Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Carrot Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
It's my birthday! Woohoo! Happy Birthday To ME! So, this year, I decided to bake my own birthday cake. I had no trouble trying to figure out what kind of cake I wanted.
I remember when I was 4 years old, my mom told me she was going to bake my birthday cake. I was so excited. Visions of yellow cake with chocolate frosting filled my head. And then I saw her grating the carrots. "You are putting carrots in a cake? Carrots? Carrots are a vegetable. What kind of cake has carrots in it?" And then I found out about the cream cheese frosting. "There's cheese in the frosting? Eww!" I think I bawled for an hour.
Flash forward. I now love carrot cake. Thus, there can be only one type of birthday cake for me now... carrot cake. And it has to have the cream cheese frosting. I was drawn to this recipe in Martha Stewart Living Cookbook because of the ginger and orange zest. Yummers!
I don't bake cakes very often, so it wasn't until after I had everything in the mixer that I realized I didn't have the requisite 2 cake pans. (Just like the TV show, they were "Lost.") So, I had to make due with one 10-inch springform. I also realized I didn't have any granulated sugar. So I substituted brown sugar. The cake still turned out fine, but I was only able to manage 3 layers instead of 4 layers. I hope you enjoy this cake as much as we did.
CARROT CAKE WITH ORANGE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
For the cake:
unsalted butter for greasing the pans
flour for greasing the pans
1 lb organic baby carrots
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 cups canola oil
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup toasted pecans, crushed
additional 1/3 cup toasted pecans, crushed (for decorating)
For the frosting:
1 1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
3 packages of cream cheese (8 oz each), room temperature
3 cups confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon orange zest
pinch of kosher salt
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2) Grease the cake pan with butter. Cut out a circle of parchment paper to line the bottom of the pan. Dust pan with flour. Shake out excess flour.
3) In a food processor, grate the carrots. Pour into a mixing bowl. Whisk in the eggs, ginger, vanilla, buttermilk, brown sugar and oil.
4) In separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
5) Fold the flour mixture into carrot mixture. When blended, fold in the toasted pecan pieces.
6) Pour into the pan and bake for about 45 minutes. Check for doneness.
7) Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes, then release cake. Continue to let cool on the rack.
8) Meanwhile, make the frosting. In an electric mixer, beat the butter for about 2 minutes or until it looks fluffy.
9) Add in the cream cheese and beat for 2 more minutes.
10) Slowly beat in sugar on low speed. Add the remaining ingredients. Beat for 5 minutes.
11) When the cake is cool, slice into 3 equal layers.
12) Place bottom layer on your serving dish. Spread 1/4 cup frosting over top. Gently lay down the second layer. Spread 1/4 cup frosting over top. Gently lay down top layer. Spread remaining frosting over the entire cake.
13) Garnish with toasted pecan pieces.
Makes 8 to 10 servings.