I love carrot cake, but I’ve never really made it because it isn’t one of Paul’s favourite types of cake. I went to go make this the other day, and the original recipe, found here, made 2 loaf cakes.
As I went rooting through my fridge, I realized I only had enough ingredients for half that, one loaf, and was perfectly happy. I’m putting the original measurements down, for 2 loaf cakes, but it was really not hard to halve.
I love the warm spiciness of a carrot cake, and the fact that carrots themselves are a bit sweet, so that you don’t need to add tons and tons of sugar. The cream cheese icing on top is decadent, and absolutely delicious. Mine is a little different, in that I didn’t colour the icing to make an icing carrot on top, but instead I used sprinkles – orange and green dino feet sprinkles to be exact – to indicate that it is supposed to be a carrot cake. I think the sprinkles add a touch of whimsy (and texture) to a really delicious cake. If you like carrot cake, you’ll definitely like this.
As a bonus, even though Paul explicitly told me he really doesn’t like carrot cake, he clammed up when I asked him what he thought, then, with the most sheepish grin on his face told me that it was a good cake. Guys, I made a carrot cake hater turn into a carrot cake liker. (Not lover – not yet at least!) Obviously, this still means that the carrot cake is a WIN.
Yield: 2 loaf cakes
For the cake:
2½ c. flour
1¼ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1¼ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cloves
½ tsp. salt
1 lb. whole carrots, peeled
1½ c. sugar
½ c. dark brown sugar, packed
1½ c. vegetable (I used canola) oil
For the cream cheese frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 tbsp. butter, softened
3½ c. icing sugar
½ tsp. vanilla
Green and orange food colouring (or sprinkles)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two loaf pans.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt.
In a food processor with the grater attachment, shred the carrots, and set aside. Wipe out the food processor.
With the standard food processor blade, add white sugar, brown sugar, and eggs. Process until thoroughly combined. With the food processor running, drizzle the oil into the egg mixture until mixture is thick and emulsified, about 30 seconds.
Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients, and whisk until combined into a thick mixture. Fold in shredded carrots using a spatula.
Pour batter evenly into the loaf pans, and bake in the preheated oven for about 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs.
Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting. I also removed the cakes from the pans to help them cool faster.
To make the cream cheese frosting, in a large bowl of a mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add the icing sugar, a half cup at a time, until smooth. Add in vanilla, then mix again.
Pipe or spread onto cooled loaves.
If you want to decorate with tiny carrots then separate two ¼ cup portions of frosting into separate bowls. Add a few drops of orange and green food coloring into each bowl and mix, adjusting colors to your preference.
Spoon dyed frosting into small ziplock bags, and cut a tiny opening in the corner of each bag.
Gently pipe carrot designs all over the top of the cake, as desired. Carrots are made by squeezing a blob of orange frosting then quickly drawing the frosting in a downward motion. Add “leaves” by making 1-2 small dots on the top of the orange “carrot.”