Saturday, April 11, 2009

Elizabeth's March Cake - Carrot Cake with Walnuts

Ella posing.
She thinks all photos should taken with a straight face.

I LOVE CARROT CAKE!!! I go crazy for it. I adore it. But when there are raisins in it, I loathe it. I wouldn't eat carrot cake with raisins even if it were wrapped in bacon, covered in guacamole, and served on a chocolate platter.

For March, I made a carrot cake WITHOUT raisins. It was divine! It didn't even need guac.

The unadorned cake.

Tasty frosting.
There should have been 1.5 times or 2 times the frosting.

Our friends Dave and Katie came over with their kids for Pizza and Game Friday. They had unprompted seconds of the cake, so I think they liked it!

The 5 kids.....not so much.

(You can't see it, but not one of these pieces has more than a single bite out of it. It's kinda funny actually. I mean, the kids are jumping around, screaming and dancing for cake, and then it's served to them and they're like, " thanks." Hehehe. I finally got my kind of cake. Long live Year of Cakes!)

A slice of cake in all its lusciousness!
Adam reading Shel Silverstein in the background.

Carrot Cake with Simple Cream Cheese Frosting, by Cook's Illustrated.
Makes one 13 by 9-inch cake. Published March 1, 2003.

If you like nuts in your cake, stir 1 1/2 cups toasted chopped pecans or walnuts into the batter along with the carrots.


Carrot Cake
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces)
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 pound medium carrots (6 to 7 carrots), peeled
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (10 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil , safflower oil, or canola oil
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese , softened but still cool
5 tablespoons unsalted butter softened, but still cool
1 tablespoon sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar (4 1/2 ounces)


  1. For the cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13 by 9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment and spray parchment.

  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in large bowl; set aside.

  3. Shred carrots using large holes of box grater (you should have about 3 cups); transfer carrots to bowl and set aside. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment (or in large bowl and using hand-held mixer), beat granulated and brown sugars and eggs on medium-high 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 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 and stir in carrots and dry ingredients by hand until incorporated and no streaks of flour remain. Pour into prepared pan and bake until toothpick or skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking time. Cool cake to room temperature in pan on wire rack, about 2 hours.

  4. When cake is cool, mix cream cheese, butter, sour cream, and vanilla at medium high speed in clean bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment ( or in large bowl using handheld mixer) until well combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Add confectioners’ sugar and mix until very fluffy, about 1 minute.


DeskSet said...

Yum! That cake looks good! And I feel exactly the same way about raisins and nuts: no on the raisins, yes on the nuts.

ferskner said...

Carrot cake!!! Remember when we made dozens of tiny carrot cakes for Pat's wedding and had to wash the pan with a toothbrush? Good ti...oh, wait. ;)

This sounds crazy good - how did you feel about pan cake rather than layer cake?

I love that picture of Bella, too!

Tony said...

Oh, so that's why they call it carrot cake! Has anyone ever tried to make green bean cake? I think had I known it had real carrots in it, I may not have eaten it, it looks real good here though!

Julie said...

Kids these days are you still have their pieces? Cause I'll eat them.