Carrot Cake Recipe

Classic, homemade and delicious!   Carrot Cake Recipe - via GloriousTreats.com

I’ve wanted to share a delicious carrot cake recipe here for quite a long time!  The road block I kept running into was… what ingredients should be included in the “perfect” carrot cake?  I love my carrot cake to include nuts, raisins, pineapple and coconut… but I know not everyone agrees with this “loaded” version of carrot cake.

I recently asked readers on my Glorious Treats Facebook page to share what ingredients they like to be included in carrot cake.   Not surprisingly, the votes were quite split!

So… I set out to find a recipe that is delicious when filled with all of my favorites, but also would work with most any combination of ingredients you prefer!  Even if you’d like to omit a few of the ingredient “additions” I think you’ll find this carrot cake recipe is moist, flavorful and delicious!

This classic, homemade carrot cake recipe is loaded with nuts, raisins, pineapple and coconut, (just the way I like it!) but feel free to adjust to your personal preferences.

Moist, homemade and delicious!  Carrot Cake Recipe - via GloriousTreats.com

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Carrot Cake

This classic carrot cake is loaded with nuts, raisins, coconut and pineapple, then topped with rich and delicious cream cheese frosting!

Yield: 1- 9"x13" cake

Ingredients:

Carrot Cake

2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
3/4 cup raisins or currants

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil (I used olive)
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce (or use an additional 1/4 cup oil)
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups grated carrots
1 cup drained, (canned) crushed pineapple

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 (8oz.) package cream cheese
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 Tablespoons heavy cream (or milk)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350*F. Prepare a 9"x13" cake pan, OR two 9" round cake pans by rubbing lightly with butter or oil and lining the bottom with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.
Add nuts, coconut and raisins to the flour mixture, then set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer (or a large bowl and using a hand mixer), blend eggs and sugar.
Add oil, apple sauce and vanilla and blend until fully combined.
Stir in carrots and pineapple. Blend well.
While slowly mixing, pour in the bowl of dry ingredients. Blend until fully combined.
Pour batter into prepare pan(s). Spread to level, as needed.
Bake 9"x13" pan for 50-60 minutes (mine was ready at 54 minutes, in a metal pan).
The cake is ready when it appears baked on top, has a slight dome and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The top of the cake will be quite dark.
Allow cake to cool (about an hour) before frosting.

Prepare frosting -
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth. Add cream cheese, and beat until smooth and fully combined.
While mixing, add the powdered sugar, a little at a time. After you've added two cups of sugar, add the vanilla and 1 tablespoon of cream.
Add additional sugar until you've reached the desired consistency and desired sweetness. Add the additional tablespoon of cream as needed.
Spread onto cooled cake (using an offset spatula).

Garnish finished cake with nuts if desired.

Recipe source - Glorious Treats

Ingredient options - If you do not care to add nuts, raisins or coconut, each of those items are optional and the rest of the recipe can remain the same. If you do not care to add pineapple, you may omit it, but I would suggest replacing with 1/2 cup apple sauce or 1/2 cup sour cream to keep the cake nice and moist.

Cake sizes - This recipe will make a nice thick cake in a 9"x13" pan, and the baking time is listed for this size. You could also bake this cake in most any combination of pans (8" round, 9" round, 10"x15" jelly roll pan, etc.) It would be near impossible to list the baking times for each possible cake pan size. The cake is done with it has a slight dome, appears baked on top, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Delicious homemade Carrot Cake!  - via GloriousTreats.com

Give this delicious homemade carrot cake recipe a try and share it with people you love.   This cake “keeps” quite well and is even better the day after it’s made.

Happy baking!

Pretty Cookie Packaging

Pretty Cookie Packaging - GloriousTreats.com

Oh how I love pretty packaging!  Pretty cookie packaging can elevate even a simple cookie into a beautiful favor or gift!

Certainly there are LOTS of different ways to package cookies and treats!  In fact, I’ve shared several different cookie packaging ideas over time HERE, HERE and HERE.

Although I have shown this general style of cookie packaging before, when I recently posted an image on my Instagram feed (read, please follow me on Instagram) of a pretty packaged hydrangea cookie, I had several requests to share my packaging technique.  I thought it might be a good time to revisit the idea, and share a more in-depth step by step.

