Friday, March 23, 2012

A Cheerful Easter

     When I saw this little bunny playing a horn, I knew I had to use it--both my husband and my son are die-hard trumpeters. I used silver embossing powder to bring out the greeting, iridescent clear embossing on the egg, and just clear on the eyes and trumpet to give them sparkle. I then glittered some of the random clover with light and dark green and bronze ultra-fine glitter. I layered the card on pink scrapbook paper with a pearly finish on it, and then on spring green dotted paper. All of this was mounted on a piece of poster board cut to fit the lid of a disposable loaf pan. Final touches were a strip of lace, some twisted pink ribbon, a sprig of light pink crystal garland, and a little arrangement of pink flowers and white lilies. 
     Bake a batch of carrot cake in several of these pans, frost with cream cheese frosting, top with a sweet Easter greeting. No one will be looking for hidden eggs when you show up with this delightful treat!

Use your favorite recipe (yours might be more diet-friendly), or here's mine:

Carrot Cake

3 cups shredded carrots                     2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups flour                                        2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup granulated sugar                        1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 cup brown sugar                              4 eggs
2 tsp. baking powder                          1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 tsp. salt                                            1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour two 9-in round cake pans, one 9" x 12", or two large disposable loaf pans. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients for cake except nuts. In a small bowl, beat eggs and oil together. Add to dry ingredients, mixing until well blended. Fold in carrots and nuts. Pour into prepared pan(s). Place disposable pans on a cookie sheet before placing in oven. Bake layers 25-30 minutes, loaves 30-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. It may take longer if the carrots have a high moisture content, just be patient and keep checking. Cool completely, then frost.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (8-oz.) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecan, if desired

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Blend in vanilla. Gradually beat in powdered sugar, beating until smooth and creamy. Fold in chopped nuts if using. Spread frosting over sides and top of cake.

I usually omit the nuts in the frosting and use a couple of tablespoons of chopped nuts for garnish, instead.


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