Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

My mom's birthday was on Saturday (for her birthday present, we surprised her with tickets to the Cirque du Soleil show, TOTEM. It was AMAZING!). I knew this year that I wanted to try and make a cake from scratch and I wanted to do something different, as long as she was game. A few weeks prior, we had been watching Wheel of Fortune and solved one of the puzzles (before the contestants got it, of course). It went something like this...

[insert unsolved puzzle on TV]
Mom: "Nice!"
Me: "That sounds really yummy...what kind of cake do you want for your birthday?"
Mom: "Idunno."
Me: "Want me to make you carrot cake with cream cheese frosting? I've always wanted to make carrot cake from scratch."
Mom: "Sure!"

So I made her this amazing, delicious carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Just like the Wheel of Fortune Puzzle.

I'd never made a cake from scratch before, although I did do cupcakes last Halloween. I searched the website for carrot cake recipes and found ones like this. None truly satisfied me so I made up my own. To me, carrot cake is only complete with nuts and raisins.

-2 cups flour
-2 cups sugar
-2 tsp baking soda
-2 tsp cinnamon
-1 tsp salt
-4 eggs
-1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
-3 cups grated carrots (about 1 pound)
-3/4 cup chopped pecans
-3/4 cup raisins
-plus butter, extra flour, and parchment paper for pans (you will need 3 cake pans) and extra pecans for decoration

-2 eight oz cream cheeses (at room temperature)
-1 stick salted butter (at room temperature)
-3 cups powdered/confectioner's sugar
-3 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 9 inch round pans. Line bottom with parchment paper.

Wow, grating carrots was hard! This is the amount from one carrot - the larger carrots got me about 1/3 a cup. It took me about 10 minutes to grate a cup but I had to stop a couple times because my fingers were cramping so bad.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add eggs and vegetable oil. Using a hand mixer, blend until combined. Add carrots, pecans, and raisins.

3. Pour into pans. Bake approximately 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool 5 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely before frosting.

 4. For frosting, add all ingredients in a medium bowl and beat with a hand mixer until fluffy.

I baked my cakes the night before and frosted the cake the next morning. I thought I was going to run out of icing but I had about a half a cup left over if not more. If I'd have known, I would have put more in the middle. Here is the cake after one layer of frosting.


Here is the second.


 And, done. I am no expert froster.

5. Decorate the outside with pecans. {refrigerate until ready to serve}

This one is definitely going in the recipe book for keeps...although I may not make it again until I have a food processor to grate my carrots for me. My hands hurt all day Sunday, especially combined with all the clapping I did at Cirque du Soleil.

Hmmm...I think there is still cake in the fridge....

I'm linking up here!

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