This Sip of Spring Elderflower Old-Fashioned is the perfect spring cocktail for brunch, lunch or dinner! #oldfashionedrecipes #bourbonrecipes #eastercocktails

Sip of Spring Elderflower Old-Fashioned Recipe

Fresh and fragrant elderflower liqueur gives this traditional bourbon cocktail a spring-like twist. It’s the perfect brunch, lunch or dinner drink to serve as the days get longer and temperatures get warmer.

This Sip of Spring Elderflower Old-Fashioned is the perfect spring cocktail for brunch, lunch or dinner! #oldfashionedrecipes #bourbonrecipes #eastercocktails

Please forgive me, because I just can’t seem to step away from tasty and creative cocktail world. If you’re already reading this post, I’m guessing you don’t mind. I just couldn’t resist sharing one more fun and festive cocktail before Easter because, if you’re a fan of bourbon, you’re going to want to add this Sip of Spring Elderflower Old-Fashioned Recipe to your Sunday menu.

It’s no secret that Old-Fashioned’s are one of my favorite types of cocktails, if the Drinks section of my website is any indication. In fact, I love the fact that I already seem to have an Old-Fashioned recipe for every season.

For the fall/winter months, I love me a good Maple Apple Old-Fashioned. It just feels so warm and cozy and the flavors are just what you want to experience when you’re cozied up inside next to the fire.

For the hot summer months, I’m all about the Twisted Whiskey Kind of Afternoon, a twist on the old-fashioned which features zesty grapefruit and Aperol.

Come spring, it’s going to be hard to choose between this Sip of Spring Elderflower Old-Fashioned and my OG Rhubarb Old-Fashioned. So many choices, so little time!

So, before we get into what makes THIS particular old-fashioned recipe one for the books, let’s get into what is typically included in this classic bourbon cocktail.

This Sip of Spring Elderflower Old-Fashioned puts a tasty spring twist on the classic bourbon cocktail. #oldfashionedrecipes #bourbonrecipes #easterrecipes

Just your typical Old-Fashioned…

A typical Old-Fashioned recipe includes the following ingredients:

Sugar cube

Bitters

Bourbon or rye

Orange peel

It’s really quite amazing how these few ingredients come together to make one damn delicious drink, but it’s also fun to get creative!

This Sip of Spring Elderflower Old-Fashioned puts a tasty spring twist on the classic bourbon cocktail. #oldfashionedrecipes #bourbonrecipes #easterrecipes

How to Mix It Up

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good classic cocktail, but man would this blog be boring if I didn’t mix it up every once in a while. I’ve already mentioned above some other fun ways I’ve reinvented this classic, but let’s get to the real reason we’re here today…my Sip of Spring Elderflower Old-Fashioned!

The great thing about embellishing something that’s already (1) simple to make and (2) tastes fantastic is that you can’t really go wrong. Here, we simply use already fairly sweet elderflower liqueur in lieu of the sugar cube and it’s a win-win: no extra sweetness than you’d already have with your classic Old-Fashioned, and a faint floral taste that plays off the orange peel beautifully.

I love that you don’t need any special tools to make this one-of-a-kind drink. A glass, a rock (I love these ice molds! *affiliate link*), and a stirring spoon will get you right where you need to be: relaxing on the porch or in the garden with a delicious Elderflower Old-Fashioned in hand!

This Sip of Spring Elderflower Old-Fashioned puts a tasty spring twist on the classic bourbon cocktail. #oldfashionedrecipes #bourbonrecipes #easterrecipes

Sip of Spring Elderflower Old-Fashioned Recipe
Prep Time
5 mins
 

Fresh and fragrant elderflower liqueur gives this traditional bourbon cocktail a spring-like twist. It’s the perfect brunch, lunch or dinner drink to serve as the days get longer and temperatures get warmer.

Course: Drinks
Keyword: bourbon, cocktails, drinks, Easter, rye, spring, whiskey
Servings: 1 cocktail
Calories: 253 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 ounce elderflower liqueur (I use St. Germain's)
  • 2 dashes angostura bitters
  • 2 ounces rye or bourbon
  • Orange twist*
Instructions
  1. Place one large ice cube in a chilled old-fashioned glass.

