Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake ... veggies in a dessert?  Umm, actually yes, please!  I had never had carrot cake before my grandfather's birthday (his favorite) - but of course, I was up to the challenge.  Some recipes call for pineapple (eww) and walnuts (eww) and some don't.  Thankfully, my grandfather likes straight up carrot cake, no pineapple and no walnuts!!

You would think that a carrot cake would be healthy ... well healthier than other cakes ... but with the amount of oil, I think not.  After reviewing recipes, I decided to cut the oil in half because there is enough moisture from the carrots and it worked perfectly fine!

*One tip that I can give you is:  Grate the carrots very fine onto a towel and wring it out to get rid of the excess water in the carrots.  Too much water from the carrots + all the oil = soggy cake.

The cream cheese frosting is the same frosting I used on the Red Velvet cake for my sister's graduation.

My grandfather was my biggest critic and he really liked it.  It came out very moist and the carrots were grated so fine you couldn't tell they were in it.  Honestly, I'm not the biggest nutmeg fan, but it is essential in this recipe.

I hope that you try this recipe and happy baking!

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients     (Cake adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
¾ cup canola oil
3 large eggs
3 cups finely grated carrots (make sure to drain the excess water)

Preheat oven to 350*F.  Spray and flour two 9-inch cake pans.

Grate the carrots over paper towels, cheese cloth, or kitchen towel.  Once grated, wring out the excess water from the carrots.  Or, put the carrots in a mesh strainer for at least 30 minutes (or overnight, if you have the time) or so to drain more water from the carrots. 

In a medium size bowl, sift flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.  In stand mixer bowl, beat sugars and oil until blended.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Add flour mixture to the wet mixture and stir to combine.  Stir in the carrots.

Divide the batter between the two pans and bake for about 35-40 minutes (start checking around 35 minutes) or until a tester comes out clean.  Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn onto the racks and let cool completely before icing.

Cream Cheese Frosting (adapted from Alton Brown)

16 oz. Neufchatel cream cheese
3 Tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted (roughly 9 oz)

Sift the confectioners’ sugar and set aside.  Cream the butter and cream cheese together until combined, then add the vanilla.  Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar a cup at a time – sifting each cup into the mixer – and beat between each addition.

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