It is definitely ooooh & ahhhh worthy and is on point for a classic carrot cake. I've had many carrot cakes in my day and this is the ONE! Some carrot cake recipes call for pineapple, coconut or raisins, which you can add if you want. I'm a old-fashioned, simple girl and like mine chock full of fresh grated carrots, spiced with cinnamon, frosted with silky smooth, melt in your mouth, cream cheese frosting and garnished with toasted chopped nuts.
I got the recipe from one of my clients. She brought me a giant piece of this cake to share with Mark & I was in HEAVEN! Mark & I are both thankful that she shared the recipe with me because I didn't get home with his half. The original recipe is from Joy of Cooking and she made some minor changes which I followed exactly.
3/4 pound (about 2 1/2 cups) peeled & finely grated carrots
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup safflower, vegetable or canola oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8 or 9 inch cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with a circle of parchment paper. I used 9 inch cake pans today but decided I prefer 8" so the cake will be a little taller.
2. Peel and finely grate the carrots. Set aside.
3. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt & ground cinnamon. Set aside.
4. With an electric mixer, beat the eggs until frothy (about 1 minute). Gradually add the sugar and beat until the batter is thick and light colored (3-4 minutes). Add the oil slowly in a steady stream while mixing and then beat in the vanilla extract.
5. Add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated.
6. With a large rubber spatula fold in the grated carrots.
7. Evenly divide the batter between the two prepared pans and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
8. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. After 5-10 minutes invert the cakes onto the wire rack, remove the pans and parchment paper and cool completely.
9. Make frosting & roasted nuts below.
10. Place one cake layer onto your serving plate. Spread with 3/4 cup frosting. Place the 2nd cake onto the frosting and spread the rest of the frosting over the top and sides of the cake. If desired, garnish with toasted nuts. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup butter. at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 to 3 1/2 cups powdered confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
With electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter on low speed until blended with no lumps. Gradually add the sifted powered sugar and beat until fully incorporated and smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract. You want the frosting to be soft and smooth. If it's too stiff it will not go on the cake smoothly. You can adjust the amount of powdered sugar a bit or add a teaspoon or 2 of milk if you need to adjust the consistency of the frosting.
I also garnished the side of the cake with toasted, chopped almonds. Toasted pecans or walnuts would also be delicious.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 1 cup of raw whole almonds in an ungreased pan. Bake for 5 minutes, stir nuts and bake for another 3-5 minutes. I chopped the nuts with a large knife because I wanted them on the chunky side & my food processor chops nuts too finely for what I wanted on this cake. You could also use a food chopper or just buy your nuts already chopped.
Immediately after frosting cake, before the frosting crusts, place some nuts in your hand and press them into the side of the cake over a large piece of wax paper. Allow excess nuts to fall onto wax paper, turn cake and repeat until all sides are covered.