So I “whipped up” another batch of hydrangea cookies and I have all the step by step packaging directions for you!

Certainly, this packaging style could be used for most any cookie or treat.

If you’d like the directions for decorating the Hydrangea Cookies shown, hop over HERE.

Let’s get started…

Pretty Cookie Packaging - Step by Step tutorial, via GloriousTreats.com

Step 1-  Assemble your supplies.  For each finished cookie package you’ll need…

1- 4″ x 9″ gusseted cookie bag (such as this)

1- 4″ x 6″ flat cookie bag (such as this)

1- piece of cardstock (in your choice of color) 3.75″ x 6″

1- piece of cardstock 4″ (wide) x 3″ (tall), folded in half lenghtwise (using a bone folder if available).

Ribbon (of your choice)

Pretty Cookie Packaging - Step by Step, via GloriousTreats.com

Step 2-  Place the 3.75″ x  6″ piece of cardstock inside the smaller bag.  It’s hard to see from the photo above, but this has been done.

Pretty Cookie Packaging - Step by Step, via GloriousTreats.com

Step 3-  Place the bag with the cardstock INSIDE the larger, gusseted bag.

Pretty Cookie Packaging - Step by Step, via GloriousTreats.com

Step 4- Place your cookie inside the gusseted bag.  I like to use a spatula to avoid getting oil (from the cookie) on the bag or my hands.  If you notice, the bag that has the cardstock in it is inside one of the gussets (folds) of the bag, and the cookie is in the other fold.

Pretty Cookie Packaging - Step by Step, via GloriousTreats.com

 

Pretty Cookie Packaging - Step by Step, via GloriousTreats.com

Step 5-  Fold over the larger bag until it meets the top of the cardstock, and/or the top of the cookie.

Pretty Cookie Packaging - Step by Step, via GloriousTreats.com

Step 6-  Grab your pre-folded piece of cardstock and use it to enclose the folded bag (as shown).

Pretty Cookie Packaging - Step by Step, via GloriousTreats.com

Step 7 – Staple the folded bag and folded cardstock all together.  I usually do two staples, one on each side (as shown below).  If you do not want the staples to show, you can staple the folded bag only, then use double sided tape to hold down the folded cardstock.

Pretty Cookie Packaging - Step by Step, via GloriousTreats.com

Step 8 – The packaged cookie is almost complete, simply add ribbon to cover the staples and complete the look.

Pretty Cookie Packaging - Step by Step, via GloriousTreats.com

Now you have a beautifully packaged cookie, and the oils from the cookie will not stain the paper backing.  Feel free to mix and match different paper and ribbon to coordinate with your cookies.

Certainly this packaging technique is a bit more time consuming and costly than the standard cookie bag tied with a piece of ribbon.  I do not package my cookies like this for every occasion, but I do find it’s perfect for a special little gift, or extra pretty favor.

Love hydrangeas?  In additional to my hydrangea cookie tutorial, I have a pretty post on hydrangea cupcakes.

Happy baking, decorating and packaging!

Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies

Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies - via GloriousTreats.com

There is something about sunny spring weather that gets me thinking about fresh citrus flavors.  These Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies are a perfect spring treat!  And these cookies are so delicious, and simple to make, I know I’ll be making them all though the year!

These sweet and chewy cookies have a subtle lemon flavor, and just the perfect amount of crisp on the outside.  Everyone in my house loved them!!

Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies - via GloriousTreats.com

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Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies

Sweet, rich and chewy cookies with a subtle lemon flavor.

Yield: 30-36 cookies

Ingredients:

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
Zest of 2 lemons (2-3 teaspoons zest)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup granulated sugar (or sanding sugar), for rolling cookies

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350*F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat type baking mats.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add 1 1/2 cups sugar and blend until fully incorporated.

4. Add lemon zest, egg, vanilla and lemon juice and blend until fully combined.

5. While mixing on low, slowly pour in the bowl of dry ingredients. Mix just until all of the ingredients are fully incorporated.

6. Use a 2 Tablespoon sized cookie scoop to scoop dough. Roll balls of dough in a small bowl with sugar, then place about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.

