Every year I make J a
cake of his choice carrot cake for his birthday. I don’t even have to ask what kind, I already know. The last couple of years I’ve tried a few recipes from the internet, but none have compared to my mom’s old recipe. I’m not sure where it came from originally, but it is now taped to index card(picture below). I can honestly say it is the best carrot cake recipe I’ve ever come across.
Take no notice of my sub-par decorating skills and “superwoman” decision to make it a two-layer cake. It really should be three-layers, do as I say–not as I do. It may not win a cake decorating contest, but it tastes amazing. My dad reassures me that’s all that matters. Love you Dad! Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it, even the picky nephew.
Not too many tips and tricks for this recipe. My biggest advice is not to be a hero and try to make this a 2 layer cake. The layers ended up being too big for the pans (edges were crispy) and the weight of the layers pushed out some of the middle layer of frosting. Also, have enough ingredients for two batches of frosting. I go ahead and make two batches up front since I like having extra frosting. If you can, acquire cake boards, they make moving your cake so much easier. Lastly make sure you use organic carrots they seem contain more carotene and make for a very moist and fluffy cake.
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
- 2 cups raw sugar (I use Turbinado)
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups finely shredded organic carrots
- 1 cup chopped nuts (I use pecans)
- 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 15 oz confectioner's sugar (3 3/4 cups)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease(i use butter) three 9-inch layer tins and cut parchment paper circles to fit the bottom. Press the parchment paper to the bottom of the tin and flip over. You want both sides to be greased.
Combine vegetable oil and sugar and whisk until well blended. Add the eggs one at a time, stopping to whisk after each egg. Sift together(or whisk) all of the dry ingredients. Add your dry ingredients to the sugar mixture, one cup at a time. Whisk after each cup until dry ingredients are thoroughly combined. Continue until all dry mixture is combined and the batter is smooth. Stir in the nuts until combined. Add carrots and stir until entire mixture is combined.
Pour mixture equally into your three 9-inch pans. Bake cakes for 45-50 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center(of all three cakes) comes out clean. Cool pans on wire racks for 10 minutes, then turn out cakes to finish cooling on wire racks.
Assemble cake by putting a tablespoon of frosting on a 10" cake board. Place the bottom layer on top of the frosting, centered in the board. Slice off top to make cake as flat as possible. Frost the top of your first layer. Repeat with next two layers, frosting in between and on top. Frost sides of cake. Decorate as desired. Refrigerate cake in air-tight container until ready to serve. Enjoy!
To prepare frosting, cream together the cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy. Add vanilla extract one teaspoon at a time, stirring between until combined. Add confectioner's sugar one cup at a time, beating until very smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.