  2. Add elderflower liqueur and bitters.

  3. Pour in rye or bourbon.

  4. Slide orange twist down the side of the glass (on the inside), stir lightly and serve!

Recipe Notes

*To make an orange twist, use a vegetable or citrus peeler to peel about a 2- to 3-inch piece of orange peel.

To-Die-For Candied Bacon Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs get a tasty upgrade with the addition of sweet-and-spicy candied bacon. They’re the perfect appetizer to bring to Easter or your next potluck brunch and are sure to be a hit!

These Candied Bacon Deviled Eggs are the perfect appetizer for your next brunch or Easter get-together. | CaliGirlCooking.com

If you’re a fan of deviled eggs, you better fasten your seatbelt, because the classic springtime brunch appetizer just got a whole lot better. Yep, I’ve gone ahead and taken deviled eggs and upped the ante by sprinkling on the most delicious candied bacon, giving them the perfect hint of sweet, spicy AND crunchy. Let’s be honest, bacon makes everything better!

Deviled eggs are one of those dishes that can be a bit intimidating to make, but really shouldn’t be. Once you get the technique down, you’ll most definitely want to be serving these for more than just your annual Easter brunch.

These Candied Bacon Deviled Eggs are the perfect appetizer for your next brunch or Easter get-together. | CaliGirlCooking.com

So, how’s it done?

The first, and perhaps most intimidating, step is hard boiling your eggs. There are lots of different techniques out there, from using a steamer to breaking out the ever-so-popular Instant Pot, but I prefer to stick to the good old-fashioned way of boiling them in water.  It’s pretty darn foolproof and, after all, aren’t they called “hard-boiled eggs”? I’ve included my easy-peasy technique in the recipe directions below. You’ll never be intimidated to hard-boil eggs again!

While you’re waiting for your eggs to cool down (that ice water bath is so crucial for easy peeling), you can whip up the candied bacon, which couldn’t be easier. All it takes is two ingredients and another foolproof cooking method to take our favorite breakfast treat from standard fare to sweet-and-spicy candied treat. Even though you’ll only need three slices of the bacon for the eggs, in the recipe I’ve included amounts for a dozen slices (an entire standard pack of bacon) so you’ll have plenty to snack on on the side. You can thank me later!

Once the bacon is done and cooling, the next step is to make the filling. I’ve stuck to a VERY basic filling recipe (thanks, Mom!) but it’s for a reason, I promise. We want that sweet-and-spicy candied bacon to really shine through!

Now that the different components are all prepared, you’re ready to compose your deviled eggs. I prefer to use a piping bag for the filling, but you can also easily use a Ziploc with the tip cut off or even a spoon. There are no hard and fast rules about this.

Once you’re done with the filling, all that’s left to do is sprinkle on that oh-so-tasty candied bacon. See? I told you it was easy!

These Candied Bacon Deviled Eggs are the perfect appetizer for your next brunch or Easter get-together. | CaliGirlCooking.com

Now what??

Well, I’m not going to sugar coat it (hehe, pun intended), but you’re probably not going to be able to wait until whatever function you’re bringing these to to give them a shot. So give them a taste (you might need to eat two so as not to give your taste test away with an odd number of eggs when you get to the function), and then artfully arrange them so it’s not obvious. These do keep for a while in the refrigerator, but I encourage consuming them within one to two days for that candied bacon to really pop. If you’re transporting them, be sure to keep them tightly packed in a single layer so they don’t roll around or flip over.

These Candied Bacon Deviled Eggs are the perfect appetizer for your next brunch or Easter get-together. | CaliGirlCooking.com

Well, what are you waiting for?? Hop to it and make some Candied Bacon Deviled Eggs ASAP!

To-Die-For Candied Bacon Deviled Eggs
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 

Deviled eggs get a tasty upgrade with the addition of sweet-and-spicy candied bacon. They’re the perfect appetizer to bring to Easter or your next potluck brunch and are sure to be a hit!

Course: Appetizer
Keyword: appetizer, bacon, brunch, Easter, eggs, hors d'oeuvres
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 138 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 12 eggs
  • 12 slices bacon
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Chopped chives, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Place eggs in a large saucepan and fill saucepan with water until it comes to about an inch over the eggs. Place on a burner over high heat and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, cover saucepan and let sit for 10 minutes. Once the timer goes off, transfer the eggs to an ice bath until they are cool to the touch. 

