2 June, 2021
Craveworthy Carrot Cake
I like to make birthday cakes for my friends when they’ll let me. Some don’t want the pomp and circumstance, but for those who do, I like to go all out. This year, one of my good friends asked for a carrot cake, and I was determined to deliver. This recipe makes enough for a four-layer 4″ stovepipe cake and just shy of a dozen cupcakes, or you can make a standard two-layer 9″ cake or just a whole slew of cupcakes (two dozen, give or take). Also note that the frosting is very soft, but you can easily use it to coat the whole cake, just be sure to chill it once it’s ready!
For the Cake
2 cups Flour
2 tsp Baking soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Clove
1 1/4 cup Canola oil
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Brown sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
4 Eggs, room temp
3 cups Carrot, grated (6-7 average-sized carrots)
1 cup Pecans, chopped, plus extra for decorating
2/3 cup Raisins, plus extra for decorating
For the Frosting
8 oz Cream cheese, room temp
1 1/4 cup Confectioner’s sugar
1/3 cup Heavy whipping cream
Shred your carrots either with a mandolin or a hand peeler. There’s no quick and easy way to do this, but make sure you keep the strips short and thin. Too long and you’ll end up with carrot noodles in your cake. Too thick and you’ll end up with carrot chunks, which isn’t as appealing as you think it sounds. Grease your cake pans/muffin tins, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and clove. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the oil, sugars, and vanilla until creamy. Add in the eggs one at a time and whip them until they’re light in color. Gradually add in the dry mix on a low setting, followed by the carrot, nuts, and raisins.
Pour the batter into your cake pans and prepare to bake, rotating halfway through to account for hotspots in your oven.
For 4″ pans, bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
For 9″ pans, bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
For cupcakes, bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting! Otherwise it’ll just melt off and everyone will be sad.
When it’s time to frost, cream your cream cheese in a stand mixer until it’s… creamy. It’ll take about a minute; you just want to get the lumps out. Add in your confectioner’s sugar and mix until it’s fluffy. Beat in the heavy cream on medium-high for about a minute. Frost immediately, or, if you want slightly stiffer frosting to work with, chill it first.
To decorate, you can either cut the cakes in half lengthwise or leave them whole (I left them whole). Place one cake on your dish, and plop a lump of frosting on top of it. Swirl that around with a spatula, working it toward and gradually down the sides of the cake. Add some crushed pecans on top before stacking a second cake atop the first. Repeat the frosting and nut-sprinkling process and repeat until you’re out of layers. If you’re making a tall 4″ cake, I suggest sticking at least one kebab skewer or tall straw through the center of the cake to stabilize it and to give you something to hold while frosting the outside of the cake. Cut it down flush with the top of the cake when you’re done using it for balance. Decorate as you see fit and store the cake in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve it.