fay's carrot birthday cake
carrot cake has a phenomenal open-ended policy.
it’s extremely easy to adapt carrot cake recipes. part in part, to my belief, that there are so many different solid ingredients, that it doesn’t need much to give it structure. it’s like brick v mortar.
i’ve never really made a REAL carrot cake. i’d taken the reigns at vegan carrot cake while working at Babycakes, but never anything of my own and that including nuts etc.
so i did a lot of studying at the book store. snapped a few recipes with my iphone. and went to the grocery store to put my ideas together while cruising the isles. by the way … which is my absolute FAVORITE thing to do.
the following recipe is closest to that from the Gourmet cookbook:
3/4 pound of carrots
2 and 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons plus a pinch of baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups of packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups of sunflower seed oil
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon of lemon extract
8 ounces of crushed (NOT diced) pineapple – totally different, but amazing for moisture and diversified texture.
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (pecans are good too)
2/3 cup gold raisins
3 8 oz. packages of soft cream cheese (full fat)
1 and 1/2 sticks of soft butter
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of imitation rum extract
2 and 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. grease and flour 2 nine inch spring form pans.
grate the carrots with the “medium-hole size” on a cheese grater. set aside in a bowl.
beat on medium speed with stand up mixer the eggs, oil, lemon extract and sugar.
add salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices.
add flour and pineapple.
remove bowl from stand up mixer and fold in coconut, walnuts, raisins and carrot with a sturdy spatula.
once mixed well, divide up batter evenly amongst the two 9 inch pans.
place pans on the middle rack in the oven for 45 minutes.
cakes are ready when there is a nice cushion-spring-like poke in the middle of the cakes AND a tooth pick comes out clean.
put aside to cool.
when the cakes have FULLY cooled, even after having removed the sides of the spring form pans, then you can start making the frosting:
whip on high with a beater the butter and cream cheese until fluffy (a few minutes).
add powdered sugar. whip some more.
then add the vanilla and rum extract.
whip until nice and smooth and stiff peaks form from beaters.
frost your cake – obviously a double layer and finish off with a nice and smooth half inch layer on the outside.
use extra frosting to pipe lettering/doodles/designs.
*also a great idea is to sprinkle with crystallized ginger bits on top. a fun, yummy, and great texture addition.
set in the fridge for an hour at least!