I currently live in Charlotte, NC and after spending 7 years as a personal chef and caterer, I am now happy to share my love of cooking with friends and family. My heart is in the kitchen, but my soul is in the stars!

Tizzert's Carrot Pecan Cake

Wednesday is my favorite day of the week for numerous reasons, but mainly because it's the day that the food section is included with the newspaper. Forget world peace and politics ~ I want to read about fruits and vegetables and hot new restaurant openings!

On a recent Wednesday, there was a short press release about Tizzert's, a "custom cakery" that opened back in 1995 here in Charlotte having revamped their website. Even under normal circumstances, I would have been compelled to check out the website but this particular day I found it ironic that I was even reading about Tizzert's in the first place. It was probably about the same time, back in 1995, when Tizzert's first opened that the online version of the Charlotte Observer ran a press release about Tiz Faison and her desire to start a bakery. Along with the article was a recipe for Tizzert's Carrot Pecan Cake. Not having the perfect carrot cake recipe in my repertoire at that time, I printed it from the website and filed it away.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I baked a carrot cake for my co-worker's birthday. Guess which recipe I used? The recipe that had been used so many times before in my own catering business. The one that made a grand entrance for Captain Sturm's 40th birthday. The one and only Tizzert's Carrot Pecan Cake taken from the website some 14 years ago.

Not much of a from-scratch cake baker myself, this recipe bakes up perfectly every single time. It's moist and delicious and the velvety cream cheese icing is nothing but out of this world creamy goodness! Granted, my photo does not do justice to Tizzert's wonderful creation, but this photo was taken on the fly just before I rushed out the door to the office (I had actually forgotten the cake that morning and had to come back home to get it!) And I gave up trying to make my cakes look like something straight out of the Wilton Cake Decorating book. When garnished correctly with finely chopped pecans pressed all around the sides of the 3 layer cake, it is pretty impressive (again, please forgive me for sending this poor cake to slaughter without the proper garnish but it was Monday and I was late and she was lucky that I remembered to bake the thing in the first place.) Oh sure, the cake is loaded with sugar but it can conceivably be considered healthy and good for you since it has vegetables in it, right?

Congratulations on your booming business, Tiz, and great job on your new website.

Tizzert's Carrot Pecan Cake

Cake layers:
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cup oil
4 whole eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups grated fresh carrots
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
2 8 oz. cream cheese
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 cups pecans, chopped extra fine
1/8 cup half pecan pieces or larger -- (1/8 to 1/4)

For cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cake pans with parchment & spray lightly with pan spray. Combine oil and sugar in a mixing bowl and cream until light. Add whole eggs and vanilla. Sift together dry ingredients. Add to bowl slowly and blend well until all flour is incorporated.
Add carrots and pecans to mixing bowl and incorporate well. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 25-30 mins. Allow to cool in pan at room temp.

For frosting:
Allow butter and cream cheese to come to room temp. Use an electric mixer with a paddle attachment and add butter to bowl and beat well. Slowly add softened cream cheese to butter mixture in small pieces to decrease any chance of lumps. Scrape down bowl and add powdered sugar slowly, again blending well. Add vanilla last. Scrape bowl and blend 1 minute until smooth. Use frosting at room temp.

To assemble cake:
Use 8" Cake circles to flip cooled cake layers out of pans. Remove parchment. Carefully, trim any excess edges with a serrated knife to level each level. Apply cream cheese frosting evenly to 2 layers only. Place unfrosted layer onto 1 frosted layer and fold last frosted layer on top of these layers (like a hamburger). Chilled filled cake in refrigerator or freezer 30 mins or more (wrap in plastic wrap if longer than 30 mins). Remove chilled, filled cake and set on turntable. Add 1+ cups frosting to top of cake and push to sides, slowly turning turntable as you go around sizes of cake with straight met 8" spatula. Use more frosting as needed. Scrape off excess when nearly finished. Smooth top with edges of off-set spatula, bring icing into the center of cake. Place finely ground pecans into large bowl. Hold cake in your strongest hand on cake circle and slowly touch pecans to sides evenly from top edge to bottom edge. Place completely "crumbed" cake on cake platter or final presentation plate. Using large pastry bag with large star tip, pipe rosettes in even numbers at edge of the top of the cake to represent a slice (12 works nicely). Sprinkle rosettes with half or larger pieces to complete cake. Refrigerate before serving.


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Anonymous said...

You know... there's something to be said for a simply decorated cake. And this one reminds me that I have a carrot cake recipe that I need to post, too!