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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Maida's Carrot Cake

      I figured I might as well start this post with a review from my grandma.  She said this cake was the best carrot cake she's had and it almost made her purr.  Now that's saying something!  Enough maybe even. Post finished.








     Ha!  Of course I couldn't let it just go at that.   This month's bake kind of started with a bit of panic.  I thought I had the cake baked back in early July.  Something made me look again before I wrote the post and the cake I had baked was nowhere to be seen!  PANIC! I looked everywhere and I couldn't find the list I had picked from.  What the heck happened?  It turns out Facebook on my computer is only showing me one event per group at a time. Who knows why?  When I looked on my phone I could see the list for SEPTEMBER and there was my cake. I guess I don't know what month we're in any more.  Ahem... I mean I am just really super duper prepared and ahead of the game!


   There were some really great sounding cakes in the round up for this month's Cake Slice choices.  One was really tempting, but had similar flavors to the cake I already baked for next month's choice.  I wouldn't want to wear you out with too many similar delicious cakes.  So I had to give this one a go. It was interesting anyway, there is a tablespoon of cocoa powder in it.  Yep, in a carrot cake.  It really isn't enough to taste as chocolate, but I am sure it helps give that dark color and probably adds to the depth of flavor as well.  No matter what it's purpose, this cake is delicious.

     I honestly wasn't 100% sure how this was going to go.  Maida's ingredient list asked for 1 lb of carrots or 4 packed cups.  I was using bits and pieces of bags of carrots, so I opted to measure rather than weigh.  Probably a mistake.  It took a lot more carrots than it should have to make the 4 cups.  I would guess I used closer to a pound and a half.  It made for a more dense cake than it probably would have been otherwise.  But they baked well, turned out cleanly and ate like a dream.  I am sure I would have got more rise with fewer carrots, but I'm not sure I wouldn't do it the same way next time.  I hope somebody else baked this cake so I can see how theirs turned out.



     Maida offered instructions on making marzipan carrots from scratch.  It would have been really fun to try, but I didn't have the time to go for it.  Nuts are always a pretty garnish, but then half of my guests wouldn't have even given it a try.  The problem is the cake needed something!  So, I ground up a few graham cracker and sprinkled them on.  Next time I'd probably make a little more frosting and pipe it on instead, but as always I had a group coming over and more food to make so I went for quick and easy this time!

Maida's Carrot Cake


Ingredients:

Cake:

1 cup raisins
1 pound carrots, shredded
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 T cocoa powder
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Frosting:

16 oz bock cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla (I used vanilla bean paste, but extract is good too)
2 cups powdered sugar

To make the cakes:

  1. First, steam the raisins.  Place them in a steamer basket or small strainer in a pot with a bit of water in the bottom.  (The water shouldn't touch the raisins.) Boil over high heat for 10 minutes, then remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F and prepare three 9" cake pans.  I just spray them with the baking spray with flour.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cocoa.  Set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs just to mix.  Add the sugars, vanilla and oil.  Beat until fully incorporated. Stir in the dry ingredients until just combined. Stir in the carrots and raisins.
  5. Divide batter between the 3 prepared pans and spread to even it out.  
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes.  The edges should be just pulling away from the pan and the top should spring back when lightly pressed.
  7. Cool for 2-3 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack.  Cool completely and then freeze right on the wire racks.  They are too moist to handle at this point otherwise.  Maida says they should be frozen for at least an hour before you try to assemble the cake.  I froze mine overnight. If you'd like you can freeze them for a bit, then wrap them in saran wrap and return to the freezer for up to a few months. 
To make the frosting:
  1. Beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy.  
  2. Add the sugar and vanilla and mix in on low until incorporated.  Then turn the mixer to high and beat for until smooth.
To assemble:

  1. Place a frozen cake layer on your cake plate.  Spread about 2/3 cup of frosting over the layer.
  2. Repeat with the next layer, more frosting and the final cake layer. 
  3. Spread icing over the sides and top of cake.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to serve and serve cold. 







32 comments:

  1. It looks good.... I could eat a slice right now!

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    1. It really was tasty! I would happily share if it weren't all gone! Oops!

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  2. I do love carrot cake but have a perfect recipe so refuse to try anything that I know could disappoint me. I am a huge fan of extra frosting on cakes, but like the look of your layers. They look so even and cut so nicely. Nice job Carlee!

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    1. It is hard when you already have the perfect recipe. Now I'm curious about that! This was a fun one to try. I wasn't sure how my family would feel about the raisins, but one of my brothers commented about how he really liked them in there. I do think if I had it to do over, I'd up the frosting a bit and pipe on an edge or some carrots or something, but it was a rich cake as it was, so that may really be gilding the lily!

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  3. I was really curious about the cocoa powder! I'm glad the cake turned out delicious!

