Monday, February 27, 2012

Moist Carrot Cake w/ Coconut Milk Magic Frosting & A Giveaway!

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The Harried Cook turned ONE yesterday!
As you may know, I started this blog as a way to chronicle my recipes for my little girl as well. She was only sixteen months old when I started and now she recognizes my blog when she sees it, knows which pictures are of "mommy's num-num". She has even started 'helping' around the kitchen - which usually means sticking her hands into the flour or dropping an egg on the floor - and through it all she chants, "I can cook, mommy. I can cook!" She's her mommy's daughter for sure! And who knows - she may even guest post for me on The Harried Cook's next birthday! :)

When I look back over the year, I am truly amazed - at how much I have learned, how many wonderful people I have met, how much I have drooled over all your fabulous food and most of all at how many friends I have made. This year has been a year of highs and lows for me, and I even took a blog break when I had to move house. You have no idea how touched and happy I was to have people emailing me just to check how I was doing and to see if we had found a home yet!

I am grateful for each and every one of you that has visited, commented, emailed, written on my Facebook wall or more recently, pinned one of my pictures. You have brightened so many of my days!

And thank you to my husband for the gorgeous blog anniversary roses! I love them!

For my blog anniversary, I baked the most amazing, moistest carrot cake and paired it with a coconut milk frosting that I came up with for a baking workshop I conducted around Christmas time. This was the exact recipe I taught at the workshop. I promised in my Christmas cookies post that I would share it with you, and here it is!
This cake is so delicious! I have been using this recipe for years and years and it has NEVER failed me. It is a very popular recipe and I know many people who use it and are very happy with it. The seemingly out-of-place pineapple and coconut contribute to make it an amazingly moist cake.

For the frosting recipe, I took inspiration from the Pioneer Woman's best frosting recipe. It is an easy and very fool-proof recipe. One of my friends (who also gave me this beautiful cake platter for my birthday - THANK YOU, Mousie :) :) I love it!!!)), dubbed this frosting 'Magic Frosting' and the name has stuck. I adapted the recipe to include coconut milk and coconut extract and it was just brilliant with the carrot cake. And if a sworn coconut hater can say so, you can take my word for it!

Moist Carrot Cake
Adapted from Food.com
Ingredients
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp coconut extract (optional)
2 1/2 cups grated carrot
1 cup freshly grated coconut
1 can (8oz) crushed pineapple, drained

Method
1. Preheat oven to 180C or 350F. Grease and flour cake tin. I used an 8" round pan for this recipe.
2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon powder & grated nutmeg. Set aside.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, coconut extract and vanilla until light.
4. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the oil mixture. Stir well until combined and smooth.
5. Add the grated carrot, coconut and crushed pineapple and mix well to incorporate.
6. Pour into prepared tin and bake for 45-60 minutes until the center is set and the cake is golden brown. I would check on the cake after 40 minutes of baking.
7. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Coconut Milk Magic Frosting
Adapted from Pioneer Woman's recipe
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
7 1/2 tsp all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 cups castor sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp coconut extract (optional)

Method
1. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the coconut milk and flour and whisk until smooth and not lumpy.
2. On low-medium heat, cook while stirring continuously until the mixture is thick and glossy. This will take about 5 minutes.
3. Set aside until completely cooled. It should not be even slightly warm.
4. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and castor sugar with an electric mixer (or in your stand mixer) until light.
5. Add the completely cooled coconut-flour mixture and the extracts.
6. Beat on medium-high speed. Don't panic if the mixture starts to look curdled or 'separated'. Just keep beating on high speed until it comes together. And it will.
7. Keep beating until the mixture has the texture of whipped cream and the sugar has completely dissolved.
8. Use on the same day or store in the fridge for up to three days. (I haven't tried keeping it longer or freezing it, but I don't see why that wouldn't work)

I have never been very good at the artistic stuff. These are supposed to be buttercream roses. I hope they don't look like random swirls.

This a magical combination.


Really. Truly. Take my word for it.

Now for the giveaway!

As a way to say "Thank you!", I would like to share one of my favorite cookbooks with you. If you've been around me long enough, you must know how much I love Alton Brown. So, I would like to giveaway one copy of his book 'I'm just here for the food' as a token of my love and appreciation to the readers of The Harried Cook.
It is only a small gesture, I know, but it is from my heart!

To enter this giveaway, just leave me a comment telling me which is your favorite recipe on my blog. Do you like these Rocky Road Cupcakes or do these Walnut Muffins make you drool? Is your sweet tooth craving some Red Velvet Ice Cream or would you rather have these savory Coconut Sesame Prawns? Just leave a comment and let me know - and that's all you need to do!