  2. Place bacon on a baking rack over a sheet pan. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cayenne with a fork. Sprinkle half of the mixture over the bacon, reserving the rest for later. Place bacon in oven, then turn oven on to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Set a timer for 12 minutes (the preheating time is considered part of the cooking time here.)

  3. After the 12 minutes is up, remove the bacon and, using tongs, flip it over. Sprinkle the reserved brown sugar-cayenne mixture over the second side and return to the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the bacon looks done and fairly crisp. Remove and let cool on the rack, turning off the oven. 

  4. Peel your eggs and slice them in half vertically. Carefully scoop out the yolks and add them to a small mixing bowl. Next, add the vinegar, mayonnaise, relish, salt and pepper to the mixing bowl. Mash all of the ingredients together with a fork, until there are no large chunks remaining. 

  5. Using a piping bag, Ziploc or spoon, divide the filling evenly among the whites of the eggs. Finely chop up three slices of the candied bacon and sprinkle over the top of each egg. To finish, sprinkle on some chopped fresh chives. 

Sparkling Carrot Mimosas

The grand finale to my Easter recipes!

Carrot Mimosas | CaliGirlCooking.com

Of course we had to end it all with a cocktail 😉 Let me tell you, these Sparkling Carrot Mimosas do NOT disappoint.

Just to provide a quick recap: I started off the week with this savory Herbed Carrot Galette that would be equally as good served as a main dish at Easter brunch or a side dish for dinner. On Wednesday, I kept it uber-traditional and posted my family’s perfect recipe for Hot Cross Buns. And today we’re celebrating with mimosas!

Sparkling Carrot Mimosas | CaliGirlCooking.com

I’ve been wanting to do some sort of Carrot Mimosa since last Easter, but to be honest I was a little intimidated. First of all, I don’t own a juicer (saving that appliance for when I have the kitchen of my dreams and all the space a food blogging gal can ask for) and I wasn’t exactly sure where I’d find straight-up carrot juice. I’m also not the biggest fan of vegetable juices, and although I loved the concept of turning one of my favorite brunch cocktails into a super-festive version, I was a little unsure of how “vegetable-y” it would taste.

But I’m happy to say that if there’s one thing that posting weekly cocktail recipes for the past year or so has taught me, it’s that there’s a way to spin everything to your liking if you just find the perfect combination. In fact, fun side story, one of my friends here in SB used to work at a local “juicery” and would often bring by the day’s leftover juices at the end of their shift. Seeing as by that time it would be 5pm or so, we’d be itching much more for a cocktail than a healthy juice (aren’t those reserved for breakfast or lunch?) and so we’d turn the juices into some pretty darn delicious cocktails to celebrate the end of another long day.

So I dipped back into those memories to figure out how to really make these Sparkling Carrot Mimosas the most delicious things ever, and I’m proud to say I succeeded! After trying out a few different combos, I found that a dash of Cointreau in addition to the sparkling wine and carrot juice (which I ended up finding in pure form at Trader Joe’s) was the perfect answer to taking the drink from overly-carrot-like to fresh and festive. And because Cointreau is orange-flavored, you still get a hint of traditional mimosa taste.

Can we also talk about how fun it is to garnish with those bright green carrot tops? Too cute.

Sparkling Carrot Mimosas | CaliGirlCooking.com

Anyhow, the simplicity of these Sparkling Carrot Mimosas is completely up to you. If you want to really get down and dirty (and you own a juicer,) you can go ahead and make your own carrot juice. But if you’re bogged down with all of the other Easter menu prep you have going on, simply head out to TJ’s or your favorite local juicery and pick up some of their fresh-squeezed carrot juice.

Aside from the carrot juice, the only other ingredients you’ll need for these Sparkling Carrot Mimosas are items you likely already have stocked in your bar (at least, I hope you do!) We’re talking sparkling wine (our house favorite that’s very reasonably priced is Segura Viudas Brut Cava, but any dry sparkling wine will do) and the afore-mentioned Cointreau. That’s it!

Simply combine all three in the ratios I’ve provided for you below (being careful as you pour so as not to have a massive bubble-over) and you’ll have the perfect festive cocktail for your Easter breakfast or brunch. What more do you really need?

Sparkling Carrot Mimosas | CaliGirlCooking.com

Sparkling Carrot Mimosas
Prep Time
5 mins
 

The popular brunch cocktail gets a spring twist with fresh carrot juice and a splash of Cointreau. The perfect drink for Easter!

