“What’ve you been up to?” is the question I have encountered most, yet have no idea how to respond. Part of it is because I have been attending to the most random this and that of chores and errands, yet another part sheepishly acknowledges the sleeping-relaxing-and-doing-nothing part of my summer. Nonetheless, I cannot believe school begins again in a little over a month and my list of things to do is still so long. With so many things buzzing around, I find myself making my classic carrot cake, the same recipe I have used since freshmen year of high school, six years ago! I loved and stuck to this version because the cake comes out gloriously light and fluffy, unlike the dense pound cake like ones you may find at the grocery stores. Each bite is full of flavor and spice, and you can eat it knowing it’s good for you (at least compared to my Ultimate S’mores Brownies).
To start out, measure out all the ingredients. Have the carrots already grated and ready to use! I measure out the dry ingredients directly into my sifter to save an extra dish to wash.
With a whisk, mix all the wet ingredients in a bowl. The mixture will be gooey and thick.
Sift in the dry ingredients and mix those in as well! Try not to over mix.
Then, switch to a rubber spatula and add your carrots. If you want to add nuts, you would do so at this stage as well. Make sure to lightly toss the nuts in flour beforehand to prevent it from sinking to the bottom of the cake.
Fold all the carrots until they are completely incorporated.
Transfer to three 8inch rounds that have been buttered and floured with a parchment paper round lining the bottom. Bake it for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted has come out clean! As it is baking, make the cream cheese frosting.
For the frosting, I use a 1:1:1:1 ratio for the ingredients– 1 box cream cheese, 1 stick butter, 1 Tbsp vanilla, and 1 pound of powdered sugar. Over time, I have added one ingredient to it to make it extra special, and that is 1 Tbsp of heavy whipping cream. It lightens the frosting without adding any extra sweetness to it.
Once the cakes are cooled, you can layer and frost your cake! I only used two out of my three layers for this cake as I gave the third layer to another friend. Hope you enjoy!
makes ONE three-layer 8inch cake
1 ¼ c vegetable oil
2 c white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 c grated carrots
1/2 c chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans work well), optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour three 8inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper rounds. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, white sugar, and vanilla. Sift in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Fold in carrots.
Pour into prepared pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let it cool in pans before removing, then allow to chill in the refrigerator until cold before icing!
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 stick of softened butter, unsalted
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 box powder sugar, more or less depending on consistency
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
Beat together all the ingredients until completely mixed together and combined. Use to ice cooled cakes and if desired, chop some walnuts and sprinkle on top to decorate.