I’m going to make a bold statement today.
Carrot Cake is my favorite cake.
There. I did it. I am not good at picking favorites. If you ask me my favorite color, I will respond with “In nature? Fingernail polish? Accent pillows?” If you ask me my favorite flower, I will ask “What season is it?” It’s not that I’m indecisive. I’m just meticulous (a.k.a. fussy).
So, you see, if you ask me to choose a favorite cake, I would typically say, “It depends. Is it a wedding cake? Is it for a holiday? Is it cold or hot outside?”
To say, for the blogosphere and my readers to witness, that carrot cake is my favorite with no qualifiers is … scary! And, to many of you, ridiculous.
It seems that people either love, hate or tolerate carrot cake. All that texture … nuts, shredded carrot, raisins, pineapple, coconut … is probably the key to loving or hating. Those who tolerate probably need one or two of those ingredients removed or modified (no coconut, pecans not walnuts, why did you have to put raisins … pronounced “raaay-zins” with a whiny tone … in it again?).
For those of us who love it, it is always a risk. When my mom and I see it listed on a menu or displayed in a dessert case, we look at each other. We don’t even have to speak. The questions are there …
Is it dry?
Will the cream cheese frosting be able to compensate for the lack of moisture in the cake?
We choose something else because we cannot stand to throw dessert away (waste not, want not) and neither of us want to consume disappointing calories. Oh the calamity!
Last Friday was National Carrot Cake Day (did you hear the angels singing?). As a food blogger, it is my civic responsibility to make a carrot cake, from scratch, and report on its goodness. What can I say? I’m here for you!
I’ve had mixed results with carrot cake recipes before. Some fell into the dreaded “dry” category. Some were quite good. But none were ever close-your-eyes-and-savor-that-bite good. I needed that kind of recipe. I remembered the success I had with a recipe for Hummingbird Cake which I made for my book club last summer. It came from my “The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook” and was amazing. So I started there and found a recipe called “Carrot Cake Supreme”. The caption under the title read “Buttermilk Glaze adds extra moistness to this cake and makes it incredibly rich.”
Let me get this straight. Buttermilk glaze AND cream cheese frosting?
We have a winner!
Carrot Cake Supreme
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 large eggs
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated carrot
1 (8-oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
3/4 cup unsweetened, flaked coconut
1 cup chopped, toasted walnuts
3/4 cup raisins
Buttermilk Glaze (recipe below)
Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below)
Preheat oven to 350°.
Lightly coat two 9″x13″ pans with cooking spray. Place a sheet of parchment paper (cut to size) in the bottom of each pan. Cut two extra rectangles of parchment for later. Lightly spray parchment with cooking spray and dust with flour. Set aside.
Whisk together first four ingredients; set aside. Beat eggs and next four ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add flour mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Fold in carrot, pineapple, coconut, walnuts and raisins.
Divide batter evenly between the two pans. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
While cakes are baking, prepare buttermilk glaze (recipe below).
Drizzle warm glaze slowly over warm cake layers; cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Place one piece of the extra parchment rectangles on top of each cake; invert each cake, removing the original piece of parchment. Return cakes to wire rack, glazed side up, and remove and discard second parchment.
Cool cakes completely.
Spread cream cheese frosting (recipe below) between layers and on the top and sides of the cake. Chill cake several hours before slicing. Store cake in refrigerator.
I modified the original recipe slightly for personal preferences. I used unsweetened, flaked coconut instead of canned, walnuts instead of pecans, and added raisins. It’s my party …
This picture shows a piece of the cake that is about 1 1/2 – 2 inches wide and 4 inches long. Cutting slices this size makes about 24 pieces.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a dutch oven over low heat, melt butter. Add sugar, baking soda, buttermilk, and light corn syrup; whisking to combine. Increase heat to medium, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Boil 4 minutes (reducing temperature to maintain a good simmer). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cool slightly.
Cream Cheese Frosting
12 oz of cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup butter, softened
16 oz of powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Beat cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla.
I am so happy to share this, my favorite cake, with you. I just ask one thing: PLEASE don’t make me choose my SECOND favorite cake!
I couldn’t stand the pressure.
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