For additional entries, you can
- Like my Facebook page
Pin one of the images of the cake in this post
- Subscribe to The Harried Cook by email or by RSS feed

Don't forget to leave separate comments to let me know you've done each of these things! That's a total of four entries per person. You have till 10 PM (GMT) on March 5th to enter.

This giveaway is open to anyone, anywhere. A random winner will be chosen using Random.org and announced on March 6th in an announcement post.

Please note: As you may have already heard, Google Friend Connect is being withdrawn from March 1st. So if you are following me on GFC and would like to continue receiving updates from The Harried Cook, I would recommend subscribing via email or subscribing to my RSS feed

Thanks again for all your support! I love you all!

Now go bake this cake, you hear?

Disclaimer: This giveaway is sponsored by me and me alone. Alton Brown does not even know I exist. Sigh!


***GIVEAWAY CLOSED***
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97 comments:

Three Cookies said...

Both the cake and frosting sound unique and very delicious. 

Charis B said...

The Fudgy bacon brownies with Nutella has to be my fav!

Ola said...

How lovely decorated!

Life and
travelling


Cooking

ping kay said...

This is just wonderful! Happy Bloggyversary! I am totally intrigued by the addition of coconut in the cake as well as the use of coconut milk in the frosting. I know for sure the frosting is a keeper as I've made it myself using Pioneer Woman's recipe as well. Best frosting ever! I'm not a fan of carrot cake but this definitely has got my attention, esp the coconut milk frosting! Fantastic!

raquel@eRecipe.com said...

Elegant and gorgeous cake. Yummy and delicious! =)

Amanda . said...

Yay! I am truly touched. 

And this carrot looks SO delicious and so moist and full of warm nutmeg goodness. I've loved carrot cake all the years of my life! It's always been my favorite. I have not, however, liked coconut anything. But this looks like I might make an exception. :) I have to try some!
Great job with the super-pro frosting skills. I think this could be a killer wedding cake!

Kajal said...

Marsha, I love how beautiful the frosting looks! Been meaning to experiment with the rose frosting and your post certainly inspires me to get me moving :) ooh, and also, happy birthday, The Harried cook! May you have many many more!

My fav recipe is the spinach and bacon quiche! hands down! Any day! :)

Kristen said...

I think my fav was your mango marscapone cheesecakes....yummers!

However, that carrot cake is gorgeous.  What a great frosting.  It's a good departure from the normal cream cheese.

elisabeth@foodandthrift said...

Happy Blogaversary, Marsha!
Your carrot cake with the gorgeous swirled frosting is MAGICAL, and totally droolworthy, delicious. The cake platter is really pretty...it compliments the amazing cake so much:DDD
I love Alton Brown, he is like a scientist when he enters the kitchen. Must be a great book!

Galexicupcakes said...

My favorite recipe is the Pomegranate Pound cake..I've made it twice for our church pot luck!! But now, I think this carrot cake is my new favorite!!  Congratulations Marsha!! xoxo

jennifurla said...

the frosting, oh the swirls!  LOVE

Zippora Madhukar said...

beautiful, beautiful frosting! Amazing work Marsh - for someone who claims you're not creative, this is a beauty! :)

Ambika Viswanathan said...

Such a gorgeous cake! And the frosting is so pretty and looks delish! Love this post!! I love the loaded caramel ice cream on your blog! I love caramel and that sounds super tasty!

Kankana said...

are you kiddin me here ? I think that frosting looks perfect and clearly like roses! Also the cake sounds delicious and clearly shows how moist it would be. 

claire said...

My favorite are the fudgy bacon brownies!

Rachel {Mother's Mementos} said...

Marsha - This cake is beyond beautiful!  I love the rose piping.  Carrot cake is one of my favorites and I can only imagine how delicious this coconut frosting is!  Yum!  This may very well be my favorite recipe.  :)

Biren @ Roti n Rice said...

Happy Blogiversary Marsha! How sweet of your hubby to buy you roses for your blog anniversary :)

Your carrot cake looks so moist and delicious! I must say the frosting is rather unique. I will have to give it a try one of these days. Great work at decorating the cake! I have never done one like that before and I don't know if I can. It's beautiful!

amy beth marantino said...

Red Velvet Ice Cream  just became my favorite... i am going to try it tomorrow as it sounds awesome

amy beth marantino said...

