Insanely Moist Carrot Cake

First off, I have some exciting news! I had my baby! Jack was born two weeks ago and he is perfect. Check out my other blog for his full birth story
My mom came for a month to help take care of us—for which I am insanely grateful. She left today and I wish she could come back already. She took care of all the cooking so I apologize for not having any new recipes lately. However, she made me an awesome treat for Easter that I wanted to share.
Carrot cake will always remind me of my grandmother. No one else in my family likes carrot cake but me, so she only made it when I was visiting. Sweet carrots, rich cream cheese frosting, and the smile on her face when I took the first bite. Such happy memories. Then my mom burst my bubble few years ago and told me she used a box mix. Oh well, I still cherish those memories. At least she would doctor it up with extra carrots, walnuts, and raisins.
So I asked my mom if she would make me a carrot cake for Easter. She also used a box mix but doctored it up. Now, no offense to late grandmother, but my mom’s cake was AMAZING. Light but insanely moist. Just the right amount of sweetness with light creamy frosting. 
This recipe makes one sheet cake. Because this cake is vegan and does not have eggs, it will not rise significantly. As a result, I would not suggest making this into a layer cake. 
Carrot Cake
Cake
1 box carrot cake mix (check to make sure it is vegan)
1/4 cup applesauce
1 can crushed pineapple in juice
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
Frosting
1 container of vegan cream cheese 
1 cup powder sugar 
Pre-heat the oven to temperature for a sheet cake as specified on the box. 
Spray a baking sheet pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, mix together all the cake ingredients. Use the whole can of pineapple, juice included. 
Bake according the the directions on the box. However, since there are no eggs it may take a bit longer. Adjust the time as needed. Like a regular cake, a toothpick inserted in the middle should be clean when removed.
Once the cake is cooled, make the frosting. Mix together the cream cheese and powder sugar. It will just be a light frosting/glaze. 
Spread on the cake and let it set. 
It’s so insanely moist, I love it. Maybe Jack will take after me and love carrot cake too. Maybe he can have happy memories eating it with his grandma too. And maybe you can bake up this treat and make memories of your own.

Gender Reveal Blueberry Cake

I actually meant to post this like two weeks ago, but life happens (sorry). Anyways, we had the anatomy ultrasound at 19 weeks (I am 21 week now). The baby is looked all healthy, developing correctly, and heartbeat was great. We also found out the gender….we are having a boy! We were hoping for a boy too!

Everyone was betting it was girl, but I had a feeling all along it was my sweet little prince. We decided on the name Jack pretty early on. It is male version of my mom’s name and the name of my father-in-law’s best friend who passed away.  Both our families are very excited too. He is gonna be one very well-loved baby.

So I decided to make a blueberry cake as my gender reveal announcement. I see the ones where people dye cakes half pink and half blue then cut the corresponding color, but I did not want to eat all the artificial dye. Same with the putting blue or pink candy on the inside of a white cake, but again, I didn’t want to eat a bunch of junk.

I did use a both cake mix for this,  I just looked for a one that was vegan and no high fructose corn syrup. I don’t mind using box mixes on occasion and using healthier ingredients to prepare them.

If you were having a girl, you could make this was strawberries or raspberries instead to make it pink. For a gender reveal party, you could frost the cake with white icing then cut into it reveal the berry color. Or if you could just invite people over for dinner and serve the cake without saying anything, and wait till someone asks why a blueberry cake.


Blueberry Cake
Cake:
2 ripe bananas
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 melted coconut oil
1 cup soy milk
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 box yellow cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
1 cup frozen blueberries
Optional glaze:
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 tbs lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Grease desired baking pan with a small amount coconut oil. I used a 13×9 dark metal pan.

In a large bowl, mash the bananas.

Add the cinnamon, coconut oil, and milk. Mix together well.

Add the oatmeal and cake mix. Mix together until it all the flour is incorporated.

Stir in the blueberries.

Pour into your baking pan and smooth out evenly.

I baked for 28 minutes, but you may need to adjust the time for different pan sizes. It is done when the center is firm to touch and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Let it cool completely. If you want frost or decorate it differently, then go right ahead. If you want to make the glaze I did…

Add the blueberries, sugar, water and lemon juice into a small pot and bring to boil.

Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, until some of the liquid has evaporated and the berries are soft.

Let it cool to room temperature.

Pour evenly over the top of the cooled cake.

Now you a healthier blue cake to celebrate your baby boy (or girl if you do strawberries)!

Wedding Reception and Wholesome Chow Cake

In my last post I talked about our wedding. The only guests were my parents and Michael’s Aunt and Uncle—only because I just wanted something simple.  However, the following Saturday we had a luau party at our home. It was a lot of fun and it wonderful to celebrate with the rest of our friends and family. I will post recipes from the BBQ in the next post.

For this post, I will talk about the amazing cake my best friend Amanda made for me (she may be the antagonist of the sushi post story…). Since I usurped her of maid of honor duties by running off to Vegas, I asked if she would make a small cake for Michael and I to cut at the Luau. And of course I requested it be vegan.

She worked at a bakery before, but is not too familiar was vegan baking. So she turned to mix—but not just any mix. Like me, she does not believe in all artificial junk and chemicals that come in most processed foods. She used Wholesome Chow, a certified organic and non-GMO company. It specializes in gluten-free, vegan, and allergen-free baking mixes.

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Amanda made a two-layer round cake, using the Organic Vanilla Cake Mix and Organic Chocolate Cake Mix (each layer was a different flavor). She added soy milk and Earth Balance Original Buttery Spread.

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The mixes came out well, but did not rise as much as she hoped. I forgot to tell her that vegan cakes never will rise as much as traditional cakes. I should have told her to use the Earth Balance Baking Buttery Sticks and to whip more air in than normal (without over mixing the batter), makes the cake a little more fluffy.

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She frosted with the Organic Vanilla Frosting Mix, once again adding Earth Balance. Then she decorated with brown sugar to make it look like sand and used our kissing Hawaiian salt and pepper shakers as the cake toppers.

IT WAS SO CUTE!!! You did an amazing job Amanda and I am very thankful to have you in my life (and not just for your baking skills).

By the way, this cake is even better when you get to shove it in your husband’s face! Hahaha…

I am going to try other products from Wholesome Chow now….thinking maybe the Organic Chocolate Lavender Cake Mix would be cute for a baby shower and some Organic Hi-Protein Pancake Mix would be great after a morning hike.