I don't know what's up with me and baking recently, but I got that itch again today. I don't even particularly like carrot cake, but I realized I had carrots and cream cheese in the fridge, so I decided to go for it.
I looked at some recipes online, and decided on recipe found in a discussion thread on Cooking Light.
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 pound carrots -- coarsely chopped
- 1 cup pecan halves -- toasted and coarsely chopped
- 1 package cream cheese -- (8 oz.) softened
- 4 tablespoons butter or margarine -- softened
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar. sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Makes 12 servings. Nutritional facts per serving: calories: 610 , total fat: 36g , saturated fat: 9.5g , cholesterol: 67mg , sodium: 388mg , carbohydrate: 69g , protein: 6g
- Make cake: Heat oven to 350 degree F. Grease a 10-inch springform pan (or grease a 10-inch round cake pan; line bottom with wax paper; grease paper). Combine raisins and bourbon in small bowl; set aside.
- Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, baking powder, cinnamon, and cloves in bowl.
- Beat granulated sugar and oil in large mixer bowl at medium speed, until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, scraping side and bottom of bowl after each addition. At low speed, beat in dry ingredients just until combined. Drain raisins through sieve; discard bourbon. Add raisins, carrots, and pecans. At medium speed, beat 5 minutes more until batter is well blended. Pour into prepared pan; bake 1 hour and 15 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.
- Cool cake in pan on wire rack 15 minutes; remove side of pan. Cool completely. (For cake pan, run a knife around side of pan. Invert cake onto rack; remove pan and wax paper.) Transfer to serving plate.
- Make frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter in large mixer bowl until smooth. Beat in confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice until light and fluffy. Spread over top of cake.
I made a few changes, based on what we had--I substituted dried blueberries for raisins, then added a tablespoon of molasses with the sugar (since many carrot cake recipes called for brown sugar, which we don't have right now) and a couple of teaspoons of vanilla. I also used baby carrots processed in the food processor, because of the lazy. I also used a square cake pan, because that's what I had handy. Finally, I didn't drain the bourbon off the berries--I just threw it all in.
Going into the oven, it looked like this. Which reminded me why I don't like carrot cake batter. Ew.
When it came out and cooled, I made the frosting as described. The lemon juice is remarkably nice in it, and it's not overly sweet, which is nice. The finished product isn't lovely--I'm not a cake decorator--but it is pretty good.