About Me

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Lansing, Michigan, United States
I am a Lansing townie, lawyer, and restaurant reviewer for the City Pulse. I love traveling, reading, yoga, and baking, but my favorite hobby is stuffing my face.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Carrot Cake

Ladies and gents, allow me to toot my own horn. I make the best carrot cake you've ever had. Since that cat left its bag, I've been making it more often as friends and family members request it. It doesn't taste like a carrot. It kind of tastes like a spice cake, actually. This is why you need a food processor, so the carrots can all get macerated and nobody will get a chunk meant for a salad.

This cream cheese frosting is killer. Every time I make it I end up sticking my head into the mixer bowl- honestly sticking my head into it to lick the sides. The last time I did this, my dad caught me with frosting on my forehead. I'm 29 years old.

I'm not going to lie to you, shredding the carrots isn't fun. I wash six or seven big carrots and dry them. I don't peel them, because it doesn't make any difference. They're fine. I feed them into the food processor one by one until they are all mulched into carrot meal. I do this before I start anything else, because it's so boring and I hate doing it.

This recipe makes a BIG three-layer cake, but can also be used for cupcakes. The last time I made cupcakes I did two dozen, plus a loaf of cake. All in all, this recipe makes a lot of baked goods, which is lucky because people are going to go crazy over these babies.

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp ginger
1.5 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 cups finely grated carrots
1 cup chopped pecans, raisins, pineapple, whatever- if you like that sort of thing. I don't.

FIRST- prepare your pans. If you're making  a layer cake, grease three 9-inch round pans, line with parchment, grease that too. I'm waiting for the wonderful day when you can buy 9-inch round circles of parchment paper, pre-cut.

Then put the oven racks in the top and bottom third of the oven, preheat to 325.

Combine flour, BP, BS, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger- wisk well. In a separate bowl beat the sugar and oil until combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating well. Add applesauce. Add flour mixture, beat well. Add carrots and other accoutrements.

Divide the batter into the pans and bake, rotating between the racks once or twice, until it passes the toothpick test. About 35-45 minutes. If I'm doing cupcakes, it's about 28 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 packages cream cheese, room temp
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
3 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice

Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Sift in powdered sugar (I never sift it, I just dump it in by quarter cup), beat on low speed until incorporated. Add vanilla and lemon juice, beat well to incorporate. It it's lumpy, keep beating on high. Stick your head in the bowl.

How sweet is that cupcake carrier, by the way? Christmas present from Mommy Dearest. There you have it. 


BF Mom said...

my birthday is March 4th. It's the first time in my life it falls BEFORE Lent. And I love carrot cake. Just sayin'.

GCJ said...

And I love to make carrot cake! Sounds like I know what my plans are for that first weekend in March. Do you like nuts, pineapple, all that other stuff?