reminds me to actually get to it.
I'd like to end this section with a little bit of sap, since we all know I'm dangerously and probably unhealthily obsessed with all things sugar. This blog has been with me through some very trying times, and in some way has pulled me through all of them. Originally I started this thinking that only maybe Sylvapotamus and my Dad would read this thing. Of course, I was wrong, in that while Sylvapotamus is a loyal reader, my Dad kind of hates my blog I think. But I've also reached other people, people who've found this thing all on their own and miraculously enjoyed it. Thank each and every one of you.
Okay now, let's all dry our tears, cowboy up and get to it. The following recipe is one adapted from a recent issue of Better Homes and Gardens, which, truthfully, has bettered both my home and my windowsill (this is our garden for now, please don't judge). Let's talk about Mango Carrot Cake friends!
Mango Carrot Cake (makes one 2-layer cake)
For the cake
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg, optional
1 stick of butter, softened
1 cup of granulated sugar
3/4 cup of refrigerated mango juice blend (I used this ridiculously good Trader Joe's blend, but you can really use any kind you like)
3 cups of shredded carrot (about 3 to 4 large carrots)
For the frosting
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese or Neufchâtel cheese
1/2 stick of butter
2 cups of confectioner's sugar
For the fancy carrot ribbons
1 large carrot
1 bowl ice water
Preheat your oven to 350°F and butter and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.
In a medium-sized bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and nutmeg (if using), and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or using a hand mixer, beat butter on high until fluffy, then gradually add in sugar until combined. With the mixer still going, on medium speed, add in eggs one at a time, until fully incorporated.
Now, alternate between adding the flour mixture and the mango juice into the butter/egg/sugar mixture, beginning and ending with the flour, just until everything is combined. Take it slow, young Jedis. Do NOT over-mix this batter. Fold in your shredded carrots, and divide this thing between your two cake pans.
Send into the oven for 25 minutes, until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with just a few crumbs sticking to it. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely.
Now, let's work on that frosting, which is super easy, by the way. In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat cream cheese until fluffy, then mix in butter until combined, then slowly add in confectioner's sugar until the consistency and taste is exactly how you want it. The end! Wait...not the end... using a rubber spatula, evenly and generously spread over the top of one cake. Then, place other cake on top of this one and enjoy your cake sandwich. No, spread more frosting on top of this cake, and then you can enjoy your cake sandwich.
Now, if you'd like to get super fancy with this thang (and I did since this was an Easter dessert), make some carrot ribbons. Using a vegetable peeler, peel off strands of one carrot, then place in a bowl of ice water for 30 minutes. Drain and dry these completely, then add to the top of your cake and you will have...
YUM-NESS. The mango juice adds just the right amount of sweetness while keeping the cake nice and moist. It's certainly very, very different from your traditional carrot cake, but a must-do if you're looking to try something new, fun and fancy. Me likey all these things.