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    1. It was an interesting ingredient for a carrot cake, but it really turned out nice. I liked the frosting recipe with it too. It was a lot of cream cheese and butter with a minimal amount of powdered sugar. They really went well together.

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  4. Quick and easy? Well it probably took longer than you thought with having to grate all those carrots, but a cake that can make you purr...perfect! I like the graham cracker decoration, but then I'm already starting to think 'Fall'.

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    1. Hee! The graham crackers were the quickest and easiest garnish my feeble mind could think of without making more frosting. It would have been perfect without it, but it needed a little something to dress it up for pictures. It definitely was popular with my family!

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  5. Hello! I've always wanted to make a carrot cake, it's my husband's favorite. This recipe looks great. I can't wait to try it. Thanks for sharing! Pinning! :P

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    1. I love making carrot cakes! This one was a real winner too. I have another one on the blog (Linda's Famous Carrot Cake) that is scaled to a 9x13 if you prefer going that route! I hope you both enjoy it!

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  6. I loooooove carrot cake! This sounds amazing! YUM! Pinned!

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pluckyrecipescraftstips/

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

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  7. Cocoa powder?! I guess with only 2 T it is more for color, but interesting. Thanks for partying with us at #TastyTuesdays

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    1. Isn't that strange? I really think it doesn't do more than add depth of color and maybe a bit deeper flavor, but certainly not chocolate. Whatever it's purpose it worked in there. The cake was delicious! Thanks for hosting!

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  8. I love a good carrot cake. I've never thought of grinding crackers for a garnish on cake. What a great idea. That is a ton of carrots too. When I make carrot cake, I use baby food for the carrots. Just the first foods kind, so it's only carrots, but that makes it so much easier.

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    1. What a great time saver using the baby food. I definitely ended up going way over on carrots on this one (I don't know why pulling out the food scale seemed like an epic task at the time!) but luckily it worked out anyway!

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  9. Thanks Carlee for sharing this wonderful carrot cake at our Cooking and Crafting with J & J.

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  10. I would never have thought to add cocoa powder to carrot cake. Now I definitely have to try the recipe! My husband's favorite cake is carrot, I'm sure he'd approve of me making him one 😀

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    1. Isn't that different? It really worked in there though. I love having these baking assignments each month with a limited list to choose from. It has been a great way to try new things (and a great excuse to bake!)

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  11. I just love carrot cake and so does one of my kids! I'm going to make this, this week end. He'll help me. Now I can't wait! I'm so glad I found you on the WayWow Linky! Thanks for this! Oh, I'm following you on Pinterest (Jody53).

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    1. Yay!! I hope you love it and thanks for following me!

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  12. That bit of cocoa powder was fun, and since I had only used one cup of soft brown sugar instead of 1 cup each of brown and white... my carrot cake was a bit dark as a result. Still good though. Love love your triple layers!

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    1. I thought the cocoa was fun too, I always enjoy trying new things! Your cake looks lovely!

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  13. My Mom used to make a yummy carrot cake. One of us really needs to learn to make her recipe. My hubby loved it.Yours is so pretty! Now I want some too! What could be better than a cake party! Thanks for stopping by and sharing with us at Merry Monday. I’m all excited about fall and can’t wait to see all the fall food and projects at the new party starting tonight!

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    1. Hmmm, a fall party? I'll have to check that out! I love fall recipes! I am getting excited planning what to share this year and have quite a few fun things on the docket already. I hope you have your mom's recipe! I love trying new things, but there is nothing quite like the version you grew up on!

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  14. Carrot cake is one of my favorites. Absolute favorite. It is so moist and flavorful, dense and delicious! I've never made it from scratch though, this recipe looks really good and I'd love to see what the cocoa powder would do to the flavor. I've tried it in chili and it gives an earthy, deep taste, so I'm sure I would love it in carrot cake. The cream cheese icing is one of my favorites too. Delish. Pinning, Stumbling, Yumming so I can easily find this again!

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    1. It is fun to make from scratch, Nikki! I could see how a little chili would work in there. I may have to give that a try one of these days. Cream cheese frosting is one of my downfalls too. I think you and I could do some damage on a frosting buffet! Do you think they have such a thing? Maybe we need to create one! A bunch of frostings and a few dippers (or just a bunch of spoons!)

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  15. What a beautiful Carrot Cake, I would love a slice right now. Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday this week and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

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    1. Thank you, Miz Helen! It was a winner for sure. My grandma is still talking about it!

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  16. Trials and tribulations! I always thought it was a sign of a great cook when you can forge ahead and turn out something wonderful despite the issues!! This looks fantastic~and it looks like it frosted like a dream, too - some carrot cakes are so delicate they're all but falling apart when that frosting gets piled on.

    Mollie

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    1. It really worked out well. Plus I figure the extra carrots pushed it from the kind of healthy to the straight up health food category. So it was really a win all the way around! Thanks, Mollie!

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