I know, I know. I just posted this carrot cupcakes recipe literally two weeks ago, and here I am with another variation of carrot cake recipe. But, I do have a very special reason for it. One of the part-time students who works in my office was turning 21! Not only that she’s just a very sweet girl, she is also one of Charlotte’s fave people because she comes over and stays with Charlotte when Red and I are out of town. When I told her that I wanted to bake her a cake, she said that she really didn’t want to trouble me –but I insisted that I wanted to make her a cake. When I asked her what type of cake, she wanted a carrot cake! Sure enough, that’s what I did.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to try this cake or take a picture of this cake after it was sliced because I was on my way out of the door. But Red did receive a generous slice from the birthday girl, and he liked the cake. He thought that the cake texture was more crumbly than the cupcakes, but he enjoyed his slice. The only issue that I had with this frosting was that I was hoping that this version of the frosting would be firm enough to be piped, but it wasn’t. Therefore I left the top of the cake plain and coated the side with toasted chopped pecans.
Adapted from Martha Stewart
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup water
1 pound carrots (8 to 10 medium carrots), peeled and shredded on a box grater or in a food processor (about 2 3/4 cups)
2 cups pecans (1 cup finely chopped for batter, 1 cup coarsely chopped for decorating sides of cake)
Bake the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter (2) 9-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper, and butter parchment. Dust with flour, tapping out excess. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and nutmeg.
Beat butter and sugars with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat 3 minutes. Add vanilla, water, and carrots. Beat until well combined, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and add flour mixture, then finely chopped pecans.
Scrape batter into prepared pans, dividing evenly. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around edges of cakes to loosen, and turn out cakes onto rack. Turn right side up, and let cool completely.
Using a serrated knife, trim rounded top of 2 cakes. Place one trimmed cake, cut side up, on a serving platter. Spread 1 cup frosting over cake. Top with second trimmed cake, cut side down. Spread 1 cup frosting over cake. Top with remaining cake. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides. Gently press coarsely chopped pecans onto sides of cake. Refrigerate 1 hour (or up to 1 day, covered) before serving.
Cream Cheese Frosting (from Wilton)
24 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Beat cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, and beat until fluffy and smooth.