Course: Drinks
Servings: 1 cocktail
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 5 ounces sparkling wine
  • 1 ounce carrot juice
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • Carrot tops for garnish, if desired
Instructions
  1. Combine all three ingredients in a champagne flute, pouring each one in slowly and steadily so as not to have a bubble-over (can’t waste any of that booze!) Garnish with green carrot tops, if desired. Enjoy!

Sparkling Carrot Mimosas | CaliGirlCooking.com

Hot Cross Buns

A family recipe for this classic springtime baked good – a buttery dough studded with plump raisins, topped with the perfect touch of icing. 

Hot Cross Buns | CaliGirlCooking.com

I told you this week was going to be all about the Easter prep, and today I’m definitely not going to disappoint with these Hot Cross Buns. This is yet another family recipe that I’ve successfully transcribed from my Dad’s improvisational ways, and let me tell you, I’m so glad I’ll now have this recipe in my back pocket whenever springtime rolls around.

I’m not really an expert on Hot Cross Buns, except for the fact that they’re incredibly hard to find good store- or bakery-bought versions of. When I lived at home (or would come home to visit for Easter when I lived away) we went through way too many years wasting our time trying to find “just the right” version at one of our local bakeries or grocery stores. Problem was, they were never as good as we imagined, or as we imagined we could make them. Leave it to my Dad to solve that problem, and solve it he did.

Hot Cross Buns | CaliGirlCooking.com

What I love about Hot Cross Buns is that there are so many iterations of them. You can spice the dough (as I do in this recipe) or leave it really basic and buttery. You can add in the classic fruit cake mix to liven things up a bit, or you can leave it simpler with raisins studding the dough, or nothing at all. For the icing, you can tint it the classic yellow hue with food coloring or simply allow the sweet topping to take on whatever natural color it gets from your icing ingredients. Long story short, just about any person out there can find a Hot Cross Bun recipe that they want to make over and over again, year after year.

For my own sake, I hope you find this recipe for Hot Cross Buns so enjoyable that they become an annual tradition in your household. After all, there’s nothing like a warm, buttery, icing-topped carb-bomb to start your Easter morning off right 😉

Hot Cross Buns | CaliGirlCooking.com

In fact, I may need to pack a few of these in Ziplocs for our ride to the airport on Sunday. If we can’t have our usual Easter meals and festivities due to travel, we might as well get our Easter treats in wherever we can!

I’m not going to sugar-coat it (haha, you see what I did there?) but these buns do take a little bit of time to make, definitely not for their difficulty level, but simply because they go through the standard double rise you do with most yeast breads. That being said, a little bit of planning goes a long way, and I can guarantee that once you practice the recipe one time through, it will get easier and easier every time.

I speak from experience since I had a little blonde moment the first time I made these and forgot to add the butter to the dough. Good news was, the Hot Cross Buns turned out to be gorgeous-looking. Bad news was, they were suuuuppper dry and didn’t taste nearly as good as they looked. And because I hate wasting any food, I simply proceeded to load up that first batch of Hot Cross Buns with butter every time I wanted to eat one, and I probably ended up consuming way more butter than I would have if I had just included in the recipe in the first place. Hey, we all learn from our silly mistakes!

I’m happy to report that no silly mistakes were made the second time I gave this recipe a whirl, and I was able to whip up perfectly composed Hot Cross Buns in almost no time flat.

Hot Cross Buns | CaliGirlCooking.com

What I love about these Hot Cross Buns is that, once you get through the whole double rise process, you bake them off and they’re ready to devour in just 15 minutes (well, 25 minutes if you allow time to cool and frost them.) That means that you don’t have to wait too long to enjoy after their magnificent smell starts wafting through the house!

Although I personally didn’t try it, I’d bet you could easily adapt this recipe to make the second rise an overnight one. That way, all you need to do in the morning before breakfast is pull the buns out of the refrigerator, give them their little crosses and egg wash, and pop them in the oven. I may try this the next time I give these a whirl (undoubtedly in the very near future) but if you try it in the meantime, let me know how it goes!

Hot Cross Buns | CaliGirlCooking.com

I’m signing off to go get myself a bit more organized for our trip, but Happy Humpday! You deserve to celebrate with some Hot Cross Buns 🙂

Hot Cross Buns
Prep Time
2 hrs 10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
2 hrs 25 mins
 

A family recipe for this classic springtime baked good - a buttery dough studded with plump raisins, topped with the perfect touch of icing.

