Ipso Fatto Instant Photo: Alexander Turns Nine

My friend Dorothy passed along a list of baked goods requests from her son Alexander for his birthday party this year, and the top two items on the list were: 1) carrot; and 2) caramel. So I decided to make the Antique Caramel Cake from Baked Elements, and cupcakes from Joanne Chang's "Classic Carrot Cake" recipe in Flour.

There's not much to say about the cupcakes -- they were slightly dense, more like a quickbread than a cupcake. I topped them with my standard cream cheese frosting from this recipe and they tasted fine -- but last year's carrot cupcakes were better. The caramel cake was definitely the center of attention, though -- I made a swirl design in the frosting on top and filled it with some salted caramel. I brought the rest of the salted caramel sauce to the party in a squeeze bottle so that guests could easily add as much additional sauce as they liked.
I had forgotten how incredible this cake is. The texture is feather light and the sauce is so gloriously rich and indulgent. In fact, I decided to make the cake again a few days later for an office going away party -- and I served the extra sauce on the side in a gravy boat, allowing attendees to gleefully pour away.

Alexander told me that liked the caramel cake and the carrot cupcakes equally, and his younger brother Liam told me that he liked the cake better. Either way, both desserts were heartily enjoyed by the kids and adults alike. I can't believe that Alexander is already nine years old -- we'll see if he asks for something extra special next year when he hits double digits!

Recipe: "Antique Caramel Cake" from Baked Elements by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, recipe available here at Baked Sunday Mornings.

Previous Post: "The Cake So Nice I Made It Twice: Antique Caramel Cake," January 25, 2013.

Previous Alexander Birthday Baked Goods: Alexander Turns Eight (Carrot Cupcakes and Strawberry Cupcakes); Seven (Fraisier); Six (Rose Levy Beranbuam's Carrot Cake): Five (Riva's Carrot Cake): Four (Red Velvet Cupcakes and Brownies): Three (Red Velvet Cake and Salted Fudge Brownies); and Two (Restaurant Eve Cake).