Carrot Cake

January 2, 2012

It’s seriously time to catch up! This blog has been neglected for far too long, and I have a lot of delicious foods to share with all of you! Since I started teaching myself to crochet back in September, I’ve been spending my lunch breaks working on Christmas presents rather than blogging, plus I took two classes last quarter at the Genesee Center for the Arts and Education: Advanced Bookbinding with Emily Sterling and Intro to Letterpress with Mitch Cohen. I’m going to start posting about some of my creations in the fiber and paper arts on here as well, but for now, here’s one of my food posts that’s been sitting in my drafts for the past few months:

If you’re new to making layer cakes and are looking for something simple to ease yourself in, this carrot cake recipe (from the ATK Family Baking Book) is a perfect introduction! Carrot cake is traditionally made with oil rather than butter, so you don’t need a stand mixer to cream butter and sugar – just a little bit of arm strength and endurance when whisking in the oil. The cream cheese frosting is also a lot easier to make than a traditional buttercream since there are no egg whites and it doesn’t need to be heated. I wish I’d had time to color some of the icing and pipe little carrots on the top to make the cake more decorative, but I made the frosting and frosted the cake immediately before work, so I had to cut corners somewhere. It may look a little plain, but it was delicious!

Carrot cake

Serves 8 to 10



  • 2 1/2  cups (12 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4  teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4  teaspoons baking powder
  • 1  teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8  teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4  large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2  cups (10 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/2  cup packed (3 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2  cups vegetable oil
  • 1  pound carrots, peeled and grated


  • 2  (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 10  tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks and softened
  • 2  tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4  teaspoon salt
  • 2  cups (8 ounces) confectioners’ sugar


  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans, then line the bottoms with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cloves together in a medium bowl.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugars together by hand until the sugars are mostly dissolved and the mixture is frothy. Continue to whisk, while slowly drizzling in the oil, until thoroughly combined and emulsified. Whisk in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Stir in the carrots.
  3. Give the batter a final stir with a rubber spatula to make sure it is thoroughly combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans, smooth the tops, and gently tap the pans on the counter to settle the batter. Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, about 25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking.
  4. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Run a small knife around the edges of the cakes, then flip them out onto a wire rack. Peel off the parchment paper, flip the cakes right side up, and let cool completely before frosting, about 2 hours.
  5. To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese, butter, sour cream, vanilla, and salt together in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth, 2 to 4 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low, slowly add the confectioners’ sugar, and beat until smooth, 4 to 6 minutes. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, 4 to 6 minutes.
  6. Line the edges of a cake platter with strips of parchment paper to keep the platter clean while you assemble the cake. Place of the of the cake payers on the platter. Spread 1 cup of the frosting over the cake, right to the edges. Place the other cake layer on top and press lightly to adhere. Frost the cake with the remaining frosting and remove the parchment strips from the platter before serving.

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