As you might have figured by now, I love to do two things in life: Paint & Cook
I am not a big sweets eater, but I love the process of baking and love sharing what I bake with my small community. Our community has a Pie Auction each year in which I did participate only one year. When I was there, the owner of a local restaurant bought a pie to support the auction and in passing said, he would just drop by our local fire department, as he did not need it. I thought that was brilliant and we did the same with the pie we purchased. I did take one slice, which I often do just to see what it tastes like or in my case save one slice for my husband.
This started a now two-year strategy of baking and sharing with my local fire department. Yesterday I baked a Carrot Cake for the fire department, as I had my first actual request for a repeat.
INGREDIENTS FOR T H E CARROT CAKE :
• 2 1/2 cups (12 1/2oz/ 355g) all-purpose flour (preferably weighed)*
• 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
• 1 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1lb/ 450g peeled carrots, (about 6 to 7 carrots)*
• 1 cup (10 1/2oz/ 298g) granulated sugar
• 1 cup (3 1/2oz/ 100g) packed light brown sugar
• 4 large eggs
• 1 1/2 cups (355ml) vegetable oil
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING :
• 10 tablespoons (5oz/ 142g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
• 3 cups (12oz/ 340g) confectioners’ sugar, sift if lumpy
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 tablespoons (1oz/ 28g) sour cream
• 1lb/ 450g COLD cream cheese, brick-style cut into 1-inch pieces
TO MAKE THE CAKE:
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350F/180C.
- Spray three 8inch or two 9 inch round pans with nonstick cooking spray or lightly grease with oil. Line the bottom of the pans with parchment rounds and spray parchment or lightly grease again with oil then dust with flour, tapping out excess flour.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and cloves (if using); set aside.
- In a food processor fitted with the shredding disk or using the small holes of a box grater, shred carrots (you should have about 3 cups); set aside.
- In the bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment (or in a large bowl and using a hand-held mixer), beat eggs and both the granulated and brown sugars together on medium-high speed 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 the 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.
- With a rubber spatula, stir in the flour mixture by hand until just incorporated and no streaks of flour remain. Stir in the carrots.
- Give the batter a final stir to make sure it is thoroughly combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the tops
- Bake until a toothpick or a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean or with a few cooked crumbs attached, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking time.
- Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Run a small knife around the edges of the cakes, then flip them out onto a wire rack. Peel off the parchment paper, flip the cakes right side up and let cool completely before frosting, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- To frost and assemble, place one of the cake layers onto the cake platter. Spread 1 cup of the frosting over the cake, right to the edges. Place a second cake layer on top and press lightly to adhere. Spread another 1 cup frosting over the second cake layer. Top with the final cake layer, pressing lightly to adhere. Frost the top and side of the cake with the remaining frosting.
- I like to add chopped pecans on the side and decorate the top with half-nuts.
TO MAKE THE FROSTING:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter on medium-high speed until creamy and lightened up, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the confectioners’ sugar, salt, and vanilla and beat until lightened in both color and texture and looks fluffier than when it started, 4 to 6 minutes. Beat in the sour cream.
- With the mixer running on medium speed, add one piece of cream cheese at a time, one after the other, mixing well after each addition so there are no lumps. Continue adding the cream cheese until fully incorporated.
- Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light, fluffy, whipped-like and until almost no cream cheese lumps remain 4 to 6 minutes.
Now you can easily make this yummy Carrot Cake! It has always been a hit when I have served it.