Friday, October 10, 2008

Creating A Colorful Conversation Cake

(NAPSI)-Often, the best conversations happen during dessert. Whether having an intelligent dialogue or just gossiping over the latest news, it's always a colorful conversation. Here's how to create a cake to get that colorful conversation going:

Ingredients:

Cake:

Cooking spray

1 cup LouAna vegetable oil

1½ cups granulated sugar

½ cup light brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 large eggs

2½ cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 (8-ounce) carton sour cream

3 cups grated carrots

½ cup chopped toasted pecans

Frosting:

½ cup butter, softened

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese

3 cups powdered sugar

3 tablespoons chopped pecan halves, toasted

3 tablespoons chopped, pitted dates

3 tablespoons coarsely chopped raisins

Garnish:

2 kiwis, peeled and sliced lengthwise

Pecan halves

Maraschino cherries

Preparation and Cooking:

Preheat oven to 350°.

Line bottoms of 2 (8-inch) round cake pans with waxed paper; coat with cooking spray. Combine and stir oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract and eggs in a large bowl. Stir flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and nutmeg in separate bowl. Alternately add flour mixture and sour cream to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; stir just until combined. Stir in carrots and pecans. Divide batter between pans. Bake for 45 minutes. If you insert a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean, it's ready. Cool pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove cakes; cool completely on racks.

For frosting, combine and beat butter and cream cheese. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until smooth. Remove 1¼ cups frosting and add pecans, dates and raisins; set remaining frosting aside.

Place one cake layer on a plate; top with nut and fruit mixture. Place second cake layer on top. Spread very thin layer of frosting over top and sides of cake, which eases the main frosting process. Chill cake and remaining frosting 1 hour. Spread remaining frosting over entire cake.

Garnish with kiwis, pecans and cherries.

Serves 10 people.

Visit www.louana.com for more recipes.

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