If I knew you were coming…

This Sunday is the engagement brunch for my oldest son and his fiance’ and  Ragga, the restaurant has agreed to let us bring some items to help celebrate. Because the Wilburns have developed a reputation as good cooks and bakers, I have agreed to make two cakes to take.

Cakes I made to take to the engagement party.

That said, Design Sponge is my favorite blog and they have a recipe section where they feature chefs and food. I came across a cake that was not only beautiful but chocolate. Two of the best criteria for me, well, the chocolate at least. We’ll see how beautiful they turn out.  So I thought I would share the cakes I am going to take with us today. I will post the recipe today and then as I bake the cake I will try to get photos of the process and put those in later. I plan to do this baking tomorrow morning so the cakes will be fresh for Sunday. Recipe below and stay tuned for photos.

The first is the Devil’s Food cake that I found on Design Sponge and you can see the recipe for the chocolate cake I plan to bake here. The second cake is a cake that I got out of one of those church recipe books that churches sell as fundraisers. You know the ones with the funky plastic spiral binders. I have a ton of those things. Remember earlier in the week when I discussed my cookbook collection? Anyway, the recipe that I found years ago in one of these books is a Carrot Cake that is really good. It is called “Taste of the Islands Carrot Cake”, I’m sure, because it has pineapple in it.

Taste of the Islands Carrot Cake

by Joy Fisher (I have no idea who Joy is but, thanks, Joy!)

Makes 16 servings

For the Cake
1 3/4 cups plus 4 T all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 & 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 & 2/3 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
4 cups shredded carrots
1 cup chopped, unsalted macadamia nuts or pecans
1/2 cup raisins
Pineapple filling
2 cups diced fresh pineapple
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup pineapple juice
2 T cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla
Cream Cheese Icing
2 -8oz softened cream cheese
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup finely chopped toasted pecans or macadamia

CAKE: Preheat oven to 350

Grease a 10 x 3″ round cake pan. Line the bottom with a circle of parchment or waxed paper. Grease paper and lightly flour pan.

Sift together  1 & 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a large mixing bowl, combine oil, sugar and eggs with electric mixer at medium speed until light in color, about 3-4 minutes. At low speed, gradually add flour mixture, beating just until smooth. Combine carrots nuts, raisins and remaining 2 tablespoons flour. Gently fold into batter. Pour into prepared cake pan. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 and bake for 50-55 minutes or until done. Cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Run knife around sides of cake to loosen. Turn cake out by inverting onto another rack and cool completely, paper side down.

FILLING: In a medium saucepan , combine pineapple and sugar. Cook over low hear, stirring occasionally until pineapple is tender, about 10-20 minutes. Combine pineapple juice and cornstarch and stir into cooked pineapple. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cool. (can be made a day ahead and chilled, covered in fridge)

ICING: In medium bowl, with electric mixer, combine cream cheese and butter. Add sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth

To ASSEMBLE THE CAKE: Peel paper off cake. Using a serrated knife, slice cake horizontally into 3 layers. ( I have 3 cake pans so I may bake the 3 layers separated and watch the timing closer so I don’t have to cut the big one into layers) Place bottom layer on a 10″ cake circle or serving plate. Spread half of the Pineapple filling over cake layer. Place middle layer of cake on top of filling and spread with a thin layer of filling. Add top layer. Spread remaining icing evenly over sides and top of cake. Press chopped toasted nuts onto sides of cake.