Tuesday, April 22

TWD: Bill's Big Carrot Cake

This week I fell in love with Dorie even more! Amanda of slow like honey chose Bill's Big Carrot Cake for this weeks recipe and it was an excellent choice! I opted to make cupcakes instead of the cake. I take all of my baking endeavors into work and cupcakes are a much easier option to dole out to everyone than slices of cake.
This is probably the best carrot cake recipe I have ever tried. And it is super simple! I used my food processor to grate the carrots and that took no time at all. I can't wait to try this recipe again and use cranberries in place of the raisins. I ended up getting 24 cupcakes out of this recipe and the amount of frosting was perfect for the number of cupcakes. They took 30 minutes at the recipes temperature to bake.
I bought a very cool new cupcake carrier from Target this weekend too. It holds 3 dozen cupcakes! I will be using it for a long time to come. These cupcakes are super moist and delicious. I used lemon extract in the frosting and the hint of lemon gave it a very fresh taste. This is another Dorie winner. Be sure to check out the link to get to the blogroll...there are going to be some amazing carrot cakes out there!
Bill's Big Carrot Cake
Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
Yields 10 servings

For the cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon salt
3 cups grated carrots (about 9 carrots, you can grate them in food processor fitted w/ a shredding a blade or use a box grater)
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
½ cup moist, plump raisins (dark or golden) or dried cranberries
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 large eggs

For the frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick ( 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 pound or 3 and ¾ cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or ½ teaspoon pure lemon extract
½ cup shredded coconut (optional)
Finely chopped toasted nuts and/or toasted shredded coconut (optional)

Getting ready:

Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter three 9-x-2-inch round cake pans, flour the insides, and tap out the excess. Put the two pans on one baking sheet and one on another.

To make the cake:

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, stir together the carrots, chopped nuts, coconut, and raisins.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large 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, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point, until a thin knife inserted into the centers comes out clean. The cakes will have just started to come away from the sides of the pans. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and 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.

The cakes can be wrapped airtight and kept at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.

To make the frosting:

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the frosting is velvety smooth. Beat in the lemon juice or extract.

If you'd like coconut in the filling, scoop about half of the frosting and stir the coconut into this position.

To assemble the cake:

Put one layer top side up on a cardboard cake round or a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper. If you added the coconut to the frosting, use half of the coconut frosting to generously cover the first layer (or generously cover with plain frosting). Use an offset spatula or a spoon to smooth the frosting all the way to the edges of the layer. Top with the second layer, this time placing the cake stop side down, and frost with the remainder of the coconut frosting or plain frosting. Top with the last layer, right side up, and frost the top- and the sides- of the cake. Finish the top with swirls of frosting. If you want to top the cake with toasted nuts or coconut, sprinkle them on now while the frosting is soft.

Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes, just to set the frosting before serving.

Serving:

This cake can be served as soon as the frosting is set. It can also wait, at room temperature and covered with a cake keeper overnight. The cake is best served in thick slices at room temperature and while it's good plain, it's even better with vanilla ice cream or some lemon curd.

Storing:

The cake will keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. It can also be frozen. Freeze it uncovered, then when it's firm, wrap airtight and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost, still wrapped, overnight in the refrigerator.

24 sweets:

Jayne said...

Ooh, those are so pretty! And that cupcake carrier - 3 dozen? Cool. I see a trip to Target in my future. Nice job!

Marie said...

Your little cupcakes are adorable! Well done!

rebekka said...

Yeay for cupcakes! They are so, so cute. I am jealous that you have a food processor...it took a lonnnng time to grate those carrots :)

Mary Ann said...

Your cupcakes look great- I was curious if the frosting would pipe well- They look so pretty and don't look like they sank at all. I love Dorie too!

LyB said...

Love the cupcakes! The frosting looks just perfect!

mimi said...

your cupcakes look so yummy! my frosting didn't pipe as well, it probably could've used some time in the fridge to firm up first.

Chez US said...

Your cupcakes look great! The frosting came out perfect, I love them that way, more natural!

juliatylerfoodblog said...

Yum! I also made cupcakes and they were gone fast! All of our co-workers loved them, I ate a few too, lol! Love your cupcake carrier, wish I had more room in my kitchen for one!

Rebecca said...

Look at that army of cupcakes! So cute. Now I know what I'm getting with my Target gift card. Thanks for sharing your awesome find!

Lori said...

Love the cupcakes and your cupcake carrier!

For some reason my post went on my blog twice. I went to delete one and unfortunately your comment went with it. Sorry.

amanda. said...

This was the best carrot cake I've ever had too. It gave me hope after quite a few failures.

I love the cupcake carrier. I need to go to Target and get one!

Mary said...

first, the cupcakes look amazing! second, love the carrier! great job.

diva said...

mmm..looks like a very moist carrot cake. nice. and that lemon cream cheese frosting?! heavenly. wish i could have one.

CB said...

I am so jealous of yoru cupcake courier! Its on my wish list right now. Cupcakes look lovely! