I feel guilty even looking at this recipe, since I ate my weight in tacos this 4th of July weekend. Kyle and I headed to the Texas Hill Country last-minute for the holiday weekend, and it was wonderful getting to see family and friends, even if just for a couple of days. I never realize how much I miss home until I visit again, and it just makes it so hard to leave!
After eating literally 9 tacos in less than 24 hours, I also enjoyed chicken fried steak, chips y queso, Texas bbq, margaritas, and mas tacos, tacos, tacos por favor. Now I feel like I need to do a major juice cleanse, but for now, here is a recipe for cake!! Neither Kyle nor I even liked carrot cake before I made this one, so let me tell you, it is goooooood. Not too sweet, it is spongy, cinnamon-y, and pairs perfectly with the cream cheese frosting. It is not overly stuffed like a nasty fruitcake with tons of dried raisins and prunes and nuts or whatever either. Although, if you enjoy biting into dense and heavy cake filled with unknown edibles, then you can certainly add dried fruits and/or nuts.
Inspired by Smitten Kitchen
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (makes 3 8-inch cakes)
- 4 large eggs
- 2 1/2 cups grated carrots
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 - 3 teaspoons cinnamon (depending on your taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 sticks butter (3/4 cup), softened
- 3 cups confectioner's sugar
- 2 tsp. vanilla
Directions: for the cake Preheat oven to 350. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients, except for the two sugars. In a medium bowl, whisk together oil and sugars, and then add each egg one at a time. Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and stir in the carrots. The batter should be a little chunky from the carrots and speckled brown with the cinnamon and spices. Pour into the cake pans and bake until the tops are lightly browned and an inserted toothpick in the center comes out clean. Begin checking if it's done around 25 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10-15 minutes, and then flip cakes onto a cooling rack.
for the frosting: Using an electric mixer, blend all ingredients together until smooth.
assembly: After the three cake layers have cooled, pipe frosting around the top perimeter of one of the cakes. Continue with concentric circles and smooth with a knife. Repeat with second layer. Add top layer, then put in freezer to firm up for about 30 minutes. This is optional, but will make it easier to frost so crumbs don't fall off the cake and mix with the frosting. Once firm, frost the top layer in a similar way. *This amount of frosting is enough for a naked cake, as shown above.*