January 25, 2012

A carrot cake and cream cheese frosting recipe

It's been party, party, party around these parts. The husband had a birthday, the baby turned 3 months, and a whole bunch of kindergartners threw the baby a party. Which was all kinds of adorable, btw. But of course, we needed cake to keep in the home. For birthday singing, making wishes, and late night dessert eating. For that, we make carrot cake. It's the husband's favorite, and serves as an easy excuse to whip up a batch of cream cheese frosting. This one is perfection.

A carrot cake recipe, for all celebratory occasions.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups canola oil or apple sauce
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups carrots, peeled and grated (approx. 3-6 carrots, depending on size)
1 cup pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
16 oz crushed pineapple, drained

Cream Cheese Frosting
16 oz cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the cake, preheat oven to 350°F. Line two 9 inch cake pans with parchment paper. Lightly butter and flour pan, knock out excess flour. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine sugar and oil/applesauce until well combined. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla. Add the flour mixture and mix until blended. Add carrots, walnuts or pecans, raisins, and pineapple, to batter and mix until just combined.

Divide the batter equally between the 2 pans. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool cakes in the pans set over a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn cakes out onto wire rack, remove parchment paper, and continue to cool cakes completely.

For the icing, mix cream cheese, butter and vanilla in stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment until just combined. Add sugar and mix until smooth and fluffy. Chill in refrigerator, if needed.

To assemble, place 1 layer, bottom side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. Spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly, or not so evenly, atop the cake.

Some notes: 

If you love the people you are making this cake for, do not use pre-shredded carrots from the market. They aren't grated finely enough and are much drier, making for a not so moist cake. A food processor is fine alternative, if you're short on time or patience.

Apple sauce can be substituted for the oil, but in this recipe, it can make the cake much more dense and chewy. If you must, start by subbing 1/4 cup of apple sauce for oil, and increase to taste. It does add a nice sweetness to the cake, if you don't mind the texture.

I am partial to a cream cheese frosting that tastes more cream cheesy v. sugary. Dip your little pinky finger in the frosting bowl after it's all mixed up and add more sugar, if you'd like.


1 comment:

BmoreBruin said...

JT! this sounds incredible! i must make.