Saturday, January 28, 2012

Happy Birthday to me!


I know this will come as a shock, but I’m a cake snob.  So I won’t have just any old person make a cake for me, maybe my kids, but that’s it.  I also like experimenting and since making cake just to practice is kind of wasteful, I don’t get to do it as much as I’d like.  It’s been fun this week though.

I did have a problem picking my cake flavour.  I finally decided to use up the banana’s I had and make a banana cake.  It smelt so good and looked so beautiful when I took it out of the oven and then promptly fell and inch.  SO NOT GOOD.

I decided to cut into it and it was raw even though the knife came out clean.  CRAP.  And into the garbage it went.  I did get a few muffins out of it and they were fab.

Second attempt. This time I decided I’d make one of my favorite cakes, carrot. 

Backstory: Introducing Karen’s Carrot’s Cakes; my first business.  When I was in grade five I made carrot cakes every day after school and sold to other kid’s parents, so I could buy a Little Person, better known later as Cabbage Patch Kids.  They are the soft sculpture versions of the Matell plastic faced babies.  After I raised enough money, my mother made a big deal out of it.  On our yearly drive to Florida for the summer we stopped in Cleveland, Georgia at Babyland General Hospital, where I got to adopt Sophia-Ann.  I even got to pick her head from the cabbage patch, she had “surgery” for her dimple and went under the sun lamp for freckles.  Seems bizarre, I know, but for an 11 year old, I was psyched!

Flash forward to today.  I decided to make my carrot cake!  I mean it is my birthday :)

And because it’s my birthday I’m trying something new.  Two actually.  Ombre and frilled ruffles.


I had a few issues.  The fondant kept cracking, as you can plainly see.  I also couldn’t get the graduation in the colour as much as I’d liked.  They do get darker, it’s kind of tough to see in my pics but they do!  All in all, I think for a first try, not too shabby!

I also made a ruffle flower for the top.


I also want to wish many others happy birthday too.  January is a pretty popular month for birthdays, especially for the next three days. 

Happy Birthday to:

Rob and Kaye (cousin’s extraordinaire), Sharon (Rowan’s teacher), Samantha (Flour-de-Lis), Tiffany (Tiffany’s Sweet Spot), and to my friends Angie, Julie, Tracie, Karina, Nancy, Retah, Coreen, Jen, Connie, Miles and Linda.  And anyone else I’ve missed.  This cake is also for you!


  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups apple sauce
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, apple sauce, white sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in carrots. 
  3. Pour into prepared pan.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  5. Ice cake with favourite icing.  I used lemon buttercream.
  6. Enjoy!


Lots of lessons learned in this attempt.  The top two: always center cake on pedestal when taking pictures and cover the cake board with something LOL! ah well :) and yes, we ate the cake last night because I couldn’t wait. It’s my birthday and I’ll eat cake if I want to!

Thanks for looking!

Linking with:
Mingle Monday
Melt In Your Mouth Monday
Crazy Sweet Tuesday


  1. HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY, sorry banana didn't turn out well, it happens to me all the time
    Btw I'm loving the recipe, because you used apple sauce instead of oil, awesome.
    Hope you have an amazing day!♥

  2. Sincer best wishes on your birthday Karen and all the best for a fantastic year. I loved your story about your cabbage patch doll and thought it was sweet that you baked and sold carrot cakes to earn the money to adopt her. Sorry about the bananas not cooperating but your final birthday cake looks wonderful!

  3. Happy Birthday Karen! I sang to you on your FB I hope you have a great birthday and super sweet year ahead! Beautiful cake, love the colors!

  4. Happy Birthday Karen! Now I'm craving some carrot cake with cream cheese frosting! Looks yummy!

  5. Happy Birthday!!! Love, love, love the cake! It's beautiful!!

    Enjoy your day!

  6. HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY - HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! This is a GREAT CAKE!!! I love the color palate so much. You are just a cake diva, aren't you!

  7. Karen, your cake is beautiful!! I love the way it turned out!
    And the layers of your famous carrot cake look so yummy!
    Happy birthday :)
    I hope this year is the best yet!
    Can't wait to see more of your cakes!

  8. Happy Birthday! Your cake turned out fabulously and I can indeed see the gradation in the colors. Excellent work!

  9. I hope you had a wonderful birthday! That cake is beautiful. I love the ruffles. And the carrot cake. Yum!

  10. Happy Birthday! This cake is GORGEOUS. I would have never guessed that it was your first time working with fondant.

    1. Thank you so much Kyleen, however it's not my first time with fondant just my first time making ruffles with fondant.

  11. Looks beautiful! Seems like you succeeded! Good job :)

  12. Looks delicious! Love all the layers. Pat

  13. Happy birthday!! And oh. my. goodness. this looks amazing! I'd almost not want to eat it, it's so pretty! But it looks delicious too, so I'd have to go for it in the end! Hope your birthday was lovely!

  14. Happy belated birthday Karen! I'm so sorry that I missed this post until now. I've done over 130 emails so far today but still have 320 to go, so as you can see I'm quite behind and I'm sorry that I didn't get to wish you a Happy Birthday on your blog. Your cake is gorgeous. I can see the difference in the ombre colors. I've found that photographing blues & purples are difficult to show the actual shades that they are, but I can definitely see the difference in colors on your cake. I hope you enjoyed it and that you had an amazing birthday! I'm sorry that the banana cake didn't work out, but I'm sure you enjoyed the carrot cake. Happy Birthday!

  15. Karen, I LOVE this post and the story you shared. It's not often that someone finds their passion that early in life. Turns out to be a good thing you trashed the first cake... Sounds like carrot cake is extra special to you. I would never have thought to add a lemon buttercream! Yum. You are a cake master and I'm green with envy over your creativity and skills. You Go GirlFriend!