I Subscribe to The Harried Cook by RSS feed in google reader

Jill Colonna said...

Marsha,
What a fabulous cake to share with us on your anniversary. Congratulations, my friend. This coconut frosting sounds a wonderful accompaniment to such a moist carrot cake - and I adore your rose swirls. I'm already following you here, twitter and on facebook since I've always been your fan! I loved your strawberries and cream mousse pie that you did for me on MaM for an amazing guest post.
Looking forward to your cute daughter dropping the eggs in to the 2nd anniversary cake next year!

Helene Dsouza said...

 I d say this carrot cake is my favourite dish on your blog. I am such a carrot cake addict and yours looks so nice moist. My jaw dropped open when I saw your perfect frosting. what an art piece!

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

My favorite is Coconut Sesame Prawns and that's because I made the recipe and loved it (I forgot if I told you?).  This carrot cake looks beautiful!  I love your roses!

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Already follow you on Facebook.

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Pinned your first photo.

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Already subscribing via email!

Lizzy Do said...

What a fabulous cake!!!!  Your recipe is very similar to what I use, but I love the addition of coconut extract and your icing looks amazing!!!! I have trouble piping a swirl :/ Since carrot cake is my absolute favorite, I'm taking the easy way out and saying THIS post is featuring my favorite recipe of yours.

PS...your hubby is so sweet!  Maybe I should start dropping hints about my upcoming blog anniversary to mine???

Lizzy Do said...

I'm a facebook fan!

Lizzy Do said...

I am pinning this stunning cake!!!

Lizzy Do said...

I will make sure you're in my RSS feed :)

Kitchen Belleicious said...

oh that is the prettiest most beautiful and delicious looking cake I have ever seen! That frosting is just calling my name, begging me to lick it all up! Love this

Mary said...

This frosting sounds heavenly. I have a carrot cake recipe that I truly love, but I've been wanting to try a pineapple variation. I just saved this one to try soon!

Sandra's Easy Cooking said...

Happy blogoversery! What a wonderful looking cake Marsha..and tasty too! I love your presentation and your photos! I can't wait until your girl guest post here:) 
I am pinning this for sure!!!!

Sandra's Easy Cooking said...

I like you on facebook!!!

Oneperfectbite said...

What a gorgeous cake. It sounds delicious and it was a perfect recipe to feature on your first anniversary. Congratulations! I hope to visit here for years to come.Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Free Spirit Eater said...

What an absolutely gorgeous cake!! You truly outdid yourself with this one, wow!! It's almost a shame to bite into, but with a moist carrot cake inside, it would be a shame to NOT dig in! Awesome giveaway, I'm a huge Alton Brown fan, thanks for hosting! =] 

The Café Sucré Farine said...

Wow! This is a gorgeous and delicious looking cake, how fun it would be to sit with you and chat over a cup of coffee and a BIG piece of this! Happy Anniversary!  I'm so happy to have met you and your blog!
My blog has a one year anniversary this week, as well! We could celebrate together!

Janakitchen said...

Se ve impresionante!!
Que rico :D
Un besito linda
http://janakitchen.blogspot.com

Erin @ Making Memories said...

Your cake looks absolutely delicious!!!

Manu said...

Happy 1 year blogiversary Marsha!!! <3  

I LOVE all your recipes, but I have a soft spot for your Loaded Caramel Ice cream... I LOVE caramel!!! 
This cake looks amazing!!! :-)

Manu said...

I have pinned a picture from this amazing cake!

Manu said...

Liking you on Facebook... can't believe I hadn't done that already!!! <3

Lisa said...

WOAH..what a stunner of a carrot cake..the roses are perfect!  I wish someone would make me a cake like that!  The frosting sounds wicked..bookmarking this now!

That said, yes, I know..the story just keeps going, but there's just so many details I can't leave out, plus I'm reliving it - it's kind of nice.  You'll love Part 7!!

Reem | Simply Reem said...

Such gorgeous cake....
Congrats on 1st anniversary of your blog....
Beautiful post and I am sure ur daughter is going to cherish this blog for years n years ...
Congrats once again and  I love the cake.

Kimby said...

Marsha, congratulations on your blog anniversary!  What a year it's been, eh?  Your cake is absolutely GORGEOUS and it was genius to use coconut milk in the frosting!  My favorite recipe(s) are your lemon-lime meringue pie and Gooey Cake, and I thank you for celebrating with a giveaway -- you know how I feel about Alton. :) 

Kimby said...

I already subscribe to your blog via e-mail.

Kimby said...

I like you on Facebook!

