With Easter around the corner, I decided to get ready with a Carrot Cake. I have never made cake or frosting from scratch before, but I just wanted to make a dessert to really ring in the spring season. Once I came across this carrot cake recipe on simplyrecipes.com I knew it was just what I was looking for.
In starting the recipe I initially was going to use two 6 by 3 inch spring form pans as you see pictured below but I changed my mind in the last minute and used two 9 inch cake pans instead like the recipe called for. Then I did not have to do any conversions, and if we had a few extra slices, that couldn’t hurt either.
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups canola oil
- 4 large eggs (slightly beaten)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups shelled, chopped walnuts ( and some whole walnuts for decorating)
- 1 1/2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
- 2 cups finely grated carrot
- 1 cup drained, crushed pineapple
- 8 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
I started by pre-heating the oven to 350 degrees and greased my two 9 inch cake pans. In my trusty mixer bowl I sifted together all my dry ingredients (all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon). To my dry ingredients, I added my oil, eggs, and vanilla and beat them well. Once my wet ingredients were incorporated I then folded in the carrots, coconut, pineapple, and walnuts. I evenly divided the batter between my two 9 inch cake pans and placed the pans into my preheated oven on the center rack for about 50 minutes. I placed them on my cooling rack to fully cool after making sure a toothpick went in the center and came out clean.
While my cakes were cooling I prepared the frosting. I placed the 8oz of room temperature cream cheese and the 6 tbsp of room temapature butter in my mixer. I let that cream for about 5-7 minutes. Then I added in the 2 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar and continued mixing until all the lumps were gone. Lastly, I added the vanilla extract and the 2 tbsp of lemon juice. My frosting was a bit runny so I placed it into the fridge to stiffen up a bit while my cake continued cooling. After a short trip in the refrigerator I frosted the cake and topped it with the whole walnuts I had set aside.
This cake was so moist and delicious. The frosting was just the perfect sweetness with some extra zing from a subtle hint of lemon. I still have some work to do on my decorating, but the taste was spot on with this one.