Nutcake

Nutcake

You know those weeks when you’re sure you’ll have plenty of time to do X and Y and everything in between?  And then reality happens and you wind up accomplishing absolutely nothing?  Well, folks, that week was this one for me.  I felt like, for the first time in a long time, I would have plenty of hours to get done my forever-long list of tasks.  And I didn’t finish any of them.  I wish there was a super-cool, trendy and fancy reason that would put me in the good graces of anyone and everyone and make me the super-star of the gathering.  But no… it was simply the fact that it’s been nearly two years since I’ve re-read Lord of the Rings and I can’t put it down!  I really love that book.  And I really love eating desserts while I read at night.  So this week I made a really easy, but awesome recipe.  Something I could throw in the oven and eat piping hot while engrossed in the Mines of Moria.  And after last week’s intense recipe I figured you could all use as much of a break as I did!  So let’s take it with this simple take on nutcake.

Nutcake
header and time

So I wanted to make this easy.  So easy you could do it in one bowl (though I used two).  So instead of making this an actual cake recipe it became a quick-bread.  What’s the difference between a cake and a quick-bread you ask?  Well, according to my friend, with whom I’ve had this debate several times, nothing.  So instead of arguing the point we’re just going to close our eyes and go with it!

nutcake ingredients

First we add all the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl.  Whisk them well to blend them together.  Just use a hand whisk.  This recipe isn’t fancy, remember?

dry ingredients

Add the eggs to a separate bowl and whisk with a fork until they are slightly beaten.  Add the remaining wet ingredients and mix until combined.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and add all the liquids at once.  Stir until just combined.  We don’t want things to get over-mixed or it’ll be a bit dry and tough.  So stir, I used a spoon, until the dry ingredients are all moist and homogenous.

liquids and drys

Chop the walnuts into quarterish pieces and add most of them to the batter.  Stir until they are evenly distributed.  This recipe is super complex, I know…

Grease a 9×5 loaf pan well with butter.  If you use anything else I cannot vouch for your loaf coming out of the pan in once piece.  I’ve tried other methods and for me, nothing works as well as butter.

Add all the mixture to the pan.  Now let’s make the pseudo-candied walnuts.  Chop the remaining walnuts and mix them with the maple syrup.  Stir them together until the walnuts are completely coated.  Gently spread them over the top of the batter.

buttered pan with batter and nuts

Bake until a cake tester comes out clean.  See?  After a rough recipe last week this one is a walk in the park!  It’s so easy I added an extra step – let’s make honey butter to spread over this wonderful bread/cake.

Add the softened butter and honey together in a bowl.  Whip or beat until well combined.  Done.  Now spread it over the nutcake/bread and enjoy!

bread in a pan

Link’s Glazed Veggies

    • Tabantha Wheat
    • Cane Sugar
    • Goat Butter
    • Any Nut

Nutcake with Walnuts and Spices

  • Servings: 1 loaf
  • Difficulty: easy
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Nutcake quick bread with Walnuts and spices


Nutcake

  • 2.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2.5 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1.25 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1.75 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Honey

  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 5-6 tablespoons honey

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Add all the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl.  Whisk well to blend together.
  3. Add the eggs to a separate bowl and whisk with a fork until they are slightly beaten.
  4. Add the remaining wet ingredients and mix until combined.
  5. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add all the liquids at once.  Stir until just combined and there are no more dry parts.
  6. Chop the walnuts into quarters.
  7. Add 1 1/4 cups to the batter and stir until they are evenly distributed.
  8. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan well with butter and add all the mixture to the pan.
  9. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup quartered walnuts and the maple syrup together and stir until the walnuts are completely coated. Gently spread them over the top of the batter.
  10. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 55-75 minutes.
  11. To make the honey butter, add the honey and softened butter in a bowl and whip until thick and completely combined.

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

It’s came! It finally came!  The recipe you’ve all been patiently waiting for (I’m looking at you, Later Levels).  Since I had a little more time with this recipe I decided to experiment a bit and go a little different route than your traditional “carrot cake”.  Most carrot cake, at least in the U.S. is more of a quick bread than a cake – it’s dense and crumby, though still good.  Instead I combined a few different recipes I found and made a much more light, airy crumb texture, that had plenty of height and reminded me much more of an actual cake.  But, by doing this, I made it a bit more complicated.  So bear with me and let’s dig in!

Carrot Cakecarrot cake difficulty and time

Carrot Cake ingredients

Start by mixing together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon, and most of the sugar.  Put it in a bowl, use a whisk, and get it nice and evenly aerated and blended.  Oh, and make sure you pull out the eggs.  You’ll want them to sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes before you whip them.

