As per usual, I decided to make a dessert for an upcoming holiday– Easter. I thought of making a variety of cookies and then I realized that carrot cake would be perfect. You know the Easter "bunny" eats carrots, and a dessert that incorporated that would fit the theme. As a kid I had sort of a resentment against carrot cake, I guess just hearing that something sweet had a vegetable in it gave me doubts. How was something so flavorless like carrots supposed to taste good in a cake. Well however many years later, I've come to like it a lot. I don't think I've tried carrot cake many in my lifetime, maybe two or three times, but I liked how the it turned out. The batter was just like any other cake, and the frosting – let me tell you– was to die for. You can't go wrong with cream cheese frosting, well on that note, anything with cheese. I found this to be the perfect in between cake to satisfy those who like chocolate cakes and those that prefer vanilla everything.
What you need: Makes one 3 layer 8-inch cake (I made a 3 layer 6-inch cake)
For the cake:
1 1/2 cups plus 2 Tablespoons avocado oil (I used canola oil)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
1 pound finely-grated* fresh carrots
(optional: 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts and/or 1/2 cup raisins)*
For the cream cheese frosting:
3 (8 oz.) bricks cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 cups powdered sugar (or more if needed to thicken)
*I didn't add any in my cake but I'm sure the addition would taste great
What to do:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Or alternately, you can use two 9-inch round baking pans. (Just be sure that every square inch of the pans greased and coated in flour so that the cake does not stick!)
3. In the bowl of a large stand mixer, mix together oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until combined and smooth.
4. Add in the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla, and mix until smooth.
5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder, nutmeg and cloves) until combined.
6. Add the dry ingredient mixture to the mixing bowl, and beat on medium-speed until just combined, scraping down the pan at least once to be sure that everything is well mixed.
7. Then fold in the grated carrots by hand, and stir until combined. If you would like to add nuts and/or raisins, stir them in at this time as well.
8. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans. Then bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Remove pans and let them cool on a wire rack until the cakes reach room temperature. **
9. Using an electric mixer, cream together cream cheese and butter on medium speed for 1 minute or until smooth with no lumps remaining. Add in vanilla extract and salt, and continue mixing until combined.
10. Lower speed to medium-low and gradually add in powdered sugar. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until combined.
11. Layer the cakes with the cream cheese frosting, and then frost the outside of the cake as you desire. Serve that day or store, covered, for up to 4 days.
** I put my cakes in the freezer so they would cool faster and would be easier to frost
Recipe from: Gimme Some Oven