Keep The Bunnies Away Carrot Cake

I was never a big fan of Carrot cake. While I pretty much like any vegetable – including Brussels sprouts – the idea of a vegetable in a cake didn’t sound all that appealing when I was growing up. But then, at my first job after college whenever a coworkers birthday rolled around we would usually get a carrot cake from a place a few blocks away and my love of a vegetable in a cake was born. I soon found out though that not all carrot cake is the same. I have had my share of bad ones which usually entailed them being too dry or instead of being frosted with cream cheese frosting they are frosted with buttercream frosting. In my opinion, cream cheese frosting is the only way to go… The same goes for Red Velvet Cake. I’ve been making this Carrot Cake for a while now after finding the recipe on the Food Network website, it’s called Gigi’s Carrot Cake from Emeril Lagasse and I love it. It’s been a while since I’ve made one and being that it is Easter weekend I decided it was time to whip up another one.

To start I peeled and grated my carrots. The very first time I made this cake I didn’t have a food processor so I grated the carrots by hand and while it was a nice arm workout I am definitely spoiled now and won’t be going back to using a box grater anytime soon.

IMG_9876

I only needed 3 cups of grated carrots for the recipe, which is approximately 1 pound of carrots, but I mistakenly bought a 2 pound bag instead. I ended up grating all of carrots since I had a yummy recipe for grated carrots in my recipe binder.

IMG_9878

I started working on the batter by first combining the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt) and then set it aside.

IMG_9886

I creamed 3 sticks of butter and then added in 2 cups of granulated sugar.

IMG_9888

Once the butter and sugar were combined I added in the dry ingredients by alternating between the 4 eggs the recipe calls for.

IMG_9889

I then added in some vanilla extract.

IMG_9892

And it wouldn’t be carrot cake without the carrots.

IMG_9893

Finally, I added in the nuts. While the recipe calls for pecans I have always used walnuts. And I actually didn’t mix in the walnuts with the mixer but instead folded them in by hand with a spatula.

IMG_9894

And here’s what my batter ultimately looked like.

IMG_9896

I then divided the batter between my three prepared 9-inch pans.

IMG_9897

After baking for 25 minutes and cooling in the pans for 10 minutes I removed the cakes from the pans so they could cool completely.

IMG_9898  IMG_9899
Once the cake was completely cooled it was time to frost it. To make the cream cheese frosting I creamed the cream cheese and butter together first and then mixed in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract. I actually made two batches of the frosting. With the first batch I frosted between each of the layers and did a crumb coating and with the second batch I fully frosted the outside of the cake.

IMG_9900

After decorating it with a few fondant/gum paste flowers I had made and writing on it this was the final product. I can’t wait to cut into it!

IMG_9905

Oh, and those left-over grated carrots I had I used them to make a Carrot Raisin Salad.

IMG_9907

Gigi’s Carrot Cake

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2002

Ingredients
3 sticks, plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup chopped toasted pecans

Pecan Cream Cheese Icing:
8 ounces cream cheese
1 stick unsalted butter
1 (1-pound) box confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chopped toasted pecans

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter 3 (9-inch) cake pans with 1 tablespoon of the butter and set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer. Add the sugar, and beat. In a medium bowl or on a piece of parchment, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, and mix well.

Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the eggs, beating well after the addition of each. Add the vanilla extract and mix. Add the carrots and beat on medium speed until well incorporated, about 2 minutes. Fold in the nuts. Divide between the 3 cake pans and bake until set and a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest in the cake pans for 10 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, remove from the pans, and let cool.

For the Frosting: In a large bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar gradually, beating constantly. Add the vanilla and pecans.

When the cake is cool, place 1 cake layer on a cake plate or stand. Spread the top with cream cheese frosting and top with a second and third cake layer, spreading the icing between each layer. Spread the icing around the sides of the cake and let harden slightly before serving. To serve, cut into wedges.

Carrot Raisin Salad

Ingredients
1 lb. carrots, peeled & grated
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons honey
Juice from 1 lemon

Directions
Pour boiling water over raisins for five minutes and then drain to plump them up. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix together and then chill for a few hours before serving.

8 thoughts on “Keep The Bunnies Away Carrot Cake

  1. Thanks for stopping by, I love walnuts and carrots, they are some of my favourite ingredients. You must have enjoyed eating this cake! Have a pleasant day.

  2. Pingback: Chocolate Bunny Topped Easter Cake | Bead Yarn & Spatula

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s