Friday, July 13, 2012

Best Ever Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I love carrot cake.

It is so flipping good. And healthy. I mean, there's all those carrots in it, right?

I made my own birthday cake again this year. Not because I had to, but because I wanted carrot cake and I wanted to make it. I found my inspiration here.

This cake has an obscene amount of carrots in it. It came out great and didn't last long. Here you go:

2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
4 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup safflower oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cups drained crushed pineapple
1 pound grated carrots
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 and prepare three 8" or 9" cake pans with crisco and line with parchment paper.

Grate the carrots. Use your food processor, if you have one. Otherwise, you'll be grating carrots for a very long time. I used my food processor. It took about 5 minutes.

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl (I prefer my Kitchenaid stand mixer), combine the eggs, oil, both sugars, vanilla, buttermilk and pineapple. Mix in the dry ingredients. I usually mix in about 1/4-1/3 of dry ingredients at a time, so as not to have a cloud of flour erupt in my face from the mixer.

Once ingredients are well mixed, stir in the carrots. Pour the batter into the pans and bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool in pans for 30 minutes, then remove and continue cooling on racks.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
16 oz softened cream cheese (I use Neufchatel cheese)
1/2 cups softened unsalted butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar (you can add more if you need/want it)

Combine cream cheese and butter and beat until creamy. Beat in vanilla. Add in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. If the frosting is not thick enough for you, add more sugar until it is.

Assemble the cake by spreading about 1 cup of frosting between the layers and the remaining frosting on the top and sides. Sprinkle the pecans on top of the cake.

All that was left by the end of the day

This cake was moist and flavorful. I really enjoyed the addition of the pineapple. It added a bit of sweetness to the cake. I don't make carrot cake often (as much as I love it, I love so many other cakes that I am always trying new things) but next time I get a craving for carrot cake, I think this is the one I will make.


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