Guys, I baked a cake!
If you’ve been around Tina’s Chic Corner for a while then you know I’m not really into baking cakes. I suppose it’s because I find them intimidating to make. Did I over mix the batter? Is it done baking? How about now? Did I over bake it? My husband can attest to the countless questions that I ask. (Sorry, babe.) However, this carrot cake captured my attention last year so I convinced myself to put my insecurities aside and try it. And guess what? I failed. I’m not kidding.
When I tried this recipe last year, I under baked it. Womp womp. I think that my metal cake tester doesn’t work anymore because it came out clean. But as the cake cooled, the middle sunk (and so did my heart). So what’s a girl to do? She cuts out the middle raw parts, cuts the rest of the cake, frosts them, and serves them to family on a platter. Boom. Carrot cake bars. Everyone loved them and no one even knew about the mishap.
I wanted to try baking this cake again because it is was delicious and I was determined to serve it as the whole cake intact (and fully baked). I have switched to using wooden toothpicks to test the cake. Success! Yet again, the cake was a huge hit.
This carrot cake is so moist and delicious. There are no raisins, nuts, coconut, pineapple, or other similar ingredients that you might find in carrot cakes. There are of course carrots going on here. I shred them very small so you barely even know they are there. I like that trick and I think is one of the main reasons why it’s a crowd pleaser. The cake also has lots of warm spices, which gives it wonderful flavors. It’s like Autumn cake in the Spring, but definitely no complaints.
Let’s not forget about the cream cheese frosting because it’s an absolute must with carrot cakes. I’m not artistic enough to decorate the frosting on a cake, but I saw someone use carrot shreds and herbs to decorate a cake. I put my own spin on it and gave this cake a touch of décor. I thought the simple touches came out cute. However, make sure to remove the herbs when you serve a piece because you definitely don’t want parsley in with your bite of cake.
Carrot Cake Recipe
(Makes a 9×13 cake)
Ingredients for the Carrot Cake:
- 1 and 1/2 cups packed (light or dark) brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup oil (I used olive oil.)
- 4 large eggs
- 3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour (equivalent to 312 grams)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 cups grated carrots
Ingredients for the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 16 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup butter (equivalent to 1 stick), softened to room temperature
- 4 cups powdered sugar/confectioners’ sugar
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
Directions the Carrot Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 baking pan and set it aside. (I laid parchment paper down but it is not required.)
- In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, oil, eggs, apple sauce, and vanilla extract together until combined. These are the wet ingredients. Set this bowl aside.
- In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves together until combined. These are the dry ingredients.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently mix everything together just until combined. Don’t overmix.
- Add the grated carrots and gently mix everything together just until combined.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking pan and bake it for 40 – 50 minutes, until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean. It took 50 minutes in my oven.
- Let the cake cool completely before frosting it with the cream cheese frosting. The frosting is supposed to be a properly thick layer with this recipe. Try to use all of the frosting from the directions below.
Directions the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- In a large bowl, using a hand or stand mixer on medium-high speed, beat the cream cheese and butter until it’s smooth. (About 2 minutes)
- Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and pinch of salt, and beat on low speed for about 30 seconds. Then increase the speed to medium-high once the sugar isn’t going to fly all over and beat until it’s creamy. (About 3 minutes)
- Check the consistency. Add more powdered sugar if it’s too thin.
Adapted from: Sally’s Baking Addiction