7. Bake cookies 8-9 minutes or until cookies are set around the edges and slightly puffy. Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 3-4 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.

Recipe Source - Rock Recipes via My Baking Addiction.

Note - Roll the cookies in white or light yellow sanding sugar (versus granulated sugar) for a bit of extra sparkle. Sanding sugar is sold in most craft stores near the cake decorating items.

Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies - via GloriousTreats.com

These simple, yet delicious Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies are one of my new favorite cookies!  They’re a perfect lunch box or picnic treat, or a delicious addition to any cookie tray.

Love cookies?  Try a few of my other favorites…

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Snickerdoodles

Chocolate Crinkles

Cowboy Cookies

Happy  baking!!

Cookie Con 2014 Giveaway!! {Closed}

Earlier this week I shared a peek of some of the fun from the cookie decorating convention and show I attended last month, Cookie Con.

Cookie Con is always a great event (here’s my recap of 2012 and 2014), but this year one of the “new and improved” components of the event was a vendor hall full of vendors selling all of the beautiful supplies us bakers and ”cookiers” can’t get enough of!

I thought it would be a little mean to tell you about all of the wonderful goodies that were available without getting a few for you too!  So I’ve teamed up with several of this year’s Cookie Con vendors to bring you a Baker’s Dream Giveaway!!

Specialty cookie cutters… check, adorable packaging materials… check, sprinkles… of course!!

Take a peek at all of the gorgeous loot I gathered….

Baker's Dream Giveaway!!  - via GloriousTreats.com

Let me tell you about the gorgeousness you see here…

Adorable cupcake print pot holders and two fun colors of sanding sugar, from Orson Gygi.

A collection of adorable and unique cookie bags, from Kurabiiki.

Elevate your cookie or treat baskets with picks from Twirled Up.

A collection of quality extracts, from Nielsen Massey.

A signed copy of my book, Glorious Layered Desserts.

Four custom cookie cutters, from Truly Mad Plastics.

10 cookie boxes (5 small, 5 medium), from BRP Box Shop.

6 large spools of custom ribbon, as well as a bright and durable apron, from Ribbon by Design.

A total value of over $200.00!!

 

Don’t you think you’d feel extra inspired to make some beautiful treats with all of these fun supplies?!

Let me tell you how to win…  {Giveaway Closed}

1.)  Simply leave a comment on this blog post telling me the item(s) you’d be most excited to win from this collection of goodies!

2.)  For a second entry, leave a (second) comment telling me you’re following Glorious Treats on one or all of my social media pages…

LIKE Glorious Treats on Facebook

Follow Glorious Treats on Twitter

and/or follow Glorious Treats on Instagram.

 

Details -  Giveaway open to U.S. residents only.  Maximum of two entries per person.  Giveaway ends Wednesday, April 30th, at 9pm Pacific.  Winner will be chosen using random.org.

Please be sure to visit each of the giveaway sponsors sites, each business sells items that I use and love, and I know you will too!

Good luck!!

************************************ Giveaway Closed ************************************

Winning comment, #171 Laura

Cookie Con 2014

Mini Cookie Bakery by Flour Box Bakery - via GloriousTreats.com

{Adorable Cookie Bakery above by Flour Box Bakery}

Last month I spent a fun weekend in Salt Lake City for Cookie Con 2014!

Cookie Con is an international cookie decorating convention and show, and this year’s event was the second annual event.  Last Cookie Con was in the fall of 2012 and I had the pleasure of being one of 6 presenters that year.  You can catch up on Cookie Con 2012 (here).  This year, I attended Cookie Con as a vendor and had a booth set up to sell my book, Glorious Layered Desserts.

It’s taken me a while to share a post on Cookie Con 2014 partly because I’ve been overwhelmed as to how to possibly share such a big/fun/special event in one blog post!  I’ve finally concluded that it’s impossible to fully describe what it’s like to spend the weekend with 450 fun, kind, talented people from all over the world who all share a common interest… cookie decorating!  Simply put, it’s an amazing experience!

So this post is merely a teeny tiny snippet of Cookie Con!  If you are a cookie decorator, or have any interest in cookie decorating at all, you can find all the details on this amazing conference on CookieCon.net.  Cookie Con is the brainchild of Karen and Mike Summer of KarensCookies.net, two of the most amazing, hardworking, organized, generous people I’ve ever had the pleasure of getting to know!

