Amazing Carrot Cake
Amazingly moist and delicious carrot cake. I added pineapple and macerated raisins for moistness. Brown sugar instead of white also keeps it tender. Though it’s not health food, with whole meal flour and extra bran, it’s really not that bad. And the cream cheese icing is not overly sweet.
My husband made the marzipan carrots with home-made marzipan. Since I forgot to save a few walnuts to chop finely to make ‘dirt’ on top of the cake, I used chocolate hail (sprinkles). Use your own imagination to decorate.
Ingredients – use organic if you can
Cream Cheese Frosting:
Carrot Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in centre of oven. Butter or spray two or three – 9 x 2 inch (23 x 5 cm) cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with a circle of parchment paper. (I prefer three thinner layers.)
Toast the walnuts in a frying pan on medium heat for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and then chop coarsely.(Don’t chop while hot or all that lovely walnut oil will ooze into your cutting board.)
Peel and finely grate the carrots. Mix in crushed pineapple.
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and ground cinnamon. (Run baking soda through your fingers to ensure there are no lumps.)
In bowl of electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the eggs until frothy (about 1 minute). Gradually add the sugar and beat until the batter is thick and light coloured (about 3 – 4 minutes). Add the oil in a steady stream and then beat in the vanilla extract.
Add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated.
With a large rubber spatula fold in the grated carrots/pineapple, drained raisins and chopped nuts.
Evenly divide the batter between the two or three prepared pans and bake 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. After about 5 -10 minutes invert the cakes onto the wire rack, remove the pans and parchment paper, and then cool completely before frosting.
Serves 10 – 12.
Cream Cheese Frosting: In bowl of electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the cream cheese and butter, on low speed, just until blended with no lumps. Gradually add the sifted icing/powdered sugar and beat on low speed until fully incorporated and smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest. For firmer and/or sweeter icing, add more icing/powdered sugar.