Saturday, March 22, 2008

Peter Rabbit Carrot Cake: Gluten-Free

Photo: Peter Rabbit Carrot Cake

While I was trawling the Internets for dessert ideas for Easter dinner, I came across this recipe and made some modifications as always. The original was not only chock full of wheat, but it was also a sheet cake with a simple cream cheese frosting. It was delicious looking, but a little boring. I took it several steps further to both create something yummy that is sans gluten and slightly spicier (I do love nutmeg), but I also decided to make it more whimsical with the Peter Rabbit art, which is the frosting version of the Beatrix Potter original. Obviously frosting isn't as forgiving as watercolor, but I did my best. Here 'tis.

Level of Difficulty: Anita with a touch of Jake since there is illustration involved

2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups grated carrots

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Make a paper collar for your springform pan(s) by spraying the bottom and sides with butter Pam, then secure parchment paper on the bottom and sides with the butter Pam (I split this recipe into two 9-inch pans, but you can use one pan and cut the cake in half with dental floss after it cools). Whip sugar, oil, and eggs on high for three minutes. Mix together flour, xanthan gum, salt, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Slowly add to sugar mixture. Switch to a dough hook, add carrots, and mix well. Bake for 25-35 minutes. Cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 stick regular butter, softened
1 package (8 ounce) cream cheese
1 pound powdered sugar minus 1 cup
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
2 teaspoons vanilla

In large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese on high. Reduce speed to medium-low and add sugar and vanilla, then mix in the nuts. Spread in center of layered cooled carrot cake, then the entire top and sides of the cake.

*To create an artistic illustration, buy some basic butter cream frosting in the baking aisle and add some food coloring. Mix small amounts of frosting with various colors (to get brown add all the colors in the box). Spoon a small amount of colored frosting into Ziplock bags and snip a tiny corner off to pipe the frosting through. You can search the Internet high and low for illustrations to copy and either freehand it, or cut out a printed copy and trace on your cake with a toothpick.

**If you are afraid to make this cake because you don't own springform pans, please go ahead and use small round or square pans and grease well.


David & Lisa said...

Impressive! I'm sitting here wondering if I have all the ingredients! Your piping is quite adorable!

Ali-kat said...

I hope you have them, but if not you still have 15 minutes to make it your nearest 24-hour grocery store. You'd better run!!! Hee hee...

Heather said...

Ok I am sitting here in awe right now. How beautiful and beautifully free of the gluten. I shall try out the recipe sometime when we just want some cake. Meadow has got to outgrow this milk allergy so she can eat the delicious cream cheese frosting someday...

Heather said...

P.S. You Rock! :)

Karen B said...

me wanty some yummy cakey

EMama said...

But why would I make it when I can eat yours? Like, for example, for breakfast this morning?

laura said...

Really nice recipe.