Our Classic Carrot Cake made bakery-style is moist and tender as well as spiced and sweetened just right. It is made of the finest all-natural, pure and organic ingredients you can find. Our Best Ever Cream Cheese Buttercream, and the finely chopped walnut coating, takes Classic Carrot Cake to a whole new level. Guests will be so impressed!
- For the Carrot Cake
- 2 cups (about 250 grams) pure organic unbleached all-purpose flour, such as Hodgson Mill®, plus additional for dusting cake pans
- 2 cups (400 grams) organic granulated cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon (4.8 grams) aluminum free baking powder
- 1 teaspoon (4.8 grams) pure baking soda
- 1 teaspoon (4.8 grams) fine-grain sea salt, such as Eden®
- 1½ teaspoons organic ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon organic ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated organic whole nutmeg
- 1 cup (about 220 grams) organic cold-pressed sunflower oil
- 4 large organic eggs (mine weighed 204 grams total w/o shells)
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups (300 grams) grated organic carrot, from about 4 large peeled carrots
- ½ cup (40 grams) organic unsweetened shredded coconut, such as Let’s Do Organic®
- ¾ cup (135 grams) finely diced fresh organic pineapple
- Extra sunflower oil for greasing cake pans
- For the Cream Cheese Buttercream
- 1 to 1½ recipes Best Ever Cream Cheese Buttercream, recipe by Wicked Good Kitchen
- For the Optional Cake Adornments
- 1¼ cups (about 138 grams) finely chopped organic walnuts, to decorate sides of cake
- Grated peeled organic carrots, to decorate top perimeter of cake
- Freshly grated organic nutmeg, to lightly dust top perimeter of cake
- Special Equipment
- Three 8-inch by 1½ to 2-inch round cake pans
- Four wire cooling racks, with the fourth used to flip cake layers right side up
- One 8-inch cardboard cake round, helpful but not necessary
- Cake Turntable, such as Ateco® or Wilton®, helpful but not necessary
- Metal Angled or Offset Icing Spatula, such as Ateco® or Wilton®, helpful but not necessary
- Metal Icing Spatula, such as Ateco® or Wilton®, helpful but not necessary
- Wax paper, for lining cake plate for icing & nut coating, helpful but not necessary
- Piping bag, coupler and Wilton ® No. 21 star or 1M open star decorating tip, not necessary if no piping is desired
- Prepare Carrot Cake: Arrange oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 325º F (or 165º C). Grease three 8-inch round cake pans with oil. Line bottoms with parchment or wax paper circles. Grease paper linings and dust lined pans with flour, tapping out the excess.
- Using an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or handheld mixer and large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices on low speed (stir) until well combined. Add oil, eggs and vanilla; mix on low speed (stir), scraping down the sides of bowl as necessary with rubber spatula. Beat on medium speed until well blended, about 1 to 2 minutes. Fold in carrots, coconut and pineapple and mix until thoroughly combined. Using rubber spatula, scrape and pour batter into prepared pans, dividing evenly (about 2 cups of batter per cake pan). Smooth tops evenly with rubber spatula.
- Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Run thin metal spatula around edges of each cake to loosen, then invert onto wire rack and peel away parchment or wax paper. Turn right side up onto wire racks (using an additional rack to flip); cool completely.
- Prepare the Cream Cheese Buttercream: Prepare according to recipe directions.
- Assemble and Ice the Cake: To frost and fill cake, use a scant ¾ to 1 cup frosting between each layer and then proceed to spread frosting over top and sides of cake neatly and evenly with remaining buttercream. You may do a crumb coat and then chill the cake for 30 to 45 minutes before completing the icing, if desired. However, if decorating the sides of the cake with nuts, skip the crumb coat because the nuts will hide any crumbs that may be showing.
- To Decorate the Cake: If decorating the cake, gently press finely chopped walnuts onto sides of cake. This is easy to do if the cake layers are assembled onto a cardboard cake round. Simply hold and balance the cake on the cake round in one hand and use free hand to press the nuts into the sides of the cake. Use a sheet of parchment or wax paper, or even a sheet pan, to catch the excess.
