Carrot Cake :- This carrot cake is truly the greatest, with its amazing spice taste, wonderfully moist texture, and silky cream cheese icing. For a richer flavour, use brown sugar and roasted pecans.
- 2 cups of chopped pecans
- 1 and 1/2 cups of dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
- 1 cup of vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs
- 3/4 cup of smooth unsweetened applesauce
- 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
- 2 and 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
- 2 cups of grated carrots
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 450g of full-fat block cream cheese
- 1/2 cup of unsalted butter
- 4 cups of confectioners’ sugar
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
- A pinch of salt
Make the cake
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit (149 degrees Celsius). Using parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, line a large baking sheet. Toast the chopped pecans for 7-8 minutes on the baking sheet. Remove from the oven and set aside for 10-15 minutes to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius). Prepare two or three 9-inch cake pans by greasing them, lining them with parchment paper, and then greasing the parchment paper. The cakes are easier to remove from the pans when they are wrapped in parchment paper.
- In a large mixing basin, whisk together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, oil, eggs, applesauce, and vanilla until smooth and no brown sugar lumps remain. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves in a separate large mixing basin. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold them together with a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon until barely incorporated. Combine the carrots and 1 cup of toasted nuts in a mixing bowl. (The remaining pecans are for decoration.)
- Pour or spoon the batter into the cake pans in an equal layer. Bake for 20-24 minutes if using three cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes if using two cake pans. Using a toothpick, check the centre. The cakes are done when the knife comes out clean. If not, continue to bake until the chicken is fully done. Don’t overcook. Allow the cakes to cool entirely in the pans before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely. Before icing and assembling the cakes, they must be entirely cool.
Make the frosting
- Cream the cream cheese and butter together in a large mixing bowl with a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment on medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Combine the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt in a small mixing bowl. After 30 seconds on low speed, move to high speed and beat for 3 minutes, or until totally blended and creamy. If the frosting is too thin, add more confectioners’ sugar; if the frosting is too thick, add more milk; and if the icing is too sweet, add an extra pinch of salt. Soft, but not runny, frosting is ideal.
Assemble and frost
- To make a flat surface, layer off the tops of the cakes with a broad serrated knife or a cake leveller. 1 cake layer should be placed on a cake stand or serving dish. Apply frosting to the top of the cake in an even layer. Top with the second layer, additional frosting, then the third layer. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Use the leftover roasted nuts to decorate the edges and top of the cake. Before slicing, chill the cake for at least 15-20 minutes. When cutting the cake, this helps it keep its shape.
- Refrigerate any remaining frosted Carrot cake tightly covered for up to 5 days.
- Prepare ahead of time and freeze The cake layers can be baked, chilled, and covered tightly overnight at room temperature. Similarly, the frosting can be made ahead of time and then refrigerated overnight. When ready to decorate, let the frosting soften for 15 minutes at room temperature, then give it another mix on medium speed for about 1 minute before icing the cake. Cake layers, frosted or unfrosted, can be frozen for up to 2-3 months. Refrigerate overnight and bring to room temperature before decorating or serving.
- If you don’t want to use applesauce, you can use 3/4 cup crushed pineapple instead. Drain the crushed pineapple from the can first. It should have the consistency of applesauce and not be overly runny. 3/4 cup mashed bananas, sour cream, plain yoghurt, or canned pumpkin puree could also be used.