Tara said...

 whoa that is one pretty cake... i would love something like this for my wedding! i've been reading your blog for a while now, and my favorite recipe so far is the brownies with bacon. yummers!

Erin said...

First things first.  This cake look amazing!  I love the roses, they are incredible!! 
My favorite thing...where to start!  I will go with the red velvet pancakes with white chocolate chips.  I still need to make those!

Erin said...

I like you on facebook

Suzanne Platt said...

Congrats on your blog birthday!  You have many lovely looking recipes but the walnut muffins are catching my eye. but this cake is fabulous looking plus I like carrot cake and with coconut frosting you can't for wrong.

feedthebf said...

Oh my goodness!  This cake looks to die for =)  Happy blog anniversary!

Kiri W. said...

Wow, that icing job is amazing! Looks utterly delicious and indulgent :)

Motherrimmy said...

Happy, happy blog anniversary! It's so darling that your daughter is cooking with you. I adore carrot cake - I wish I was celebrating with you. :)

Preethika said...

This is a beautiful and delicious cake. I love the roses. very lovely! Thank you for the giveaway...  My favotite on ur blog is the mango cheesecake!

Michelle Pais said...

what a gorgeous cake! I've been looking for a good carrot cake recipe and I think I may have found one. Thank you so very much. you have a beautiful blog.

Sheryl Warren said...

congrats! I love your homemade boursin recipe. I have made it a few times and it tastes really close to the real thing.

Lenroy Yeung said...

Very nice post, I enjoy reading this post.Thanks for sharing. I will keep come back to this site.

by http://www.bedroomchecker.com/articles

Baker Street said...

The cake is so gorgeous, I would almost think twice before cutting a slice for anyone. Lol. 

Victoria at Flavors of the Sun said...

What absolutely beautiful frosting--how can you create something like that and call yourself the "harried" cook?  It looks like it took ages to make--or it would have if I had attempted it.  I feel so inspired.  
Thank you so much!

Anju said...

I can say that I've had a piece of this cake (the actual one in the picture) and I loved it!! The frosting was perfect too! A good use for carrots, right doc? ;)

Gina said...

I'm not sure why but the prawns are calling my name at the moment.

Gina said...

Don't worry he doesn't know I exist either, lol.

Nancy/SpicieFoodie said...

Happy blogaversarry Marsha! What a lovely way to celebrate, it looks gorgeous. Cheers to another year!! Thanks for participating in the YBR. 

Stacy Wiebe said...

Lovely. Do you use the coconut extract, or do you omit it? I love the cozy space you've created here, so warm and inviting. P.S. I liked you on FB.

Priya Sreeram said...

hearty congrats on the anniversary; wishes for many more such cherished milestones.loved the awesome frosting on this decadent looking cake.Will love to be a part of the give away & many thanks. Personally the rock road cupcake is still on the top of my to try-out list. 

Priya Sreeram said...

I already like your FB page

Priya Sreeram said...

I subscribe to your feeds by email too; cheers

Roxana Greengirl said...

My dear friend Marsha, also known as the Harried cook
Please buy yourself a pair of glasses, those random swirls, as you call them, look like perfect buttercream roses from where I stand!
Sincerely,
Roxana

p.s. Happy Blog-anniversary!

Cajungourmet said...

I'm following you on Pinterest & also just subscribed to your newsletter.  I love following food blogs.
I love the SPINACH & BACON QUICHE !  I used a mixture of mexican cheddar pepper jack  blend & some grated gouda  cheese.  DELISH

Magali said...

wow, this cake looks beautiful and I  can´t wait to taste the frosting, thanks for sharing

Geraldine said...

What a splendid looking cake! Love this and your rocky road muffins and pretty pink pomegranate cake! Great giveaway...

Magic of Spice said...

Happy Blog Anniversary! Your cake is just stunning, and yes I noticed right away that they are roses :) Truly beautiful! And so sweet of your husband for the roses :)
I already follow you everywhere...I am just always late :) Lovely giveaway :)

Joan Hayes said...

This cake sounds wonderful, I love adding coconut to cakes and cookies, adds just that special something! 

Michele Gerhard said...

Love this cake - it's actually very close to my grandmother's recipe, so I feel a sentimental attchment to it as well. As for the frosting - totally new to me, and I'm really looking forward to trying it! Like almost everyone I know, I'm a huge fan of The Pioneer Woman... every recipe of hers I've tried so far has been perfect, without exception!
I took a short tour, and I've decided your Coconut-Sesame Prawns recipe is my favorite! Thank you!

