naked carrot cake

Mary Dougherty

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I'm a fine art film photographer living in the mountains and traveling to tell beautiful stories

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Cake. I love how much of a statement it can make. For Daphne’s birthday I wanted to make something really fun, so I decided to do a small three layer naked carrot cake (naked, because it’s not fully frosted). Having seen the naked cake crazy fully take over the wedding world I was inspired to make my own and have been waiting for a reason to do so. Carrot cake was the perfect birthday choice because not only does it still have vegetables in it, it has cream cheese frosting which I actually enjoy (confession : I’m not a frosting person).

Having never made carrot cake myself I started searching for recipes I could make with what we had in the house, which meant no crushed pineapple. We decided on this recipe from Real Simple and thankfully it was not only real simple but it was delicious. The only things we changed were to add a little extra pumpkin pie spice and about a tablespoon of fresh grated ginger. Now, I know this is where I lose some of you because cooking isn’t your thing. I wish I could invite you over to cook with me but this will have to do… and even then if it’s not your thing let’s still be friends.

After baking the cakes in two round cake pans (and going through the effort of butter, parchment paper, then butter + flour because it does make getting the cake out of the pan easy) the cakes cooled. The next day I used a biscuit cutter to cut four small rounds from each and saved the cake scraps for us to eat the next the day while briefly dreaming of what bread pudding would taste like with them. Using a recipe I found on smitten kitchen I whipped up the cream cheese frosting from :

8oz cream cheese  |  4 T (or half a stick) butter  |  1 c confectioners sugar

…and I put together the cake you see above with a little paper two cut out for a cake topper.

Daphne loved it and so did Matt and I. One of the best parts might be slowly eating the rest of the cake without deliberately seeing the pieces disappear like you normally would. Even better – our kids are going to have different birthdays!

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