- If not using a cardboard cake round to hold the cake and press nuts into sides of cake, it is still easy to do. Simply line your cake plate or pedestal with four 4- to 5-inch wide strips of wax paper and use hand to press nuts onto sides of cake. The wax paper strips will catch the nuts that fall away. Turn the cake as you work (a cake turntable is helpful, but not necessary) all the way around. Once finished, scoop away the fallen nuts with spoon and pull the wax paper sheets away leaving a clean cake plate or pedestal.
- Pipe a simple or fancy border with your favorite tip (I used the 1M open star tip) around the perimeter of the top layer. Sprinkle grated carrot in a circle on top of the cake, just inside the piped border. If desired, lightly dust top perimeter of cake with freshly grated nutmeg.
Cake may be made one day in advance. Keep covered in refrigerator.
The buttercream can be made 2 to 3 days in advance. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature before beating smooth again.
Prepare extra buttercream, about 1½ recipes if piping a large border around the top perimeter of the cake is desired.
After frosting the layered cake it is best to chill it until firm, about 1 to 2 hours. Chilling, before slicing the cake, will yield neater cake slices for a better plated presentation.
How to Measure All-Purpose Flour for this Recipe: This tip is provided for bakers who do not own a kitchen scale and will be measuring flour by volume rather than by weight. First, aerate flour by stirring it in the container. Then, simply use the “Dip and Sweep Method” by dipping dry measuring cup into the flour and then level off the top with the straight edge of a metal icing spatula. (The straight edge of a knife from a flatware set can be used as well.) This should yield about 125 grams per 1 cup of flour. Use a sheet of wax paper as a liner on your work surface to measure flour so that the excess can easily be funneled back into flour bag or container.
To Store the Cake: Keep cake covered and stored in refrigerator until ready to slice. Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature.
To Prepare Cupcakes: Arrange oven rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 325º F. Line standard 12-cup muffin pan with standard paper bake cups. Divide batter evenly among 24 muffin cups (baked in two batches), filling each cup ¾ full. Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 24 minutes. Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Transfer baked cupcakes to wire racks to cool completely, about 1 hour. Yield: Makes 24 cupcakes.
Brown Sugar: Part light or dark organic cane brown sugar may be used for enhanced flavor. Simply use 1 cup (200 grams) organic granulated cane sugar and 1 cup (200 grams) packed light or dark brown organic cane sugar in lieu of 2 cups (400 grams) organic granulated cane sugar called for in the recipe. I prefer using part light or dark brown sugar in the fall and winter months, but prefer using all granulated cane sugar in the spring. The reason is because the flavor profile and color of the cake is a bit deeper and more suitable in the fall and winter when using light brown sugar. Conversely, the lighter shade of orange is more suitable for spring, such as for an Easter Carrot Cake, when using all granulated sugar.
Non-Organic Substitutions and Measurements:
Salt: Although pure fine-grain sea salt without additives is strongly recommended, 1 teaspoon regular table salt can be substituted for 1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt called for in recipe.
Oil: Although organic cold-pressed sunflower oil is strongly recommended, 1 cup (weight may vary slightly) of your favorite nut or vegetable oil may be used.
Coconut: Although organic unsweetened shredded coconut is strongly recommended, ¾ cup (90 grams) shredded sweetened coconut, such as Baker’s® Angel Flake®, can be substituted for ½ cup (about 40 grams) organic unsweetened shredded coconut, such as Let’s Do Organic®, called for in recipe.
Pineapple: Although diced fresh organic pineapple is strongly recommended, ½ cup (122 grams) drained crushed pineapple, such as Dole®, from an 8-ounce can, can be substituted for ¾ cup (about 135 grams) finely diced fresh organic pineapple called for in recipe.
Carrot Cake Recipe Adapted From: Better Homes & Gardens and Debbi Fields
Best Ever Cream Cheese Buttercream Recipe by: WickedGoodKitchen.com
Original Recipe Source: WickedGoodKitchen.com
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