My dad's birthday was on Friday and we had a party on Saturday. Surprisingly, I was nominated to bake the cake. Dad wanted carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. The carrot cake recipe I had used before sunk something horribly in the center. So, I tried a new recipe this time. Glad it turned out fabulously! I do have some pictures to add to this post, but I'll do it tomorrow!
Recipe comes from The best bake sale ever cookbook pages 245-246
2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 c. corn oil or canola blend oil (I used peanut oil b/c it's what I had)
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 carrots, peeled and grated
1 c. chopped walnuts
3/4 c. canned crushed pineapple, well drained
1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese, cut into pieces, at room temperature
1/4 c. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 c. confectioners' sugar, sifted or as needed
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c. walnuts, finely chopped
Coarsely chopped walnuts, for garnish (optional)
**I used the canned cream cheese frosting b/c I didn't want to deal with making frosting today. :)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray or grease and lightly flour two 9 inch round cake pans. LIne the bottom of each pan with waxed paper. DO NOT JUST SPRAY WITH PAM - IT WILL STICK HORRIBLY AND YOU WILL HAVE TO MAKE ANOTHER CAKE...I PROMISE.
2. Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, and cinnamon into a large bowl, then mix with an electric mixer on low speed. Beat in the oil, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in the carrots, walnuts, and pineapple. The batter with be thin. I mixed it this way the first time I made this cake and I ended up with thick gobs on the bottom. The second time I made this cake I did the eggs, sugar, oil, etc. and mixed that well and then added the flour. This worked much, much better.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake in the center of the oven for 30-35 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool the cake layers for about 10 minutes in the pans, then invert onto wire racks to cool completely. Thirty minutes for the 9 inch rounds worked great. When I put it in a 9x13 it was closer to 45 minutes. And, the cake only sunk a tiny bit in the center and that was because I poked it to see if it was done at 35 minutes.
4. Prepare the frosting. In a large bowl, using the electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until light. Beat in the butter and then the sugar, 1 cup at a time, adding only as much confectioners' sugar as needed to make the frosting a spreadable consistency. Mix in the vanilla and walnuts.
5. Place one cake layer on a plastic plate or cardboard round. Frost the top. Top with the second cake layer. Frost the sides and top. Sprinkle the sides or top of the cake with coarsely chopped nuts, if desired. If decorating the sides of the cake with nuts, pat them gently into the icing so they adhere. Store in the refrigerator.