Course: Breakfast
Servings: 1 dozen
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the buns:
  • 1 packet active-dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup milk, warmed to "bathtub temperature" (I heated mine up for 30 seconds in the microwave and it turned out perfect)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/3 cups flour, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup raisins (or fruit cake mix, if you prefer)
  • 1 egg white
For the icing:
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Combine the yeast and warm milk in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and let sit for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to activate.

  2. Add sugar, eggs, butter and salt to the yeast mixture and beat to combine. You may want to use a whisk for a few seconds to break up the egg yolks since the dough hook doesn’t do a great job of it.

  3. In a small mixing bowl, sift together 1 cup of the flour and the cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Add this to the mixture in the stand mixer along with the raisins and beat on medium-low until flour is well-incorporated.

  4. Scrape down the sides of the stand mixer and add additional 1 1/3 cups flour. Once again turn the mixer on medium-low and mix until a sticky dough forms. Remove the bowl from the mixer, cover with a damp hand towel, and place in a warm place to rise for about an hour, or until doubled in size. 

  5. Punch down dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. You may also need to coat your hands with a bit of flour to keep the dough from sticking to them. Cover the dough once it’s turned out and let it rest for 10 minutes.

  6. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Place the balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, cover and let rise for another hour.

  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Using kitchen shears, cut a cross in the center of each bun, then brush with egg white. Place in oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until the tops of the buns have turned golden and bread sounds fairly hollow when tapped. Remove from oven and let cool.

  8. While buns are cooling, prepare the icing. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all of the icing ingredients. Transfer to a piping bag (or Ziploc) and then snip off the tip. Using the crosses you cut into your buns before baking as a guide, make a cross on each bun. Enjoy as soon as possible!

This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make CaliGirl Cooking possible!

Hot Cross Buns | CaliGirlCooking.com

Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting

I have the best of both worlds for you today!

Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting | CaliGirlCooking.com

That’s right, I’ve combined my favorite carrot cake recipe with a not-so-traditional coconut pecan frosting, reminiscent of what you’d find on a German chocolate cake and, let me tell you, I wish I had thought of Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting years ago!

Now don’t get me wrong, I love me some classic decadent cream cheese frosting, but I also looooove the combination of carrot, coconut and pecans. It’s like the ultimate spring ingredient combo. Plus, doesn’t it feel great to have so many superfoods in a super-delicious dessert? I mean, there are plenty of indulgent ingredients in the recipes for both the carrot cake and the frosting, but having those other healthy ingredients in there to counteract everything else is EXACTLY how I roll. We’re all about that balance, right?

Quick backstory on my love for carrot cake, and specifically this recipe: I think I’ve mentioned it before, but my parents met and got married in Hawaii, where my dad grew up and my mom worked as a pediatric nurse. During my parents’ courtship, my mom was given this carrot cake recipe by a dear Hawaiian “tutu” named Mrs. Kealoha. And on the back of the recipe, she wrote a note: “Make this for Ken, and he will never leave you.” Well, I’m proud to say that truly was the case (my parents are still together 40 years later!), and now I ask my mom to make this cake for me without fail every year on either my birthday or Easter. It is, after all, the perfect spring-like dessert to bust out in March or April, as the days are getting longer and the sun is getting warmer.

Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting | CaliGirlCooking.com

Mrs. Kealoha’s recipe calls for the classic cream cheese frosting, which includes pounds of both butter and cream cheese. As delicious as that is (and I will never turn my nose up at it,) I do often find that I can’t quite finish alllll of the frosting that comes along with my slice, it’s just a leeetle too rich. So naturally I started thinking about other ways to frost my favorite carrot cake, and when my mind wandered to the caramel-y, pudding-like coconut- and pecan-laced frosting that traditionally graces the top of German chocolate cake, I knew it would be the perfect fit.

I had never made coconut-pecan frosting from scratch, but I soon learned it’s much like a pudding, where you have to combine the likes of evaporated milk and egg yolks with staples like sugar and butter to get that creamy consistency. Since this was my first time making it, I followed this recipe from MyRecipes to a tee and didn’t stray at all. We’ll save the improvisations for the next time around! I am happy to report, though, that this recipe did not disappoint. I have to admit that I was doubtful for a minute – Did I cook the egg yolks enough? Would the frosting just look yellow?  But after making sure I let everything cook and sit for the designated amount of time, I was left with a perfectly normal looking coconut pecan frosting that spread onto the three layers of cake like a dream.

