Thursday, April 09, 2020

The Perfect Carrot Cake

What makes the perfect Carrot Cake?  Well it has to be moist...that's the first rule. You can never have a dry cake. And it has to be dense...but not too heavy. It has to melt in your mouth without being mushy. It has to be full of flavor with just a hint of sweet spice. It has to have carrots, but not so many that you can taste them.  And the frosting has to be rich and creamy and it can't have that fake taste like you get on those cheap cakes at a grocery store. It has to have that perfect combination of sweet and tangy.  And the cake has to get better each day as the flavors all meld together.  And this is it my friends....this is the perfect Carrot Cake.

The Perfect Carrot Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
3 cups carrots, finely grated
2 cups pecans, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) round pans; Line bottom of the pans with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add eggs and vegetable oil. Using a hand mixer, blend until combined. Add carrots and 1 1/2 cups pecans, if using.

Pour into pans. Bake for approximately 40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Remove from pans, place on waxed paper and allow to cool completely before frosting.

2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, cut into cubes, at room temperature
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup heavy cream, cold
Using a mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter  until smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping down the side as necessary, Add the confectioners' sugar, vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon salt; gradually increase the mixer speed to medium-high, and beat until the sugar is incorporated and the frosting is fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes. 

With the mixer on medium-high, add the cream a few drops at time until it's all incorporated. Continue beating for 1 more minute until the frosting is slightly lighter in color and creamy.

To Assemble

Place one of the cake layers on a serving plate, and spread 1 cup of the frosting over the top. Top with the other layer, and use the remaining frosting to frost the top and sides of the cake.  Top with more pecans if desired.

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