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Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

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Serves 8 to 10.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from several recipes.

I made my first carrot cake when I was in college, using a recipe from a full set of Graham Kerr’s Galloping Gourmet cookbooks I once owned. The cake did not satisfy me. I have tried other recipes, looking for one that would give me the flavor I enjoy in the carrot cake I can buy locally. I finally discovered a recipe that, with a few adjustments, gave me the flavor I want. It is similar to spice cake.

Ingredients:

For the Cake:
2 cups (10 ounces/285g) all-purpose flour
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
1 cup packed (6 ounces/170g) brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ cups (257ml) vegetable oil
12 to 14 ounces (340-400g) shredded carrots (about 5 carrots, peeled and shredded to yield 3 cups)
For the Frosting/Icing:
1 16-ounce (454g) package powdered (confectioners’) sugar
1 8-ounce (226g) package cream cheese
½ pound (113g) butter
1 cup (4 ounces/113g) pecan pieces

Directions:

Heat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease two or three cake pans with butter and dust with flour. You can also line the pans with a circle of parchment paper to make the cakes easier to release.

Combine the dry ingredients (flour, sugars, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and soda) in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl combine the wet ingredients (eggs, vanilla, and oil). Peel and shred the carrots, enough to yield about 3 cups, finely shredded.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and mix until thoroughly combined. Add the shredded carrots and mix to distribute evenly.

Pour the batter into 2 or 3 prepared cake pans. If using three pans, bake 30 to 35 minutes. For two pans, bake 40 to 45 minutes. When done a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean. I use a digital thermometer. The cakes are done when the internal temperature is around 205°F (96°C). Remove from the oven and let cool thoroughly in the pans. Carefully remove the cakes from the pans.

Combine the powdered sugar, cream cheese, and butter, whipping well. Invert one layer onto a dish and frost the top. Place the second layer on the first and frost. (Do the same with the third layer, if using.) Cover the entire top surface with the pecan pieces. Frost the sides of the cake. Refrigerate to set the icing.