May 13, 2013

Carrot Cake

At a recent first birthday party, I had an amazing Carrot Cake. It was an unusual Carrot Cake because it was a Banana Carrot Cake. The mom told me that it was from Whole Foods. The moist carrot cake with a bit of banana bread flavor and the sweet cream cheese frosting kept creeping in my head. I couldn't stop thinking about it. I even went to Whole Foods to see if they sell just a single piece of the cake. I couldn't find it. They had the plain carrot cake, but not the banana flavored one. I guess I had to take matters in my own hand.

I had every intention of making this Carrot-Banana Cake. I went to the store looking for ripe bananas, but I couldn't find any!! I went to three groceries stores around our house, and every banana was green!!! How is that possible? I HAD TO HAVE MY CARROT CAKE NOW!!! So I decided to make this Carrot Cake from Mel's Kitchen. I love Mel's blog, and if she chooses the word UNBELIEVABLE to describe her carrot cake. I know I would love it too.

The cake was soo good!! It's so easy!! I took it to the office and everyone just loved it! It's incredibly easy to make and it tastes amazing. I chose to use another cream cheese frosting because I've been dying to make this frosting again since I made it almost three years ago!!! It's much lighter and less sweet than the traditional cream cheese frosting. If you prefer the sweet, thick frosting with your carrot cake, then you should definitely go with Mel's recipe. Otherwise, give this a go!

Carrot Cake
from Mel's Kitchen

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces)
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 lb. medium carrots (6 to 7 large carrots), peeled
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (10 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable or canola oil

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Adjust oven rack to middle position. Grease and flour a 9X13-inch baking pan or 2 9-inch round pans.

2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in large bowl; set aside. In a food processor fitted with large or fine shredding disk, shred carrots (you should have about 3 cups); transfer carrots to bowl and set aside. You can also shred by hand on a box grater if you don't have a food processor.

3. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment (or in large bowl and using hand-held mixer), beat granulated and brown sugars and eggs on medium-high until thoroughly combined, about 45 seconds. Reduce speed to medium; with mixer running, add oil in slow, steady stream, being careful to pour oil against inside of bowl (if oil begins to splatter, reduce speed to low until oil is incorporated, then resume adding oil). Increase speed to high and mix until mixture is light in color and well emulsified, about 45 seconds to 1 minute longer. Turn off mixer and stir in carrots and dry ingredients by hand until incorporated and no streaks of flour remain.

4. Pour into prepared pan(s) and bake until toothpick or skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 32 minutes for 9-inch round pans and 40 minutes for a 9X13-inch pan. Let cakes cool for about 10 minutes in the pan and then invert them onto a cooling rack to cool completely (the 9X13-inch cake can be cooled completely in the pan if you don't plan to invert and ice all the sides). At this point, once the cakes are cooled, they can be wrapped in plastic wrap and put in a ziploc bag and placed in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw at room temperature prior to frosting.

Yummy cream cheese frosting
source unknown

1 1/4 cup whipping cream
8 oz cream cheese, softened (see note)
3/4 cup white sugar (see note)
2 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt

1. Beat whipping cream until soft peaks are formed, set aside.

2. Combine cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and salt. Beat until smooth and creamy, about 3 to 5 minutes.

3. Fold in whipped cream in three additions. Refrigerate until use.



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