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Saturday, March 19, 2011

carrot cake.

I love carrot cake, but I'd only eaten cake from other bakeries. Which is quite funny, actually. I'm a baker. Why do I need to buy carrot cake? So I set off to research for the best recipe.

Carrot cake is so simple to make, all the recipes out there are more or less the same. Some will differ in the use of buttermilk, amount of spice, amount of add-ins, brown sugar or white sugar. But that's pretty much it. So I just went ahead with this recipe I found from allrecipes as I didn't have to modify much from there.

I halved the recipe to bake into 2 6-inch layers, used brown sugar instead of white for a deeper flavour profile, omitted the coconut and compensated with more shredded carrots.

I did something really bad when baking this cake. Really really bad.

I underbaked it. Whoops.

I'm still in shock. I stuck the skewer in and it came out clean. But only in some parts. I let it go when I saw some batter clinging because I thought I might have stabbed a pineapple and the cake would continue to bake anyway. 2 hours later, I sliced the cake horizontally into half as it was completely cooled but hey hey! raw batter in the middle. It wasn't super raw as in flowy, but it was still rather moist and sticky. I scrambled to the oven to whacked the preheat button and got out a baking tray to place the layers on.

So in the end, I managed to save the cake, although the centre has a weird dense, mushy texture and the rims of the cake were slightly chewy. Even after all this drama, the cake was still wonderfully moist!

To ensure that the cake doesn't develop a domed top which would eventually have to be cut away (what wastage!), I baked at a lower temperature of 160C for a longer period of time. Totally works. You should try it.

For the cream cheese frosting, I used a recipe from The Dessert Bible which I chose because it has a low ratio of butter to cream cheese which I like. I never understand why cream cheese frosting recipes have so much butter. Doesn't it detract from the flavour which you would have to then cover it up with copious amounts of icing sugar resulting in an atrociously sweet frosting?

Another bad thing I did was to not make enough cream cheese frosting.

Sam's Famous Carrot Cake (I halved the recipe and made it a 6 inch cake)
adapted from allrecipes.com

3 eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup vegetable oil *I replaced half of this with applesauce
1 1/2 cups sugar *I used brown sugar
2 ts. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 ts. baking soda
2 ts. ground cinnamon *I added a touch of nutmeg too
1/4 ts. salt
2 cups shredded carrot *I used more to make up for the lack of coconut
1 cup flaked coconut *I omitted
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup can crushed pineapple with juice *I didn't use the juice as it would be way too moist
1 cup raisins *I plumped them up first

Preheat the over to 350 degrees F (I baked at 160C for flat layers), grease 8" x 12 " pan.
Sift all dry ingredients, set aside.
Combine carrot, coconut, pineapple, walnut and raisin. Set aside.
Whisk egg, buttermilk, oil, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl.
Whisk in dry ingredients, then carrot mixture.
Pour into a prepared pan, bake for 40-50 minutes. Check with toothpick.

Cream Cheese Frosting (I'm giving the full amount here so you can judge how much you need. Usually more is better than less!)
recipe from The Dessert Bible

16 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons sour cream

Beat the softened cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer on low speed until homogenous, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the confectioners' sugar and sour cream and beat until well blended, up to 2 minutes longer. (The frosting will be quite soupy so chill it in the refrigerator until it has thickened up enough to frost.) 

Carrots totally cancel out the calories, fat and sugar so don't feel guilty! 

This post is linked to Sweets for a Saturday.


  1. This carrot cake looks absolutely delicious! Great job.

  2. What a beautiful cake. I love carrot cake too. I will have to make this, thanks.