Friday, April 30, 2010
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
This is possibly one of the best carrot cake recipes EVER! It never fails and everyone will rant and rave about how amazing you are at baking. Definitely a keeper.
For the Cake:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup water
1 pound carrots (8 to 10 medium carrots), peeled and shredded on a box grater or in a food processor (about 2 3/4 cups)
2 cups pecans (1 cup finely chopped for batter, 1 cup coarsely chopped for decorating sides of cake)
For the Frosting:
For the frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (16-ounce) box confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Directions for the Cake:
1. Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter three 9-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper, and butter parchment. Dust with flour, tapping out excess. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and nutmeg.
2. Beat butter and sugars with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat 3 minutes. Add vanilla, water, and carrots. Beat until well combined, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and add flour mixture, then finely chopped pecans.
3. Scrape batter into prepared pans, dividing evenly. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around edges of cakes to loosen, and turn out cakes onto rack. Turn right side up, and let cool completely.
4. Using a serrated knife, trim rounded top of 2 cakes. Place one trimmed cake, cut side up, on a serving platter. Spread 1 cup frosting over cake. Top with second trimmed cake, cut side down. Spread 1 cup frosting over cake. Top with remaining cake. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides. Gently press coarsely chopped pecans onto sides of cake. Refrigerate 1 hour (or up to 1 day, covered) before serving.
Directions for the Frosting:
1. Mix all ingredients with handheld electric mixer and blend until smooth and creamy.
2. Frost layers, top, and sides of cooled cake.
Tips for cutting cake rounds into layers:
1. Put five toothpicks in the center around the cake.
2. Rest a large piece of floss on the toothpicks. Cross them and pull tight. This will cut the cake directly in half. (this is similar to using a string to cut homemade cinnamon rolls)