Allison said...

I've just found your blog via Chocolate, Chocolate, and more Chocolate's post on facebook. So far I'm quite the fan. Love the roses on this cake. I think I'm going to have a lot of fun diving into your recipes. Happy Blogaversary! 

Amy Stafford Malik said...

I like the idea of the carrot cake with a coconut frosting. I always put cocunt and pineapple in my carrot cake, but the novel flavor in the icing will confuse people wanting the traditional cream cheese and dress up the treat. 
Thanks!

Amy Stafford Malik said...

I like the idea of the carrot cake with the updated coconut frosting. I always use pineapple and coconut in my carrot cake and the new icing flavor is a good twist that will confuse and delight all consumers.  I can't wait to try it.  

mary fanara coleman said...

Rocky Road cupcakes for me.

Basilmomma said...

I really love your Boursin!i have made it twice :)
This cake is absolutely beautiful! Great job!

Seema said...

Hi HC,
         Love your blog .Your walnut muffins are a big hit with my girls. Whenever they are home from their respective hostels I have these ready for them. I have always baked carrot cakes but this version is truly intriguing. This is going to be my next dessert for the get together i am having this weekent! Will be seeing you on 24th march for the cupcakes!

Shannon Lim said...

wow what a great amazing idea to use coconut milk to frost. I never frost my cake because it's too sweet or fattening. Now I can use coconut milk. Thanks for sharing this idea!
A belated Happy 1st Blogversary! 

Annalizrecipes said...

Wow ! You certainly have my attention with this coconut milk "Magic" frosting , ( never heard of it before) and this combination both coconut and carrot cake  - which I love both !   I have to get on it and try your recipe this weekend.  Happy Anniversary !!   :) 2 sisters recipes

Sawsan@chef in disguise said...

Congratulations on your one year anniversary
My own blog turned one in Feb too, I know the feeling and the experiences you are talking about :)
Wishing you many more years of joyful blogging

Anon (: said...

I will never make this carrot cake again! I probably gained ten pounds in the several times I returned to the fridge for "just one more piece"... Absolutely delicious! Unfortunately, I'll have to hold off on remaking it until I can exercise a little self control lol (:  

Elizabeth said...

I absolutely love the icing detail! 

Anonymous said...

Is it canned coconut milk or Silk brand in the carton?

Anonymous said...

Is it canned coconut milk or Silk brand in the carton? 

theharriedcook said...

I usually reply to questions via email, because then I know my readers get a response, but your email ID doesn't seem to be valid... I hope you see this response...

For this icing, definitely the canned coconut milk. I have never tried Silk brand, but as far as I know, that's more for drinking. You want the kind of coconut milk used for cooking. Thanks for stopping by!

Galexicupcakes said...

Hi Marsha,
Based on your high praise for this cake, I'm going to bake it this weekend for Easter Sunday dessert. I can't wait!
Jackie

Galexicupcakes said...

Marsha,
Could I make two layers of this cake? What do you think? Instead of one  layer.

Sim One said...

I am a senior/dont want to buy flour, sugar, ingredients to bake from scratch being alone
can I do a variation of this cake with a box mix???  I have for choc. banana cakes, etc...but takes
so many tries to get it 'right'
ie:  would it be 1c of carrots/can I still add pineapple?
what would I have to change in the box recipe for the liquid???
sorry for so many questions, but this cake is too die for in the picture
thanx

Eileen said...

This looks lovely and delicious. I'm making cupcakes... how long do you think in the oven for cupcakes instead of one big cake?

Jul1017 said...

can you substitute grated coconut, from Whole Foods, in place of "fresh" grated coconut. If so, do I go with sweetened or unsweetened?

theharriedcook said...

I honestly wouldn't know! I'd have to try doing it myself to see how it turns out. If you've done this before, let me know how you do it! thanks for your kind words! <3

theharriedcook said...

Thanks! I've done these as cupcakes too and they took the usual 25-30 minutes

theharriedcook said...

I haven't done this before, to be honest, but my guess would be thatp you should be able to do

Sylvan said...

PLEASE FIX THIS RECIPE - You write to bake this carrot cake in _an_ 8-inch round cake pan. I'm guessing you meant 2 such sized pans. I tried to bake in a single 8-inch and thought it looked rather full, but trusted it just wouldn't rise much. MISTAKE! Half-way through the baking cycle and there is overflow all over my oven. I don't even know if they'll be anything edible as it's also taking much longer to bake. Please be more careful with your instructions.

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