January 30, 2009
It was my mother’s birthday a few days ago, and like last year, I volunteered to bake the cake. While I already have a favourite carrot cake recipe (that one is made in a tube pan), I decided to expand my horizons and try a new recipe – again, from the Magnolia Bakery cookbook (still itching to try it out all the time!).
This cake is a layer one, and is very good. I don’t think it beats my favourite recipe, but it’s definitely in the running! It’s extremely moist, and filled with crunchy nuts. It’s carrotiness really stand out, and it’s a dense, flavourful cake. I would recommend it to any carrot cake lovers.
The cream cheese frosting, on the other hand, is simply amazing. Best cream cheese frosting I’ve ever made, and this will be my go-to recipe from now on. I think a lot has to do with the mixing time – when it says blend for a certain amount of time, do it! I also like my addition of cream. I halved the icing recipe because I always seem to end up with an excess of icing that I have to freeze. However, this time I was sorry I did – I didn’t have enough to properly fill the layer portion.
Next time, I would add raisins, and definitely make the full recipe for the frosting. I omitted the coconut, but I am more than willing to give this recipe another go, complete with raisins, coconut and a ton of the decadent, silky-smooth frosting.
(My apologies for the quality of the photos – the cake was gone too quickly to properly capture it in all its glory!)
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
adapted from More From Magnolia
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon (I added almost 2 teaspoons)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil (preferably canola)
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups lightly packed shredded carrots
One 8-ounce can crushed pineapple in its own juice, with juice
1 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans (I used walnuts)
3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut (I omitted this, since I didn’t have any on hand)
1 pound (two 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, softend and cu into small pieces.
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
(I added cooking cream at the end, to bring it to the consistency that I wanted)
Coarsely chopped toasted pecans
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and lightly flour two 9×2-inch round cake pans, then line the bottoms with waxed paper (I used parchment)
2. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat together the oil and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until light and thick, about two minutes. Add the vanilla and beat well.
4. Gradually add the dry ingredients, beating until well incorporated.
5. Stir in the carrots, pineapple and juice, pecans and coconut. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
6. Let the layers cool in the pans for 1 hour (I left them cool for about 10 minutes, and they popped right out). Remove from the pans and cool completely on wire racks.
7. When the cake has cooled, ice between the layers, then ice the top and sides of the cake with the cream cheese icing. Garnish with the toasted pecans as desired.
1. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth, about 3 minutes.
2. Add the vanilla and beat well.
3. Gradually add the sugar, one cup at a time, beating continuously until smooth and creamy.
4. Cover and refrigerate icing for 2 to 3 hours, but no longer, to thicken before using.