July 8, 2010

Carrot Cake

Last June, my dad had a birthday, so I decided to make him a cake. I chose a carrot cake, in memory of a carrot cake he made once, over twenty years ago when I was in kindergarten. He made it with cream cheese frosting that was almost as thick as the cake, and brought it to my kindergarten class for the snack that day. Imagine what parents today would say if he tried to bring something so "unhealthy" to feed little 5-year-olds! Ha!

Once again, this recipe is from "Baking" by Dorie Greenspan. Already I've made these cookies and numerous other tasty items from its pages (you don't know about them becuase I haven't blogged about them!) and I've enjoyed most of what I've tried. But if you ask my husband, he'd tell you that this cake is the best so far.

Carrot Cake

for the cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
3 cups grated carrot
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 large eggs

for the frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (8 Tb) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 pound (3 3/4 cups) confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 Tb fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)
finely chopped toasted nuts and toasted shredded coconut, for topping (optional)

Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter & flour three 9"x2" round cake pans. Place two pans on one baking sheet, and one on another.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In another bowl, stir together the carrots, chopped nuts, coconut & raisins.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the sugar and oil together on medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs one by one, and continue to beat until the batter is even smoother. Reduce speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing only until the dry ingredients disappear. Gently mix in the chunky ingredients. Divide the batter among the baking pans.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point, until a thin knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer cakes to cooling racks and cool for 10 minutes, then unmold them, and cool to room temperature.

Make the frosting: Working with a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the frosting is velvety smooth. Beat in lemon juice.

Assemble the cake: Put one layer top side up on a cardboard cake round or a cake plate protected by strips of wax paper. Cover the layer generously with frosting, using an offset spatula to smooth it all the way to the edges of the layer. Top with the second layer, this time placing the cake top side down, and frost with more frosting. Top with the last layer, right side up, and frost the top (and the sides, if you want) of the cake. Sprinkle with nuts or coconut, if desired. Refrigerate 30 minutes to set the frosting, before serving.


T. Wimple said...

yeah, it's the best so far.

phil said...

what happened to the ramen revisited?

marseillefrog said...

I still remember that day Shan! Remember Dad talking about it at home? He's like "I still dream about that icing, it was like and inch thick." lol

Juliana Wina Rome said...

It looks delicious.