Make My Day

For me, this is the time of year where you suffer briefly from holiday-withdrawal, attempt to build up Valentine's Day to make up for it, and wind up sobbing into a box of heart shaped chocolates. I've skipped most of the V-Day excitement and used the unseasonably warm and sunny weather to get out and absorb some much needed Vitamin D. The best place to do that during the winter months is an adorable little Bavarian-themed town in the mountains called Leavenworth. Here you can enjoy steins of beer, hand-crafted trinkets, and snow all year round!

TL:Perfect mountain views in the park TR:Wall full of tasty taffy BL:My first tumble while Nordic skiing BR:Dad and I enjoying a stein
What you don't see here is the amazing lunch we had gazing out the windows of Cafe Mozart while people sledded and horse-drawn carriages went down the street below and how the sun glinted to make it look like the whole area was covered in glitter.
What I can show you that made my week was a delicious carrot-cake I whipped up to curb my boyfriend's cravings for sweets.

I found this cake to be fairly simple, except for the mistake I made in thinking it wouldn't be too hard to grate up three cups of baby carrots. Silly me.

For the cake
2 cups sugar
1&1/2 cups vegetable oil
4 whole eggs 2 cups flour
1 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups grated carrots

For the topping
1/2 cup walnuts finely chopped
1 tbls brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

For the icing
Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
In a mixing bowl, mix sugar, vegetable oil, and eggs. In another bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Fold dry ingredients into wet mixture and blend well. Fold in carrots and chopped nuts until well blended. Distribute batter evenly into 3 (9-inch) cake layer pans, which have been generously greased. There will be approximately 1 pound 5 ounces of batter per pan. Place in preheated oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes. Cool layers in pans, for approximately 1 hour. Gently remove from pans by tapping bottom until layers easily slide out, then begin to compose icing.

To make icing use a stand mixer to beat all the ingredients on medium until fluffy. Chill the frosting for 10 to 20 minutes, until it has set up enough to spread smoothly. Lay down first layer of cake with flat side facing the top and frost. Then put the second layer on top and frost top and sides of cake. From there mix topping ingredients and arrange on top of cake.
Chill for about one hour and slice.


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