UPDATE 10/30/10: If you are looking for the Carrot Cake Cheesecake, please click here.
BG's birthday was last week, and carrot cake is his favorite. I had never made a carrot cake, not even for him, so I figured this was the year to do it. There are so many delicious looking recipes out there for carrot cake, but I finally settled on this one as it declared to be the best. (Of course, they all claim to be the best, so really it was more of closing my eyes, pointing, and settling with the recipe where my finger landed.)
In all honesty, I chose this recipe because based on the ingredients and process, it seemed like it would have a great moist turnout. Plus, the other close contender called for a vast amount of olive oil, and quite frankly, it scared me a little. I'm sure it's great, but I just didn't want to chance it.
If making carrot cake intimidates you at all, don't let it! You won't believe how easy it is! Seriously, the most tasking part was grating the carrots. Even that wasn't so bad, and if you have a food processor, even better!
I didn't follow the instructions for buttering and flouring the cake pans. Instead, I used my Wilton Cake Release and lined the bottom with parchment paper. The middle sunk a little, so next time I'm going to try the butter/flour method. Even so, it still looked great, tasted wonderful and received many accolades. It has just the right blend of spices and the ingredients that you think would be too chunky, were not at all! BG agrees I need to keep this as my go-to carrot cake recipe. No need to try any others, when I think we have found perfection!
Yields: 12 - 14 slices
3 large carrots (two cups grated)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 (8-oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (more for decorating sides, if desired)
2/3 cup raisins (optional, I omitted)
1 batch of Cream Cheese Frosting
Put a rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 350˚F. Butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans, knocking out excess flour.
Shred enough carrots on smallest teardrop holes of box grater or with fine shredding disk in a food processor to measure 2 cups.
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into a large bowl. Stir in sugar, oil, eggs, carrots, pineapple, coconut, walnuts and raisins (if using).
Divide batter between cake pans and bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cakes comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes (mine was perfect at 40). Cool layers in pans on a rack for 5 minutes, then run a thin knife around edge of each pan and invert layers onto rack to cool completely.
Place one cake layer bottom side up on a cake plate and spread with some of frosting. Place remaining cake layer right side up on top and spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Decorate as desired.
Source: Adapted from The Ulterior Epicure
Penny Says: Make the most of this dessert! I was able to serve this to three different crowds in one week by preserving the leftovers in my fridge. Keep it moist by applying plastic wrap to the cut edges. This cake served 6 people on Sunday night, 6 more people on Wednesday night, then two more on Thursday. The flavor didn't suffer a bit!