Dreamy Carrot Cake

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


The Christmas season brings out the best of traditional cooking in many of us as we dig through old recipe files, favorite cookbooks or, in the case of this delicious cake, stacks of recipes borrowed from friends, for the foods we love to serve during this beautiful holiday.

My friend, Debbie, shared this dreamy recipe with me recently for a birthday party I hosted to celebrate my husband's 50th.  It garnered rave reviews with every incredibly moist bite.  If you need a cake to impress your mother-in-law, this is it.  And it looks just as beautiful as it tastes!

For the cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 large eggs
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup buttermilk *
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated carrots
1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained
3 1/2 oz. flaked coconut (I used the Trader Joe's kind)
1 cup chopped walnuts

* I never have buttermilk in my fridge. For a substitute, put 1 tablespoon lemon juice into a scant cup of milk and let set on the counter for 10 minutes, then pour required amount into batter (3/4 cup).

Prep:

  • Line 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with wax paper. Lightly grease and flour. Set aside.
  • Stir together first four ingredients
  • Beat eggs and next 4 ingredients at medium speed until smooth. Add flour mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Fold in carrots and next 3 ingredients. Pour batter into cake pans.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Remove pans from oven and drizzle buttermilk glaze evenly over the layers; cool in pans on wire racks for 15 minutes. Remove from pans and cook completely on wire racks.
Buttermilk Glaze:  (Warning - this is what takes the cake to over-the-top-deliciousness)

1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Prep:
  • Bring first five ingredients to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Boil, stirring almost constantly (wooden spoon preferred) for 4 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla
Cream Cheese Frosting

3/4 cup butter, softened
11 oz.  cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Prep:
  • Whip butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy.
  • Add powdered sugar and vanilla.
  • Whip until smooth
Assemble on a festive cake stand, frosting in between the layers as you go and covering the entire cake with a final layer of frosting. Garnish with coconut, if desired.

Prepare for rave reviews!






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