Today I invited some friends over for dinner and wanted to make something special for dessert, and thought of making a carrot cake which I used to make couple of years ago but recently I came across this wonderful delicious moist carrot cake recipe from SweetPea's kitchen and so I wanted to give it a try. This recipe makes a nice and moist cake. The only change I made was halved the recipe and baked in two 6 in cake pan and also added about 1/4 cup of chopped pineapple which I think I am going to opt out the next time I make this cake. This definitely is a keeper :)
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces)
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 pound medium carrots (6 to 7 carrots), peeled
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (10 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil, safflower oil, or canola oil
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
16 ounces cream cheese, softened but still cool
10 tablespoons unsalted butter softened, but still cool
2 tablespoon sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 cup pecans, chopped finely and toasted
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9-inch round baking pans with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottoms of pan with parchment and spray parchment.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, black pepper, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, and salt in large bowl; set aside.
- Using the large holes of box grater shred carrots (you should have about 3 cups); transfer carrots to bowl and set aside.
- In bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat granulated and brown sugars and eggs on medium-high until thoroughly combined, about 45 seconds. Reduce speed to medium; with mixer running, add oil in slow, steady stream, being careful to pour oil against inside of bowl (if oil begins to splatter, reduce speed to low until oil is incorporated, then resume adding oil). Increase speed to high and mix until mixture is light in color and well emulsified, about 45 seconds to 1 minute longer. Turn off mixer and stir in carrots and dry ingredients by hand until incorporated and no streaks of flour remain. Pour into prepared pans.
- Bake until toothpick or skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time. Cool cakes to room temperature in pan on wire rack, about 2 hours.
- When the cake is cool, make the cream cheese frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix cream cheese, butter, sour cream, and vanilla at medium high speed until well combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Add confectioners’ sugar and mix until very fluffy, about 1 minute.
- To assemble the cake: cut layers in half horizontally using a long serrated knife so each cake forms 2 layers. Put a dab of icing on a cardboard round cut just larger than the cake and center one cake layer on the round. Place a large blob of icing in the center of the layer and spread it to the edges with an icing spatula. Repeat with remaining cake layers. Ice the sides and top of the cake.
- Press the pecans into the sides of the cake.
- You can use the same cream cheese frosting but add a little more confectioner sugar to thicken it for the decorative carrot. or you can add 1/4 cup of butter and 1/4 cup shortening and 2 cups confectioners sugar and beat till well blended and fluffy. Divide the frosting in 2 bowls and color one orange and one with green.
- Fit a decorating bag with Round Decorating Tip 12 and fill 1/2 full with orange icing. Hold the decorating bag at slightly less than 90° angle. Position tip slightly above surface of the cake. Using heavy pressure, begin squeezing at top of carrot. Lift tip slightly, letting the icing fan out generously. Gradually relax pressure to taper shape as you pull back.
- Fit a decorating bag with Decorating Tip 3 and fill 1/2 full with green icing. Trim the carrots with pull-out string tops.