I recently made this cake for a birthday – in my opinion this is the best recipe for a traditional carrot cake that I have ever come across!
This three tiered cake is moist, full of flavour, and covered in a mouth-watering cream cheese frosting, mmmmm!
For this recipe, I altered one I found online! This is such an easy recipe that can be made for all kinds of occasions 🙂
1.5 cups + 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup light soft brown sugar
6 eggs (free-range)
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups plain flour
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
1tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
pinch of ground nutmeg
1 lb. finely-grated carrots
1 cup of chopped pecans and/or walnuts
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING INGREDIENTS:
6 oz. cream cheese (I like to use Philadelphia)
6 oz. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
4 cups of icing sugar
Decoration – I used mini sugar carrots which I found in Sainsbury’s, driedrose petals, and crushed peanut praline 🙂 (http://www.sainsburys.co.uk/shop/gb/groceries/house-of-cake-carrot-sugar-decorations-25g)
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Butter three 8-inch round baking pans, and set aside.
Start by preparing the ingredients – chop the nuts into small bite size pieces, and dust with flour (to ensure they don’t sink!). Next grate the carrots into a large bowl, or onto a chopping board. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oil, and sugars until smooth, and a thick mixture is formed. Add in the eggs one at a time, whilst whisking in between, then add the vanilla extract, and mix again.
In another large bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, ground ginger, nutmeg, and the salt. Next add the dry ingredient mixture to the oil and sugar. Using a large metal spoon (or a spatula), fold the flour mixture into the oil and sugar, and try to retain as much air as possible! Just before I add the carrots, I like to gently pat them with paper kitchen roll, to slightly dry them (I find this is the best way to end up with a carrot cake which is moist, but still feels fully cooked and not too wet in the middle). Add the carrots and nuts to the mixture, and gently fold until you have a uniform batter.
Evenly pour and spread the mix across the 3 pans. Bake for approximately 30 minutes (depending on oven size). Alternativeley you can test the cakes by inserting a toothpick in the centre – when it comes out clean, it is ready! 🙂 Cool the cakes in the pans for 5 mins, then remove gently using a palette knife. Leave the cakes to cool completely before frosting.
With a large bread knife, I like to even out the cakes by cutting the ‘dome’ off the top. This way when cutting into the cake, the layers of frosting and sponge look even and professional.
Next make the frosting:
I like to mix everything together with an electric whisk – I have found this is the easiest and best way to effectively make a cream cheese frosting that is lump free and smooth! Start by adding the cutter and cream cheese to a bowl. Whisk on high speed for a few minutes until a uniform mix is formed. Next, slowly whisk the icing sugar into the bowl (this will need to be done in batches), and whisk. When the final batch of icing sugar is added, add the vanilla and whisk. If the cream cheese frosting is too stiff, I like to add a dash of milk! Alternatively if it is too thin, continue adding icing sugar until you feel necessary 🙂
I like to keep my decoration fairly simple – I crushed some sugar coated peanuts and sprinkled them around the border of my cake. For colour I added ready-made sugar carrots, and rose petals.
If you want to completely cover the outside of the cake in frosting, I would suggest increasing the frosting quantities to 8oz. of both butter and cream cheese, and 6 cups of icing sugar.
I hope you enjoy this cake as much as I did 🙂
Sofia ❤ xx