RECIPE #437, DAY #604
ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Carrot Cake” and “Cream Cheese Frosting” from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook*
TIMING: 1 1/2 hours at most, including cooling and decorating time
DIFFICULTY: Pretty easy, for a cake
TOOLS: Stand mixer is nice for the frosting, but not necessary, cake pans, parchment paper, etc.
COOK TYPE: Oven, baking
HEALTH: If you’re looking for a healthier cake, this is it. When I was a super health nut, this was the cake I made for almost every birthday, because it has so much added goodness in it, and it’s not even that crazy sweet. It’s still cake, but honestly, you don’t need to freak out about it.
EXPERIENCE: I vowed, years ago, to never make a carrot cake without pineapple. Then I had a baby boy and he fairly quickly showed himself allergic to pineapple. Therefore, I hardly ever make carrot cake, even though it is one of my favorites.
Alas, my step-father also loves carrot cake, so when his birthday came around, I made him a carrot cake. SO GOOD. Just do yourself a favor and decorate the darn thing. It needs some orange lettering and, I don’t know, beading around the edges? Or a swirl design with glazed carrot peel? Something. Google it. Pansies, pumpkin seeds, and ground nuts can make it simple work.
NOTES: If you’re going to decorate with this frosting, you’ll need to increase the amount, maybe by half.
The original recipe called for 8 cups powdered sugar, but I didn’t have that much, so I used about half. It was a happy accident, because it left the frosting more like cream cheese and not painfully sweet. You can add more powdered sugar to taste, but you may need to add another tablespoon milk.
You can use safflower or canola oil instead of coconut.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Grease 2 round cake pans, then fit them with round parchments. Grease them again, and flour. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat together 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, 1 cup coconut oil, and 3 eggs, on low for 30 seconds.
- Add 2 cups all purpose flour, 8 ounces crushed pineapple, 1/2 cup shredded coconut, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Beat on low for 1 minute.
- Stir in 3 cups shredded carrots and 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans.
- Bake for 30 minutes, then start checking with a toothpick, which should come out clean. Cool for 10 minutes on a rack, then remove from pans with a paring knife and allow to finish cooling.
- Meanwhile, beat together 16 ounces softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup softened butter, 1 tablespoon milk, and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, on low. When smooth, add 4 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, still on low.
- When cake is completely cool, make even, and frost, first filling. Decorate as you wish and keep covered in the fridge, serving within 24 hours.
Serve with hot tea, obviously.
LEFTOVER IDEAS: This keeps for a few days in the fridge, but gets drier and drier.
*Recipe changed from the original.