My best friend is by far one of the best bakers I know. She’s an ace at Classic American desserts, an area I struggle in. Eleven years ago in a quaint little kitchen in Melbourne, she I and spent the entire evening crafting her big day masterpiece. Little did I know that hidden beneath tiers of coral peonies and sea foam pearls was the sweetest secret weapon in her recipe arsenal. One taste of those moist layers laced with strands of orange gold, sandwiched between silky sweet and tangy icing just melting in my mouth, was love at first bite. It will forever be my absolute favorite wedding cake.
For those of you who happen to have a love affair with veg cakes, like yours truly, you’ll want to add this one to your books. It’s stunning, simple, and yet manages to be the most luxurious carrot cake on the planet. Carrots and bunnies go hand-in-hand, so by popular demand from our L2C community members for Easter goodies, I’m sharing the super secret recipe for the cake that helped launched the site one year ago. You’ll be the star of the potluck, I promise.
Happy Easter everyone!
To add nuts or not to add nuts? Different strokes for different folks, but if you do happen to love ’em it’s always best to stick to pecans or walnuts for this recipe. Give them a nice little toast before adding at the very end of the mixing stage. Forget raisins, unless they’re soaked in rum, they’re outta here. Don’t peel your carrots, scrub them nicely but all the flavor is hidden in that beautiful skin. Grate them on both the fine and larger size shred 50/50. You can grate it fresh or what I like to do is age them a little bit. Toss them in a bag with some crushed pineapple pieces and let it sit in the fridge for a few days. The pineapple will soften the carrots and add insane flavor. For the icing, I can’t stress enough the importance of following the mixing steps exactly. Slow and low will keep you from any grit or lumps. Yellow or white butter, either way is fine. You’ll only find yellow butter in grass fed cows and I think it adds a nice splash of natural color to the typical icing. This recipe works great for sheet cake and bundt or loaf pans.
|Prep Time||30 mins|
|Cook Time||35 mins|
|Passive Time||20 mins|
10" double layer or 8" triple layer
- 1 1/2 c Neutral Oil
- 2 c Cane Sugar Sub two tablespoons dark brown sugar for and extra rich cake
- 4 lg Eggs, fresh We loved using Pete & Gerry's
- 3 c Carrots, shredded see notes
- 2 c AP or Soft Pastry Flour
- 2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Cinnamon, ground
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1/2 c Walnuts or Pecans, toasted, chopped
- 8 oz Cream Cheese, room temperature
- 6 oz Butter, room temperature
- 1 lb Powder Sugar, sifted About 3 1/4 cups
- Pinch Salt
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Squeeze Lemon Juice (optional)
For the Cake
For the Icing
- Preheat oven to 350f degrees. Parchment treat and butter/oil spray your desired pan size. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl or stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine oil and sugar. Blend on low speed for 1 min.
- Add one egg at a time blending until thoroughly combined.
- Fold or add in carrots and vanilla. Blend or sift together dries.
- Fold or gently add dries into wet mixture until thoroughly combined, do not overmix. Add the nuts at the very end, folding them in gently and spreading them evenly throughout the batter.
- Transfer to pans distributing evenly. Place onto middle rack of the oven and set time for 35 mins.
- Check from doneness using probe or skewer pulls clean. Check for spring and pulling from the pan.
- Once done, remove from oven and allow to cool before wrapping and transferring to the fridge. Store until ready to use.
- In a cool, clean mixing bowl, add cream cheese. Using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed until softened and no visible lumps are evident. Scrape down multiple times during mixing.
- Slowly add in pieces of butter until all of it is thoroughly incorporated. Do this carefully as to not break the cream cheese or create lumps in the mixture. Scrape down sides of bowl and continues mixing.
- Carefully add in 1/2 cup of sifted powdered sugar at a time. Mix slow and low for at least 2 mins per addition. Scrape the bowl down between each, this is the secret to creating silky smooth icing with no grit. Be patient, it's worth it. Add lemon juice, vanilla and salt on the last cup of sugar. Mix for an additional 5 mins until perfectly smooth.
- Transfer the bowl to the freezer or fridge and allow to cool for 15 mins. Once the exterior of the icing is firm. Return the bowl and paddle to the mixer and mix at medium speed. This will create a nice fluffy icing.
- Transfer the icing to a piping bag or ice straight from the bowl using a spatula.
- Remove the cake layers from the fridge and the plastic wrap or parchment. Place the cake on the desired serving surface.
- Pipe or spread the desired amount of icing for each layer. For extra crunch, sprinkle some toasted chopped nuts in between.
- Finish with a nice crumb coat with additional nuts on the sides and top. Store refrigerated until ready to serve. Cold or ambient, the cake is delicious. If freezing, allow to thaw in the fridge for one day before serving.