Making in the kitchen: Oh-So-Good Carrot Cake

I had a 5-pound bag of of carrots in my crisper that needed to be used, so I went on the search for the best-looking carrot cake I could find. I ran across one on stickygooeycreamychewy that looked particularly moist. I changed it up a bit based on what I had in my cupboards. Susan used crushed pineapple, pecans and golden raisins, but I substituted applesauce for the pineapple. (Pineapple is the one food my husband is incapable of consuming.) I used walnuts for the pecans, and omitted the golden raisins. I was left with an amazingly moist, dense, so-sweet cake…and the cream cheese frosting wasn’t too shabby either. Try this one. You will NOT be disappointed.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 c. flour
  • 1 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. ground ginger
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. ground nutmeg
  • 4 extra large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. canola oil
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk (or 1 1/2 t. lemon juice poured into a 1/2 c. measuring cup–then fill the rest with milk and let sit 5 minutes)
  • 2/3 c. firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3 t. vanilla
  • 1/2 c. applesauce
  • 1 lb. finely shredded carrots
  • 1 c. toasted walnuts

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 2 blocks of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 3 t. vanilla
  • about 5 cups powdered sugar, give or take

I would start by spraying two 9-inch cake pans with non-stick spray and setting them aside. Then preheat your oven to 350 degrees and make sure your rack is where your pans will be centered in the oven. Next, if you need to make your buttermilk, go ahead and get that going. If you don’t have a food processor get out your fine shredder and get to shreddin’ those carrots. This felt like it took forever and I’m sad to say I realized just how out of shape I am. Should my arm muscles actually burn while shredding a carrot? Probably not. Anyway, one pound of carrots finely shredded came out to about two cups.

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Now whisk together the first seven dry ingredients in a bowl, then set it aside. In a separate bowl mix the eggs, both sugars, oil, buttermilk, applesauce and vanilla. You don’t need a mixer. Just stir it up. Then add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir. Lastly, add the shredded carrots and nuts and stir just until they are incorporated. Now pour it evenly into your two pans. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or so. Make sure to check the center. If you poke it with a knife and it doesn’t come out clean, bake for a few more minutes and check it again.

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Let them cool completely in the pan before you try to remove them. Be patient and after they are completely cooled, pop them out nice and slow from your pan. The cakes may feel like it’s not going to come out at first, but just keep shaking it gently and it will.

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Now get to work on your icing. Get out your hand mixer and mix up the cream cheese with the butter. Next, add the vanilla and mix again. Then add your powdered sugar one cup at a time until you get your desired consistency. You may use four cups or six cups. It just depends on how sweet you want it to be, and how spreadable it feels. I think I used about five cups, but honestly, I didn’t measure. I just kept dumping it in a little at a time.

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I added some more toasted walnuts to the top of my cake just to make it look a little more interesting. Oh, and of course keep this refridgerated because of the cream cheese icing! I’ll be bringing this to our Easter party in Forest City this weekend. So hopefully none of the Petersons are on a diet!  Happy Easter!

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