I offered to bake dessert for Easter, and the general consensus was that carrot cake was a good choice. I love carrot cake (as evidenced by the recipe index on this site), so I took the opportunity to test out a new recipe.
I’ve been meaning to try more recipes on Life, Love, and Sugar, but for whatever reason, I keep getting distracted away from those recipes. This particular recipe intrigued me because it uses steamed, mashed carrots instead of the usual grated carrots. I also typically avoid recipes that rely on pineapple for sweetness (I’m a carrot cake purist through and through). Two additional ingredient areas piqued my curiosity. First, the fats included butter, oil, AND buttermilk. I’ve seen recipes use two fats, but I don’t see many that use three. Second, the recipe includes molasses and fresh ginger. I used the cream cheese frosting from the original recipe, rather than the one that I’ve come to enjoy the most. Sometimes I get carried away with combining multiple recipes, but I should probably try the original recipe first before making adjustments (you know, unless the temptation is too great).
I think this cake has a lot of potential. I liked the use of the mashed carrots because I think it brings out the sweetness and flavor of the carrots. I don’t know that the use of the three fats makes a world of difference here, but I suppose the buttermilk adds some flavor complexity. At the very least, it seemed like the butter and buttermilk gave the it a lighter crumb while still providing the moistness from the oil. I would probably increase the spices a tad as well as molasses and ginger by another teaspoon next time. It had a good flavor, but I thought it could be more pronounced.
Unfortunately, the added difficulty of monitoring my infant son while preparing this cake led to me missing the baking soda until the very last minute. I had mistakenly omitted the baking soda when I transcribed the recipe, and, as I placed the cakes into the oven realized that it was weird that there was no baking powder or baking soda. So, I pulled them out, checked the original recipe, then added pro rata baking soda to each pan and stirred it around (as best I could). Consequently, as you can tell by the second photo, the cakes did not bake up as fully intended and remained congealed towards the edges where I obviously did not stir the baking soda. Oh well, next time!
CARROT CAKE V
Based on this recipe.
2 cups (9 oz.) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp. (3 1/2 oz.) cake flour
2 cups (14 oz.) granulated sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
4 large eggs, room temperature and lightly beaten
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. unsulphured molasses
1 1/3 cups pureed cooked carrots (from 1 lb. 2 oz. raw carrots)
8 oz. can of crushed pineapple, drained
2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
6-7 cups (24-28 oz.) powdered sugar
- For the cake: Peel the carrots and chop into large pieces. Steam carrots for 15 minutes, or until very tender. In a food processor, puree carrots until mostly smooth, then set aside to cool.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 3 8″ cake pans with parchment paper, then grease and flour the pans.
- In a large bowl, sift together flours, sugar, salt, baking soda and spices.
- Add oil, butter, buttermilk, eggs, vanilla and molasses, then mix well until well combined.
- Fold in pureed carrots, pineapple and fresh ginger.
- Divide batter evenly between the two pans, and bake for 40-50 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.
- For the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.
- Slowly add 3 cups of powdered sugar, mixing to combine.
- Add the vanilla extract and continue mixing.
- Add the remainder of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
- Decorate cake as desired.