SEATTLE — Seattle Designer turned amateur baker Bianca Jackson recently appeared on The Great American Baking Show: Holiday Edition, as the first contestant from Seattle. With her background in design, Jackson is passionate about incorporating artistic elements into her baking without sacrificing any of the flavor.
To see more of Bianca's designs, follow her on Instagram.
How to Make Bianca Jackson's Carrot Graham Cake (Recipe)
Recipe makes a 2 layer, 8” cake
Prepare your ingredients / materials
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Prepare 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Butter and flour the pans or spray with
- baking spray (such as Baker’s Joy) and line the bottom of pan with a circle of parchment paper
- Prep all ingredients by measuring them out
- In the mixing bowl you can weigh the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla together
- In a separate large bowl you can weigh sifted flour, graham cracker
- crumbs, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together for about 1 minute to ensure everything is evenly mixed (it really does take about a minute to ensure even mixing).
- Measure out the remaining ingredients (nuts, carrots, parsnips) in separate bowls
Carrot Graham Parsnip Cake Layers
- 300g granulated sugar
- 100g light brown sugar
- 150g vegetable or canola oil
- 150g browned butter
- 170g eggs, room temperature (about 3 extra large eggs)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 250g sifted all purpose flour
- 150g finely ground graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- .5 tsp nutmeg
- 1.5 tsp baking soda (try .5 tsp)
- .5 tsp baking powder (try 1.5 tsp)
- 1.5 tsp kosher salt
- 1/5 cup chopped toasted walnuts, tossed in 1tsp flour (optional)
- 500 g (16oz) carrots, finely grated
- 100g (about 3oz) finely grated parsnips (optional)
- Beat the sugar, oil, and eggs together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light yellow, about 3 minutes.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. And mix until just combined and you don't see streaks of flour.
- With a spatula, fold in the carrots, parsnips, and walnuts and mix until evenly
- incorporated (again, just until you don’t see large pockets of batter)
- Divide the batter equally between the 2 pans.
- Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool about 20 in the pans set over a wire rack, and then remove from the pan.
- (be sure to remove the parchment on the bottom!)
Cream Cheese Swiss Meringue Buttercream
(makes ~4 cups, enough to cover cake and decorate)
- 126 g egg white
- 255 g sugar
- .25 tsp cream of tartar
- 396g (~3.5 sticks) unsalted butter
- .5 tsp kosher salt (use half as much if using table salt)
- 226g softened cream cheese, room temperature (8oz block)
- 180g confectioners sugar
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- Remove butter from fridge and cut into cubes to allow it to come to temperature (70°F)
- Fill a wide pot with at least 1 1/2 inches of water and create double boiler (make sure metal bowl does not touch water)
- In a metal bowl for stand mixer whisk egg whites, cream of tartar, and sugar.
- Place over the double boiler and bring mixture to 180 degrees F (start at medium high and then reduce to simmer). Should take no more than 10-15 minutes
- Once at temperature, move the bowl to mixer and use whisk attachment to whip up the meringue. Keep whipping until the temperature of the mixture reduces to 90 degrees F (about 8 min)
- Add in butter by small amounts and whip until it comes together. If it appears too loose or curdled keep mixing for at least 3 minutes. If it is still too loose, pop the bowl in the fridge for a few minutes and then try mixing again.
- Add salt to taste
- Switch to paddle attachment, add in vanilla extract and continue to beat until the buttercream is glossy and smooth.
- In a separate bowl using a spatula or hand mixer, beat the softened cream cheese and sifted confectioners sugar until smooth.
- Once smooth, slowly add the swiss meringue buttercream to the cream cheese mixture and mix until combined.
Assemble Your Cake
- Take each cake and trim off any domed top.
- Place a cake board (or a plate will do) on a cake turntable (or cake stand). If using a cake board, adhere it with some masking tape or a nonslip mat
- Put a dollop of frosting on the cake board / plate to prevent the cake from sliding.
- Place first layer of cake on the board / plate and top with ¾ cup buttercream
- Sprinkle additional nuts here if you would like
- Place second layer on top of buttercream.
- Use about 1.5 to 2 cups of buttercream to cover the remainder of the cake how you wish.
- Any leftover buttercream can be used for piping additional details, painting on some color, or can be stored in airtight container (at room temp for 2 days, in fridge for 2 weeks, in freezer for 3 months).