What is it about cream cheese frosting that makes it irresistible? Is it its luscious silky texture … the heavenly tang of cream cheese … or the fact that it isn’t overly sweet? It’s such a simple frosting of cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla but the taste is like nothing else. It compliments whatever flavors it is paired with from chocolate cake to zucchini bread. I admit that I can eat it by the spoonful and have made graham cracker sandwiches out of it when the cookie jar was empty. I have bought a cupcake just for the frosting when I’m in the mood for a special treat. What can I say…I’m hooked on it.
I made this cake for Mother’s Day dinner and judging by what’s left everybody enjoyed it. If you do have leftovers the cake keeps well, and is even a little better the second day. Wrap well in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
My piping skills are so bad but I think little squirts of frosting on the cake top dress it up. I bought the little sugar carrots at the cake supply store earlier this spring and they were a nice touch. If I had more time I would have tried to put a little fancy finish at the bottom because I could have scraped it off if it was too awful. But I ran out of time so this is what went to the table.
A crumb coat spread on the cake before it’s frosted prevents little crumbs from spoiling the look of the cream cheese frosting. Just spread on a thin layer of frosting with an offset spatula and let it dry for an hour or two. You will be amazed how much easier a cake is to frost if you do this one easy extra step.
Aren’t these the cutest placemats? I have had them for years and think they are the perfect table decoration when carrot cake is served.
I recently won the most wonderful KitchenAid Mixer in a giveaway at Rattlebridge Farm. I seldom win anything and was just overwhelmed when I heard that I was the lucky one. This is an extraordinary piece of kitchen equipment that means business when it kneads several loaves of bread dough or a large batch of cookies. Thank you ever so much, Michael Lee. I know my family and I will get years of enjoyment from this great gift. I splurged a little bit and bought the paddle attachment with the rubber edges that I’ve seen advertised in Bon Appetit and I can’t recommend it highly enough. With it there is no need to stop and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to incorporate all the ingredients. You need this!!!! I paid $24.99 for mine at a big box store so this deal on Amazon is a steal.
- 2 cups sugar
- 1-1/2 cups vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon nutmeg
- 3 cups finely grated peeled carrots (about ¾ pound)
- ½ cup pecans, chopped
- ½ cup raisins, coarsely chopped
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Lightly grease three 8-inch cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment or wax paper and lightly grease. Using electric mixer beat sugar and vegetable oil in a bowl until combined. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmet into sugar and oil mixture. Stir in carrots, chopped pecans and raisins.
- Pour batter into prepared pans, dividing equally. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean and cakes begin to pull away from sides of pans, about 45 minutes. Cool in pans on racks 15 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks and cool completely. Cake can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap tightly in plastic and store at room temperature.
- Assemble cake on a cake plate by spreading ¾ cup frosting BETWEEN each of the cake layers. Spread a very thin layer of frosting (crumb coat) over the top and sides of the cake and let dry, uncovered, for about 2 hours. Frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting.
- Serve cake cold or at room temperature.
- FOR FROSTING:
- Using electric mixer, beat all ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth and creamy.