Today is the last day of my relatives' 3 week hiatus from small town life. They leave for the airport at 6am, beginning a 24 hour journey back to Heilongjiang province...all the way by Russia. Spending this afternoon together made me regret the lack of time I've spent with them my entire life. However, it's been a great way to end our reunion and Chinese New Year holiday. My older cousin came home with roses for everyone; my uncle cooked up a buffet of traditions; we finished the 3 hour long meal with my 24 Karat Cake.
I think this cake ruined their quasi-tasty cakes back in their hometown. I haven't even got to the best part yet. My uncle and cousin asked for 2 servings, my grandma savored hers for a good 20 minutes, my aunts asked for especially large pieces, and everyone else commented on how good it was. At first, I was skeptical that it was all flattery emerging from politeness, but when my very honest parents confirmed the magic of the cake, I relaxed and continued to enjoy myself. To top it of, my grandpa, who is suffering from early stages of Alzheimer's and barely speaks 5 words a year, said he loved my cake. :') so so so heartwarming. *for shizzle the best part of the day
Okay one last thing about my fam jam before I get to the point...or you probably can just skip to the recipe already:
My mom's history with this cake dates back for over 20 years, back to when she first traveled to America for grad school. She never had anything this fancy or delectable in Communist China. Of course, it won her over little heart over. I'm telling you, this cake has the tendency to do that. Ever since then, 24 Karat Cake has been tied for first place with her other fave-- tiramisu.
Basically, what I'm trying to say is, my first three-layer cake was a success!! YES!
Let's take a moment of silence to appreciate the cake that survived for no more than half an hour.
Although the process of getting the final product is tedious and takes patience & time, it's definitely worth it. I suggest you make it for your next potluck or party.
Not enough time to make the 3 layers? Just make three separate cakes or cupcakes! It will taste good either way.
This is the last piece that my my dad and I devoured.
(shh I took a massive fork to the center of the last slice before it toppled over.)
It's go time...
- 1 & 1/4 cup oil
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 & 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 eggs
- 3 & 1/2 cups shredded carrots
- 1 cup pecan bits
- 1 cup raisins (I left these out)
- 1 cup crushed canned pineapple
- Preheat oven to 300 F (150 C).
- Spray your three 10" x 2" cake pans. Coat with a thin layer of flour.
- In a large bowl, mix together oil, unsweetened applesauce, and granulated sugar.
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Add and mix the eggs, one at a time, to the oil mixture.
- Mix the flour mixture into the oil mixture.
- Fold in carrots, pecans, (raisins), crushed pineapple.
- Divide the batter evenly between the 3 pans. I used an ice cream scoop and divided according to that.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Pecan Filling Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 TBSP flour
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup pecan pieces
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Pecan Filling Directions
- In a saucepan, melt together sugar, flour, and salt.
- Gradually stir in cream. Then stir in butter.
- Place the heat on medium and simmer for 7 minutes (or until mixture changes color) . Stir constantly.
- Cool to room temperature. Stir in vanilla and nuts.
- Refrigerate until needed.
Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
- 1/2 pound (8oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 pound cream cheese (8oz), room temperature
- 1 pound confectioner's sugar
- 1 &1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Frosting Directions:
- Place the butter and cream cheese into a bowl and mix on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
- Add confectioner's sugar gradually. Beat on high speed until all bumps are gone.
- Do not refrigerate. Keep it out at room temperature until you need it :)
- Eat a spoonful with a strawberry. mmm
- Refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.
- Before cutting the cake (and thereafter), heat the knife in hot water. Cut into 8 to 10 slices, or 13-14 small slices. This will make cutting considerably easier.
- To frost mine, I coated my each layer with a a little bit of frosting, topping it with pecan filling. I then sprinkled the rest of the pecan filling (which turned out to be crumbly) to garnish the cake.
- This will make about 16 cupcakes.
- If you like thicker frosting, double the ingredients for frosting.
- This kinda sorta maybe looks like a wedding cake. hmmm
See you next year, V-DAY!