Carrot cake is delicious, no matter what my older sister says (she actually forbade me from bringing it to Easter dinner).
She may actually change her mind once she finds out this doesn’t have nuts or raisins in it. I must agree those do ruin a delicious carrot cake.
Don’t be put off by those jars of baby food down there. You can puree your own carrots if you want, but it’s way easier to get the pre-made stuff. If it’s good enough for baby, it’s good enough for cake, right? And I’m pretty sure it helped make the cake super moist.
The recipe also calls for fresh, shredded carrots. I used a fine cheese grater, which was kind of a pain. There’s gotta be a better way.
I also ran into a bit of an issue when I tried to invert the cakes onto the platter. The middle stuck to the pan. Badly. You can see that the middle shrunk a bit, but I’m not sure why, or whether that contributed to the sticking. Any bakers out there have advice? But the great thing about layer cakes is you can just hide the messed up part in the middle and frost over it all.
I also wasn’t sure how to decorate the cake. The original recipe called for edible flowers, but I didn’t have any on-hand. And didn’t want to go in the backyard and guess which ones were edible. So I found these little carrot chocolates and garnished the platter. Worked fine for me, but I’m sure you all can be way more creative.
Recipe: Carrot cake
Adapted from Bride & Groom First and Forever Cookbook
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 cups corn oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups grated carrot
- 2 jars (4 ounces each) carrot puree (baby food)
- 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 12 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Position rack in center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Spray two 9-inch cake pans with vegetable oil cooking spray.
- Whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil and vanilla and add to the dry ingredients. Using the paddle attachment, beat on low speed for about one minute. Add the grated carrot, carrot puree and coconut and mix until just incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans and bake until a knife inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool completely.
- Sift the powdered sugar into a medium bowl and set aside. Int he bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together at medium speed the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and salt, scraping down the sides of the bowl at least once, until the mixture is smooth. Slowly add the powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
- To assemble, place one cake, flat-side up, on a platter. Spread part of the icing over the top of the cake. Top with the second cake, flat-side up, and spread the remaining icing over the top and sides of the cake. Decorate before serving.
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