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spring it on: lollipop garden cakes


In spite of the continued dreary weather in California... the 1st day of spring has officially arrived!  I can't think of a better way to cheer on the season then with these adorable lollipop garden cakes, can you?

Sources {clockwise from left}

Martha Stewart’s Lollipop Garden Cake
(Carrot Cake w/ Cream Cheese Frosting)

Cake Ingredients
Makes 2 eight-inch layers

* Butter, for pans
* 4 medium carrots
* 1 cup golden raisins
* 1 cup walnut pieces
* 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
* Juice and zest of 1 lemon
* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 1/4 cups sugar
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon ground allspice
* 3/4 cup vegetable oil
* 4 large eggs

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 2 eight-by-two-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment; butter, and dust with flour. Grate carrots in food processor; measure 2 cups, and transfer to medium bowl. Add raisins, walnuts, applesauce, and lemon juice and zest to carrots.
2. Wipe food processor bowl; fit with blade. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and allspice; pulse to mix. With motor running, pour in oil and eggs; process until smooth, scraping sides. Add carrot mixture; pulse. Pour into pans; bake about 40 minutes, until tester inserted in middle comes out clean.
3. Cool in pans on rack for 20 minutes. Remove; cool completely, right side up.

Frosting Ingredients
Makes 7 3/4 Cups

* 24 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
* 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, (3 sticks), room temperature
* 6 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

1. With electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add butter, 1/4 cup at a time, and beat until smooth. Reduce speed to low; add confectioners' sugar 1 cup at a time, beating until fully incorporated. Chill before spreading.

To Put Together
1. Tint 2 cups frosting light green, and tint the remainder dark green; chill at least 3 hours. Place bottom layer on cake round; use small offset spatula to spread 1 1/2 cups dark-green frosting over top. Add second layer; spread 1 1/2 cups dark-green frosting in a thin layer over entire cake. Refrigerate 40 minutes until frosting is firm.
2. Place cake on rotating cake stand; spread another layer of dark-green frosting over cake. Fill a pastry bag, fitted with a #113 tip, with light-green frosting. Place tip at base of cake; pipe elongated varying sizes of leaves up sides of cake. Chill at least one hour before serving.
3. Just before serving, insert lollipop sticks in cake.

Jenny @ Hank + Hunt (March 21, 2011 at 8:23 AM)  

OH MY! These are just the cutest springy little cakes I have EVER seen!!

Andrea (March 21, 2011 at 9:03 AM)  

Those are so pretty!! What a fun cake for Easter or Spring!

Pink Martini (March 21, 2011 at 9:10 AM)  

Very cute. Wondering where you are located in dreary Cal. Me too. Haven't ventured out yet today. Loved the rain yesterday though. :)

Delighful Sweet Treats (March 21, 2011 at 3:04 PM)  

Cute-never thought to add pops to a cake but it looks really good. If it's any consolation its pretty dreary in New England too :)

aroundmytable (March 21, 2011 at 8:00 PM)  

So optimistic and cheerful! Adorable! I'm also in favour to add colour to our lives recently.

Glory (March 22, 2011 at 9:40 AM)  

Cute collage! Thanks for including my cupcakes! =)

Save the Date for Cupcakes (March 22, 2011 at 3:56 PM)  

That third cake is so adorable! So glad spring is finally here!

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