Monday, November 7, 2011

Carrot Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

This cake is from Baking from My Home to Yours, but the recipe was selected before I joined the Tuesdays with Dorie group. I like carrot cake, but there’s a bit of a dilemma. I take most of my baking to work and one of my colleagues is known for her carrot cake. It’s really great and this is one recipe that I won’t take to work. Carrot cake is her territory (and I always have a dozen other types of cakes that I want to make, waiting in the wings.)

I take dance class a couple of times a week and I often bring my teacher a sampling of the things I have made. She lives alone so we’re kind of like her family and I can tell that she’s really excited when I bring her treats. She had her birthday recently and we decided to throw an impromptu party for her after ballet. I said I would bring a cake and decided that it was time to make carrot cake. I like carrot cake; she likes carrot cake so I figured it would be a good choice. (Plus, it has carrots so it’s healthy, right?)

Carrot cake is pretty east to put together, and since I have a food processor to grate the carrots, the only difficult task is taken care of. I made the cake in just two layers (plus a small layer for my husband to try), as I’ve discovered that three layer cakes are a bit of a challenge to take places. For the frosting I used a slightly different recipe and added coconut extract to boost the flavor. This cake was a great success. Everyone at dance loved the cake and my teacher was happy with her little party.

Carrot Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon salt
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 cup shredded coconut
½ cup raisins
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs

12 ounces cream cheese, softened
12 ounces butter, softened
1½ teaspoons vanilla
½ teaspoon coconut extract
3 cups powdered sugar
Toasted coconut

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour three 9-inch round cake pans.

In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, stir together the carrots, chopped nuts, coconut, and raisins. In a large mixer bowl, beat the sugar and oil together on a medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs one by one and continue to beat until the batter is even smoother. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing only until the dry ingredients disappear. Gently mix the chunky ingredients. Divide the batter among the baking pans.
Bake for 40-50 minutes, until a thin knife inserted into the centers comes out clean Cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes and unmold them. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.

For the frosting: Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until combined. Add sugar and beat until frosting is light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes.

Place one layer on a serving plate and smooth the frosting all the way to the edges of the layer. Top with the second layer, and repeat, frosting to the edge of the cake. (Do this with the third layer also.) Finish the top with swirls of frosting and toasted coconut, if desired.

Cake recipe from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
Frosting recipe from Apple A Day


Cakelaw said...

This carrot cake is a good one, isn't it. I could eat a big slice of it!

Jaime said...

beautiful cake! if you love carrot cake, give this one a try next time :)