The perfect carrot cake recipe
I am looking for the perfect cake to make for my bf's birthday at the end of the month. He LOVES carrot cake (with frosting)-
Tried making the one in America's Test Kitchen favorites from 2007 - it was ok but no big deal-
So I am planning on making a few over the course of the month and then picking the best -
Here's the requirements-
Must serve at least 10 (but thinking traditional round cake)
No nuts or raisens
Needs to have a cream cheese frosting...
I am not such a great cook but I can bake pretty well so any suggestions for your favorites, please?
Here's my carrot cake recipe:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2 c flour
2 c sugar (you can cut the sugar down to as low as one cup)
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
3 c grated carrots (generous cups)
1 ½ c neutral vegetable oil
*OPTIONAL* nuts and/or raisins or other dried fruit (optional)
Mix all ingredients except eggs. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Bake in ungreased pan at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Makes two 8-9" layers.
This is an incredibly simple moist heavy cake. I often get requests for it as wedding cake. This is also a master recipe. The fruits and nuts are optional and the spices can be played with to suit your (or your boyfriend's tastes). When I'm tailoring it for clients I'll make the recipe and then divide it among small bowls. Then I add different combinations of spices and fruits and/or nuts (some without) to the bowls. Be sure to attach a note to each bowl and number so you know what they contain. I number a muffin tin to correspond to each bowl and bake up muffin sized samples. Less labor, less cost when manipulating the recipe. As a side note, finely, finely minced crystallized ginger (1-2 Tbs) added to the batter really kicks up the brightness of this cake and is not noticeable as a raisin or other fruit would be. This recipe will definitely feed 10 people with reasonable slices. But if they're carrot cake lovers and want wedges, multiply the recipe by half again and use larger pans or make double and bake half as a sheet cake. Any leftovers will freeze nicely (like that's gonna happen! ;-) ).
Here's the frosting:
Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz cream cheese, softened
¼ c butter, softened
½ c confectioner’s sugar
2 tsp vanilla
a little hot milk if needed
Combine all ingredients and mix well using a little hot milk to moisten if needed. Multiply recipe for a generous amount of forsting if filling and icing a layer cake.
Again, you can play with the recipe. For example, substitute lemon or orange extract for the vanilla, or add a bit of ginger powder.
Have fun experimenting!
Morwen when you say if they are carrot cake fans and "want wedges, multiply the recipe by half again and use larger pans" - so I make 1 and 1/2 recipies and then use, for example, 2 10" pans? and they are round pans right? Sorry when I say I can bake pretty ok I guess I mean I can make things like brownies and cookies...not layer cakes! Thank you!
Yeah, 2 10" round pans should do fine. I've baked this cake as a layer, a sheet, cupcakes, even cookies for whoopie pies and it's worked fine in any form. I find I'm volume-challenged so I often refer to this site: http://www.almanac.com/food/pansizes.php to help me chose pans when I mess with recipe sizes. Timing is another thing. This cake is very, very moist so I find the baking time is more of a guideline. I rely on sticking the cake with a toothpick or skewer starting at the end of the recommended baking time just to be sure it's done. It'll come out clean when it is.