Monday, 17 March 2014

Simply Stellar Carrot Cake {with Cream Cheese Icing}

This is my go-to carrot cake and I've been making it for almost 20 years.  While that number is staggering to me I quickly get over that double decade when I think of this moist, flavourful and pretty easy to make cake.  You'll notice that the ingredients list is quite long but please don't let the long list of ingredients scare you.  Sure it seems extensive but when you get down to it there's a lot of spices involved in making an amazing carrot cake.

Something that I always stress when people (especially my kids) get ready to bake something is to get all of the ingredients out on the counter in front of you so you can see what you've got, or more importantly, what you're missing!  I have to admit to forgetting to add certain ingredients (or the right amount of said ingredients) to recipes in the past because I've been busy chatting and figured I knew what I was doing.  Um, not so much.  Cake tends to taste better when it has all of it's flour and other ingredients are added.  Just sayin'.

I also highly recommend topping this cake with a cream cheese icing.  As a kid that icing was what got me into loving carrot cake because let's face it, when you tell kids that you're serving up a cake with a vegetable as the main ingredient you've got to come out with every trick up your sleeve in order to convince them to try it.  Plus, who can resist the creamy, rich goodness of cream cheese icing?  No one. That's who.  This icing is magical and can usually get even the pickiest of eaters (a hearty helloooo to Missy Moo!) to at least give good ol' carrot cake a try.  Ya, that icing works wonders.

So, from my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this classic recipe.

Simply Stellar Carrot Cake

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed (or substitute with an additional 1/4 cup of flour, if desired)
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
3 eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk (or 3/4 cup milk + 1 tbsp white vinegar and let sit)
1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups carrots, shredded
1 cup coconut, shredded
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
1 (8oz) can crushed pineapple, with juice
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease and flour a 9x13-inch baking pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift flour, flaxseed, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine eggs, buttermilk, applesauce, oil, sugar and vanilla.  Mix well until combined. Add flour mixture to the egg mixture slowly and gently mix.  Fold in the carrots, coconut, walnuts (if using), crushed pineapple (with juice) and the raisins. 

Pour mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour.  Allow the cake to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Top with cream cheese icing, if desired OR place cooled cake into a large Ziploc freezer bag and freeze until needed.  This recipe can also be made into two loaves or cupcakes but the baking time will need to be adjusted.

Source: The Baking Bookworm


Anonymous said...

Simply Stellar is quite a title to live up to, but based on the ingredients, I'm inclined to believe you! I'm going to give this a try at Easter when I have people around to help me eat it - because I am not to be trusted alone with cake! :)

Sharon Essex (yep, I'm too lazy to sign in)

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Hey Sharon! I'd definitely make this for a crowd. It makes a pretty big cake that my family of 5 hard a time getting through all on our own. Don't worry, we persevered and could never be considered quitters when it comes to finishing cake. ;)

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