Speaking of the layers of this cake, there is one disclaimer I have to make: I doubled Mrs. Kealoha’s recipe to make a four-layer cake, because I wanted it to be really grand and fun to photograph. BUT unfortunately one of my layers didn’t turn out of the pan properly, so I was stuck with just three, which turned out to be plenty. The layers of Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting are quite thick, and I still haven’t been able to bring myself to eat a serving of all three layers (usually I skim just one or two layers off and save the rest for another day…hehe!) So, use your judgment and scale this recipe down if you don’t want such huge servings. OR, you could do what I did and use any extra cake layers to make into yummy chocolate-coated carrot cake balls, which turned out to be really easy (I’ve included the basic recipe below in the recipe notes.)

Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting | CaliGirlCooking.com

You should have plenty of frosting to cover all four layers should you decide to go that route, especially if you go for the “naked” cake look like I did here (that also helps with the cake-to-frosting ratio I was speaking of earlier.)

Other than the quantity, the only thing I changed from Mrs. Kealoha’s original carrot cake recipe is that I used pecans instead of walnuts in the batter. I figured if I was using pecans in the frosting I might as well use them in the cake as well!

Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting | CaliGirlCooking.com

So that’s the long and short of it: Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting has been born and it’s here to stay. Do you have any fun family baking recipes you’ve adapted to make your own? Let me know in the comments below!

Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins
 

Carrot cake gets a modern update with a coconut-pecan coating in lieu of the standard cream cheese frosting. The perfect cake for spring!

Course: Dessert
Servings: 4 8-inch round cake layers
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the cake:
  • 2 1/2 cups canola oil
  • 8 eggs
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 4 cups flour plus 1/2 cup for coating carrots
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon mace
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups grated carrots
  • 2 cups chopped toasted pecans
For the frosting:
  • 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 6 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups chopped toasted pecans
  • 2 cups flaked sweetened coconut
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Instructions
To make the cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the oil, eggs and sugar until creamy. Toss the carrots with ½ cup of flour and then add them to this mixture along with the pecans. Next, add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, mace and salt. Mix until well combined.

  3. Unless you have four 8-inch round cake pans (I only have two), you will need to work in two batches to bake up all of the cake layers. Spray however many pans you have with nonstick cooking spray, then one-fourth of the batter into each one. Bake in 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

  4. Remove from oven and let cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove from pan onto a wire cooling rack and let cool completely. Repeat baking process however often is necessary until all of your batter has been used up.

To make the frosting:
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the evaporated milk, sugar, butter and egg yolks and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes or until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Cook, stirring constantly, 12-14 minutes more or until mixture is a light caramel color and is bubbling and pudding-like. 

  2. Remove from heat and stir in pecans, coconut and vanilla. Transfer to a bowl and let cool, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes or until it is of a spreadable frosting consistency.

Assembly:
  1. Place the first cake layer on your serving plate and, using a long, serrated knife, even out the top. This will help all of the layers stay put on top of each other rather than sliding off once you add the frosting in between the layers. 

  2. Slather a hefty helping of the coconut-pecan frosting over the top of this first layer, being sure to get all the way out to the edges. Repeat the process with however many more layers you are using. You do not need to even out the top layer as you don’t have to worry about another layer sliding off of it.

  3. Keep cake in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, until ready to serve.

Recipe Notes

*Coconut pecan frosting recipe from MyRecipes.

To make the cake balls:

Combine any extra cake with 1 cup of frosting of your choice (preferably one without anything chunky, I used a whipped cream cheese frosting) in a food processor. Pulse until a dough forms. 

Use a cookie scoop to ball up the cake dough. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Melt at least one bag (maybe even two) of chocolate chips of your choice (I did some white chocolate and some semisweet) in a heatproof bowl with one to two tablespoons of coconut oil.

Dip balls in melted chocolate and place back on parchment covered cookie sheet. Cover with sprinkles of your choice and refrigerate balls until hardened. I also recommend storing them in the refrigerator so they hold their shape.

Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting | CaliGirlCooking.com

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