Thursday, February 3, 2011

Carrot Cake

This has been sitting in my big pile of things I need to post since September. But since today is National Carrot Cake Day, I decided I should dust it off and get it posted!

I'll start by saying, I'm not really a Carrot Cake fan. It's not something I'd typically select of my own volition. I might select a Carrot Cake Cupcake, if my only other choice was Chocolate. But it's just not really ever going to be one of my top choices.

I was trying to be all stealthy to find out my friend Erin's favorite kinda cake for her birthday. So I asked her husband, who in turn asked her and told me it was Carrot Cake. Heck, I coulda done that! Ok... so it ended up not being so stealthy, but at least I found out. I don't know if Jon would know my favorite cake either. Actually, since I mostly don't really care for cake, he'd probably come up with something like, "Is this a trick question??" Jon... what's my favorite cake?? Let's see what he says. And you can't ask if it's a trick question!

Anyway... I needed to find a Carrot Cake recipe for Erin. I asked my sister Jeannie and she provided me with her go-to Carrot Cake recipe. She thinks it's a McCall's Cooking School Recipe.















Carrot Cake
3 C flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 lb carrots
1 C butter, softened
1 C light-brown sugar, packed
1 C granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 TBLS grated lemon peel
2 TBLS grated orange peel
2 TBLS lemon juice
2 TBLS orange juice
1 C walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 C seedless raisins (I'm pretty sure I left these out)
1 - 2 C walnuts, coarsely chopped (I added this to the stick to the frosting)

Lightly grease and flour two 8 inch cake pans. Whisk flour with baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; set aside.

Wash and peel carrots; grate on medium grater, or use coarse blade of food processor. Should measure 4 cups.

Preheat oven to 350F.

In large bowl of mixer, at high speed, beat butter and brown and granulated sugars, occasionally scraping side of bowl with rubber scraper, until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time; beat well after each addition until smooth and light.

In measuring cup, combine lemon and orange peels and juices. At low speed, beat in flour mixture, in fourths, alternately with lemon-orange mixture, in thirds, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat just until smooth, about 1 minute.

With wooden spoon, stir in grated carrot, 1 cup of nuts and raisins, mix well. Turn into prepared cake pans; spread evenly. Bake 50 - 60 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 20 minutes, to cool slightly.

Gently loosen edge of cake with a spatula. Turn out of pans onto a rack. When cakes are completely cooled, frost layers of cake with cream cheese frosting. Press chopped walnuts around sides of cake.

Cream Cheese Frosting from allrecipes.com
2 (8 ounce) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 C butter, softened
2 C sifted confectioners' sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.


















Wash and peel carrots; grate on medium grater, or use coarse blade of food processor. Should measure 4 cups.
































In measuring cup, combine lemon and orange peels and juices.















In large bowl of mixer, at high speed, beat butter and brown and granulated sugars














I totally wish my mixer had a dome light














Add eggs, one at a time; beat well after each addition until smooth and light.














Now alternate adding the flour mixture then the juice mixture until it's all mixed in.














Add the carrots, 1 cup of nuts and raisins, if you used raisins.















Pour into greased cake pans; spread evenly














Bake 50 - 60 minutes at 350F or until pick comes out clean


















Cool on racks.

Mine did stick a little, but this moist cake stuck back together nicely.

Whip up the cream cheese frosting.














When cakes are completely cooled, frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.














Not very pretty is it?

That's why I decided to chop up a couple more cups of walnuts to stick to the sides of the cake!

Voila!














A gazillion times better!






















This was definitely a moist and tasty cake. The texture was excellent. But it was a very citrusy cake. Obviously right? With all that lemon & orange zest & juice! Even though I almost never eat Carrot Cake, when I think of it, I think of a spicy cake... lots of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, I dunno, more spices. This cake definitely didn't have it. But it was still a delicious cake. Just not really what I was thinking when I thought about Carrot Cake.

Now the frosting... WOW!!! LOVE LOVE LOVED the frosting. It wasn't wicked sweet. It was more cheesy like cheesecake! Sooooo yummy!!!

Today is National Carrot Cake Day! Wanna change it up from the spicy kinda Carrot Cake... or all those Carrot Cakes that have pineapple in them? Give this one a try! All that citrus really brightens up a dark cold winter day!

4 comments:

Patti T. said...

Of course, since it has carrots in it that means it counts as a vegetable right? It sure looks good. I haven't had one in ages.

nancy@skinnykitchen.com said...

One of my favorite nostalgic cakes. Yours looks yummy. I make a skinny version topped with a reduced-fat cream cheese frosting.

Alaskan Dermish in the Kitch said...

What a pretty cake! Great job :)

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Those citrus peels must add a great dimension to the flavor. The walnuts are a terrific addition too.