Best. Carrot Cake. EVER. w/Cream Cheese Icing

in #food4 years ago

This is my all-time FAVORITE dessert...the cake is moist and smooth, while the icing is rich yet not-too-sweet, which complements the cake perfectly! Lots of folks who try it admit it's the best carrot cake they ever had...seriously...you can't beat it. ;)


Ingredients

Cake

  • Carrots, (3 cups when grated)
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 3/4 cup White Sugar
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 (8 ounce) can Crushed Pineapple, with juice
  • [Optional] Pecans (3/4 cup when chopped)


Icing

  • 3 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 (8 ounce) package Cream Cheese (or Neufchatel cheese)
  • 1/2 cup Butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • [Optional] Pecans, (1/2 to 1 cup when chopped)


Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Grease 2 8-inch round pans with nonstick spray.
    • Alternatively, you can use a 9x13 pan, and simply add about 10 minutes to the baking time.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, both sugars, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon) and set aside. 
  4. Peel the carrots with a vegetable peeler.
    • Or you can use baby carrots and skip the peeling.
  5. Then grate/process the carrots in a food processor.
  6. [Optional] If using pecans, chop 3/4 cup in a food chopper.
  7. In a blender, add the grated carrots, oil, 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla, and pineapple. Pulse until liquefied (this removes the chunks from the carrots and pineapple to give the cake a smoother texture).
  8. Pour the contents of the blender into a mixing bowl. Add the dry ingredients, the eggs and the chopped pecans (if desired). 
  9. Using a stand mixer, mix until thoroughly combined (flex edge beater attachment works great for this!).
  10. Spoon half the batter into each pan.
  11. Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.
  12. Make the icing: 
    • In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese (or Neufchatel cheese), 1/2 cup butter and 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla. 
    • Slowly add in the powdered sugar, and beat until smooth.
  13. Once cakes are completely cool:
    • Use a serrated knife or a cake leveler to cut the rounded top off of one cake (if necessary...sometimes these denser cakes don't result in a rounded top).
    • Using an offset spatula, spread a generous layer of icing on top of the leveled cake.
    • Place the other cake on top of the iced bottom tier.
    • Use the offset spatula to cover the sides and top of the assembled cake.
    • [Optional] Chop 1/2 cup of pecans in a food chopper and use to top the cake. Alternatively, you could cover the sides with 1 cup chopped pecans.


For more delicious dessert recipes, check out my other recent posts:

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