Grate the carrot using a fine grater.  It’ll take about 4-5 large carrots to get enough for this cake.  That seems like a lot, but can you imagine a better way to eat your veggies?  I usually don’t peel my carrots.  I feel like the skin has the potential for being good for you and is not, at the very least, not bad for you.  And it saves you that extra few minutes in time and clean up.  Win-win.  And, because we aren’t using Endura carrots, anything that shortens the time is worth it. When the carrots are ready slightly squeeze handfulls of them over a sink to get a little of the juice out. This will help keep it from falling to the bottom of the pan and from letting the cake be too wet.

whipped eggNow here comes the different part and the reason this isn’t an “easy” recipe.  Add all the eggs to a bowl and whip on high, using a whisk or electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, until they start to get bubbly.  Stop and add the rest of the sugar and all the oil, and continue whisking until the eggs get light in color, start to get fluffy, and can almost double in volume.  This will take at least 5 minutes.  If you’re lucky enough to have a stand mixer like a KitchenAid you can do this while grating the carrots and save yourself even more time!

All three bowls of mixture

Once the eggs are ready slowly fold in the carrots.  This mixture will be really thick and you’ll wonder why on earth we spent all that time whipping eggs, but trust me.  It’s worth it.  Slowly add the flour mixture and stir until just combined.

 

Butter a cake panButter a 10 inch round cake pan, making sure you get all the cracks and crannies.  I prefer a springform pan because they are the easiest to get a cake out of.  If you don’t use a springform you may have to flour the pan as well as butter it.  Just throw in some flour after you grease it, shake it until the butter is covered, and dump out the excess.  It’s pretty easy.  Add the cake batter and stick it in the oven.  The entire bake process is an adventure, like completing a shrine.  Depending on the oven, the type of oven, how old your oven is, etc… your baking time will be different from someone else’s.  But my oven bake time was about 45 minutes.  Yours will be pretty close to this, but just watch starting around 40 minutes.  Getting a perfectly domed cake is all about timing.  Take the cake out to early (or even check on it too early) and the whole thing will collapse on you.  Take the cake out late and it’ll be so dry you’ll regret eating it.  So if you open the oven door to check on the cake and the center wobbles a bit close it quick and wait another 5-10 minutes before you even try again.  A toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean when it’s ready!

While the cake is baking feel free to make some good, old fashioned cream cheese frosting.  Make sure the butter and cream cheese is at room temperature and add them to a bowl with the vanilla (again, a stand mixer comes in really handy right about now).  Beat them together until they are well combined.  If you use a stand mixer make sure you scrape the bowl at this point with a spatula.  Add the powdered sugar 2/3 cup at a time until it becomes spreadable.  How much powdered sugar you add is really up to your taste preferences.  I prefer a more sharp, tangy frosting (if I eat it at all) so I was good at 2 cups.

When the cake is done take it out of the oven and allow it to cool completely before frosting.  I take the springform sides off after about 5 minutes so it doesn’t keep cooking.  If you use a regular round cake pan take it out of the pan after 5-10 minutes and let it cool on a wire rack.  This will prevent the bottom from getting soggy.  No one wants a soggy bottom.

Make sure you wait until the cake has cooled completely before you frost. If you don’t the entire top layer will peel away into the frosting and become a big, giant mess. When cooled, frost and enjoy!  Oh, and I don’t recommend garnishing with a raw carrot.  But I won’t judge if you do…

Close up of carrot cake

Link’s Carrot Cake recipe:

    • Any Carrot
    • Tabantha Wheat
    • Cane Sugar
    • Goat Butter

Carrot Cake

  • Servings: 1 10 inch cake
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting from Breath of the Wild

Carrot

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups finely shredded carrot (about 4-5 large carrots)
  • 3/4 cup cooking oil

Frosting

  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Whisk together flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together until aerated and combined
  3. Shred carrot with a fine grater. There is no need to peel beforehand but you may if you desire.
  4. Slightly squeeze handfulls of carrot to remove excess moisture.
  5. Using a stand mixer or electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment whip eggs together until frothy. Slowly add the oil and remaining 1/2 cup sugar and whip together until light in color, fluffy, and almost double in volume.
  6. Gently fold carrots into the egg mixture. Be careful not to deflate the eggs.
  7. Slowly add and stir in flour mixture until just combined.
  8. Butter and, if not using a springform pan, flour a 10 inch round cake pan. Make sure the butter gets in all the cracks. If you need to flour the pan add a handful of flour and knock the pan in circles until it’s covered in flour after buttering. Dump out excess flour.
  9. Add cake batter to the pan and use a spatula to smooth down and even the surface.
  10. Bake for about 45 minutes. The cake will be done when a toothpick comes out clean.
  11. Make the frosting while the cake is baking by adding the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla to a mixer or bowl.
  12. Mix until combined and slowly add powdered sugar, 2/3 cup at a time, until you reach a spreadable consistency and desired flavor. This, for me, is 2 cups powdered sugar.
  13. When the cake has cooled for 5-10 minutes remove from the pan and allow to finish cooling.
  14. Frost and serve! This cake will store well at room temperature for a few days tightly covered.