Cooking with Alison

Favourite Carrot Cake Recipe

In Cakes, Cupcakes on January 21, 2010 at am

My mother really likes carrot cake so I tried a few different recipes.  Most of them were too dense or not moist enough or worse, too moist.  I was beginning to lose my appeal for carrot cake until I tried the Silver Palate Cookbook carrot cake recipe.  In my opinion, it’s a really good balance of sweet, dense, moist and depth of flavour.  The frosting is good too.  Time saving tip:  Make a large batch of pureed carrots and freeze 1 1/3 cup portions for future batches of carrot cake or muffins.

Carrot Cake Recipe

adapted from Silver Palate Cookbook

3 cups all purpose flour

3 cups granulated white sugar plus extra

1 teaspoon salt 

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 cups corn oil

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups toasted walnuts, shelled and coarsely chopped

1 1/2 cups shredded, unsweetened coconut

1 1/3 cups of pureed carrots that had been boiled until soft

3/4 cup crushed pineapple, drained

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Grease two 9-inch springform pans with softened butter and lightly coat the greased pans with sugar.  This gives the cake a nice crust.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, sift together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon).  Add the oil, eggs, sugar, and vanilla and beat until well combined.  Gently stir in the walnuts, coconut, carrots, and pineapple.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans.  Set on the center rack of the oven and bake until the edges have pulled away from the sides and an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 50 minutes.  Then place on a wire cooling rack to cool the cake completely before removing from the pans and frosting.  Once frosted, chill the cake through in the refrigerator.  Allow to sit at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes prior to serving.

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

makes enough to frost a 2 layer cake; adapted from the Silver Palate Cookbook

8 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

2 to 3 cups icing sugar (to taste)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

juice of 1/2 lemon (optional, cuts the sweetness)

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy.  Then sift in 1 cup of icing sugar at a time, beating until well combined between additions.  When the frosting has reached your desired sweetness, and when the mixture is completely smooth, mix in the vanilla and lemon juice (if using).

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  1. Hi this sounds more like a hummingbird cake to me. My mum loves it too 🙂

  2. mmMMmmm I tried it yesterday and it turned out VERY yummy! Who woulda known you needed pineapple in carrot cake?!?!?! (Or is it just me?) I did have to bake it for extra long because I didn’t have 2 x 9″x9″ pans and used a 9″x12.5″ pan instead. Next time I’ll probably try making this in a bundt pan – yes/no? How long did you leave it in the oven to make cupcakes?

    • Hi Hayley! I’m so glad you liked the recipe 🙂 thanks so much for your comment 🙂 Also I have a bottle of the Lyle’s golden syrup for you! And about the Chinese beef tendon, I was working on a recipe a few months ago but took a break from it. Will get back to it when it gets colder 🙂 i’ll give you a heads up before i post it 🙂

    • Hi again, just realized I didn’t reply to your other questions! sorry about that! I imagine this would work in a bundt pan! I would halve the recipe though. Let me know if you try it!
      And for the cupcakes, I don’t remember how long it took (I should have written it down at the time). But if you’re going to make cupcakes, I would start checking them after 25 minutes. Thanks again for your comment!

  3. Hey Ali!!!
    So i made this last weekend WITH THE ICING this time and i’ve tried a couple of different icing recipes, including the one above. Why is it that I can’t make the icing as fluffy as yours in the picture? Mine seems more soft and creamy – not quite as stiff.

    • Hi Hayley,

      hmmm… Could it be any of the following reasons?

      1. Did you use light cream cheese? I only use full fat cream cheese, so I don’t know if that makes a difference to the texture of the icing.
      2. How long did you soften your butter and cream cheese at room temperature for? If the butter has been out for too long, it becomes too soft and more oily in texture. This might make the icing too soft.
      3. If you have a powerful stand mixer, you could try beating the cream cheese straight from the fridge. Start on a slower speed and then gradually work the speed up and beat it until your cream cheese is very soft and creamy. Then add the softened butter. Note that the butter still needs to be softened. This might help to give you a stiffer icing.
      4. In terms of the icing sugar, maybe my powdered sugar was older and more dense than yours. So 1 cup of mine might be more than 1 cup of yours. If you use a bit more icing sugar, you will get a stiffer icing. However, do this very gradually because you don’t want to end up with an icing that’s too sweet.
      5. If your icing is still a bit soft, the only other thing I can think of is to chill the icing through in the fridge before you pipe it onto your cupcakes or cake.

      I hope that helps! I’ll keep thinking…
      Thanks so much for your post!
      Alison

  4. […] that will be stiff enough to pipe after chilling in the refrigerator, use the recipe posted here.  I regret not taking a photo of the frosted carrot […]

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