Carrot Cake

1:59 PM

As my birthday comes to a close here in Ukraine, I thought I'd share with you my absolute favorite thing to eat on my birthday.  Carrot Cake!

Wait just a minute!  Before you say you don't like carrot cake and close the browser, give this one a try.  Similar to a spice cake, this recipe has converted many a carrot-cake-hater.

While I always love trying new foods and recipes, one tradition I like to keep consistent is carrot cake on my birthday.  Since getting married, my sweet husband has always insisted on making my cake for me - right down to grating the carrots by hand!  What a guy!  :)
Carrot Cake

·                  2 c all-purpose flour
·                  2 tsp baking soda
·                  1 tsp salt
·                  2 tsp ground cinnamon
·                  1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
·                  1 tsp ground ginger
·                  2 c sugar
·                  1 1/4 c cooking oil
·                  4 large eggs
·                  3 c finely shredded carrots 
·                  1/2 c shredded coconut
·                  3/4 - 1 c coarsely chopped pecans (or walnuts)
·                  Cream Cheese Frosting (see below)

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease two 9-inch cake pans and line the bottom with waxed/parchment paper.  Grease and flour the paper.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger in medium bowl.  Set aside.  In a separate mixing bowl, (or an electric stand mixer) mix oil and sugar until well blended.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time.  Working in thirds, mix in dry ingredients until combined.  Stir in carrots and coconut.

Divide batter between pans.  Bake layers about 40 minutes each, or until a tester comes out clean.  Cool cakes in pans 15 minutes.  Turn out onto racks, peel off paper and cool cakes completely.

Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.  Sprinkle chopped nuts over top of frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream Cheese frosting is definitely my go-to frosting.  Depending on what I'm using it for, I like to alter the sweetness.  Here I've cut back the sugar, opting for something more "cheesy" to balance the sweetness in the cake.  
·                  8 oz. cream cheese (room temperature)
·                  1/2 c butter (room temperature)
·                  1 tsp pure vanilla extract
·                  3 1/2 cups powdered sugar (or to taste)

Blend cream cheese and butter together until well combined.  Add vanilla.  Mix in powdered sugar until the desired frosting consistency is reached.  (If it's too thick, add about 1 tsp milk at a time until you get it where you want it.)

(PS - Yes, I had a fantastic birthday, but I decided to wait on the carrot cake until I get home, so I can get some "normal" cream cheese.  :) )

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