And here’s a little peek at this year’s conference (from my perspective)…

Cookie Con 2014 - GloriousTreats.com

(top left)  I loved meeting Anne York of Flour Box Bakery!  Anne was one of the instructors this year.   I snuck away from my book signing table for a bit to sit in on one of her classes.

(top right)  I enjoyed traveling with my friend Bethany of Auntie Bea’s Bakery, and we enjoyed a really wonderful dinner with the owners of Ribbon by Design.

(bottom left) I had the pleasure of getting to know Julia Usher at the 2012 conference and I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with her again this year!

(bottom right) The sweet and talented Liz Adams, aka Arty Mcgoo!  Liz and her husband John were the key note speakers at this years conference and it will be near impossible for anyone to ever top their opening night address/entertainment!  Here’s a peek at what they put together for us (my favorite is the Party Rock Anthem).

On the outside, Cookie Con is about the art of cookie decorating… but I think any attendee would agree it’s really about the people!  Meeting new friends, and spending time with old friends is always the highlight of the weekend!

But of course there are LOTS of gorgeous cookies!!

Below are photos of just a small portion of the amazing cookies in this year’s Sugar Show.  There were several different categories, ranging from “Home Sweet Home” (cookies to represent your home), to “Anything Goes”.  Although their are prizes given for the show, to me it’s more of a gallery than a contest.  It’s just so incredible to see what everyone brings to the table!  The variety of techniques and styles creates such an amazing display!!

Cookie Con 2014 Sugar Show Cookies - via GloriousTreats.com

Above – Jeweled Fairy – Teri Lewis, 3-D Floral Shoe – Rocking Horse Sugar Decor, Where the Wild Things are – Sugar Bliss Cookies, Rain Boots – Sassy Divine Cookie Couture,   Beauty and the Beast – Trilogy Edibles, 3-D Dragon – Lucky Penny Cookies

Cookie Con 2014 Sugar Show - via GloriousTreats.com

Above – Mexican Dolls – The Sweet Workshop,  Australian Sunset – Three Sisters Bakery,  Round Mosaic – Yankee Girl Yummies,  Cookie Girl – Penny White, Cookie Con pairs – Onree’s Sweets

The collection of cookies below were created at Cookie Con (versus the Sugar Show cookies, which are brought from home already decorated).  Each of the cookies below was decorated on the same shaped cookie cutter… a mystery shape!  The mystery shape was decorated as part of a contest.  The cookies may be decorated any way you like, and it’s not revealed what the cutter’s original shape/purpose is.  Can you guess the cutter?

Cookie Con 2014 - GloriousTreats.com

Did you figured out the cutter?  It’s a thought bubble!

Isn’t the creativity super inspiring?!

In addition to spending time with “cookie friends” and enjoying the amazing Sugar Show display, Cookie Con is packed with learning!

This year’s class instructors were… Georganne of LilaLoa,  Anne of Flour Box Bakery, Angela of Oh, Sugar! Events,  Amber of SweetAmbs, Myri of Chapix Cookies, and Susan of The Painted Cookie.  Liz Adams – Arty McGoo, and her husband John Adams were the key note speakers.

I only had time to attend a couple classes (between selling books), but I heard wonderful things about each class!

And as if gorgeous cookies and gorgeous friends aren’t enough to fill the weeked… there was a vendor room filled with “sweet” vendors selling an array of cookie cutters, pretty packaging supplies, ingredients and tools!  The complete list of vendors and sponsors from this years event are listed HERE.

Cookie Con is always such an amazing event and certainly should be on your “must attend” list if you have any interest in cookie decorating!  Thanks again to Mike and Karen of Karen’s Cookies for creating such a special conference!

Cookie Con 2014 - via GloriousTreats.com{Cookie Con founders/organizers Karen & Mike Summers (center) along with their amazing staff}

If you were not able to attend this year, I hope these cookies have offered some inspiration and ideas to spark some creativity in your decorating!  And if you’re feeling a little sad that you were not able to attend… stay tuned for a giveaway this week that might be able to perk you up! =)