Belated hoppy Easter to all! I am really trying to work on my layer cake skills now that I know I don’t have any. I looked at a million different carrot cake recipes before settling on this one from King Arthur’s Flour, which is a surprisingly reliable & comprehensive baking recipe resource.
This recipe has two components: the cake and the frosting. I added a third component, which was the decorative carrot curls on top.
- Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease two 9″ cake pans.
- Beat together 1.5 cups vegetable oil, 2 cups sugar, 1 tsp salt, 4 large eggs, 1 tbsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp ground cloves, and 2 tsp baking soda.
- Stir in 2 cups flour until just blended. Then stir in 3 cups finely grated carrots and 1.5 cups chopped nuts. Pour into pans.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes and allow to cool before frosting.
- Beat together 1/2 cup room temp unsalted butter and 8oz room temp cream cheese until smooth. Add 1/4 tsp salt and 2 tsp vanilla.
- Add 2.5-3.5 cups confectioners’ sugar gradually and beat until smooth, add a little bit of milk if it’s too liquidy. Frost the cake.
Carrot curls (I used this recipe as a guideline):
- Take about 2 large carrots and cut 15-20 strips using a peeler.
- Bring 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar to a boil in a saucepan. Place carrot strips in the water and reduce heat to a simmer, let simmer 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 225 degrees and prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Once carrots are done simmering, drain and lay out on a baking sheet (not touching). Bake for 30 minutes.
- Working quickly, remove carrots from oven and wrap around a wooden spoon handle to curl. Allow to sit a few seconds then slip off.
- Sprinkle with extra sugar if you want, let cool, and then use to decorate as you wish.
- This recipe tasted good and was VERY rich.
- I did a few things differently from the recipe. Mainly, I cut the layers in half so that I had four layers instead of just two. I used a mixture of pecans, walnuts, and hazelnuts because I didn’t have enough of any single nut.
- I also multiplied the frosting recipe by 1.5 because I figured I needed more due to the increased number of layers.
- Lastly I made more carrot curls than called for because I figured some of them would look ugly so I’d need more.
- Okay so this recipe tasted good and looked okay but there are a LOT of things I need to think about or work on.
- First of all, I had a cake crater AGAIN. I am getting so frustrated by this. Both of my cakes had fairly sizeable craters. It’s a big reason why I cut them in half, because I was kind of worried they weren’t totally cooked and wanted to check. I have researched and researched and tried multiple solutions and I’m still having this issue. I’m not giving up yet though.
- Also, I am very inexperienced at cutting layer cakes in half, as demonstrated by the mess of the middle of the cake pictured below. I think part of the problem is that it’s tricky to cut cakes with chunks of nuts in them. I’m going to try just a smooth cake next time.
- Grating carrots is TERRIBLE. Next time I would do this in advance, or enlist someone else to do it.
- I’m getting better at spreading the frosting but still not great. I want a turntable.
- The carrot curls didn’t quite work as imagined. Only a few of them really maintained their curl. Some of them just snapped completely. It ended up okay looking but not what I had hoped.