Sweet sustainability on every level! The best goodies from the garden start with healthy fertile soil. Celebrate Mother Earth's labor with a divine 3 layer cake you'll savor! Top it off with maple-sweetened Organic Valley Whipped Cream!
Preheat oven to 325F. Lightly grease three 9-inch cake pans (with 1 1/2" sides). Line bottom of the pans with waxed paper & lightly grease the paper. Please don't skip this step - if the cakes stick, it throws the whole experience off a bit (do it for your mama!). The cake will be assembled with the bottom layer being carrot (deep in the earth), the next level will be zucchini (the earth's surface), and the uppermost level is apple, celebrating the trees, which connect the deep earth with the sky.
Sift together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, Organic Valley Nonfat Dry Milk Powder, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, into a large mixing bowl.
You'll do this step for each of the cake's (3) layers!
In a medium sized mixing bowl whisk together the wet ingredients: 1 Organic Valley Extra Large Egg, 1/3 cup wildflower honey, 1/3 cup melted Organic Valley European-style Cultured Butter, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 cup of grated carrot, apple or zucchini.
***Optional ingredients (like raisins, pecans, almonds, chocolate chips, etc..) may be added if desired. Please note: For best results do not add more than a total of 2/3 cup of optional ingredients, per layer. I tried adding raisins and pecans to the carrot layer and it was divine!
Mix together 1 1/3 cup dry ingredients with 1 batch of the wet ingredients. Mix until well combined and pour into the prepared cake pan. Repeat the process with each combination of wet ingredients (carrot, zucchini, apple) until cake pans are ready for the oven.
Set timer for 45 minutes and arrange pans on the middle rack. Be conscious of where each layer is placed, as once fully baked, they look similar. About midway through the baking time, re-position pans to promote uniform browning.
In Between the Layers: while the cakes are baking, in a medium mixing bowl, blend together softened Organic Valley Neufchatel Cheese, Organic Valley European-style Cultured Butter, and wildflower honey with an electric mixer, until smooth. Set aside, as this will be used in between the cooled cake layers.
The Topping: pour 1 pint Organic Valley Heavy Whipping Cream into a pre-chilled mixing bowl, using an electric mixer set on the highest speed, whip to perfection while slowly adding 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or to taste).
Check on the cakes: rotate positions after 20-25 minutes to insure even cooking. Bake until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and cakes pull away from the sides of pans, about 45-50 minutes. Cool in the pans, placed on racks for 15 minutes. Turn out cakes onto cooling racks and allow to cool completely. Please note: Cakes can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap tightly in plastic and store at room temperature.
To assemble: place the carrot layer on a beautiful platter. Spread with 1/2 of the cream cheese frosting, and place the zucchini layer on top. Spread the rest of the frosting atop the zucchini layer. Top with the apple cake layer. For immediate service: apply the maple whipped cream to entire cake in decorative swirls. If reserving cake for later: apply whipped topping immediately prior to service, as whipped cream tastes best fresh! Another option: Skip the whip, and make more cream cheese frosting (triple the recipe).
Thanks for calling our attention to this error, Pat. Your starting point is 2 tablespoons!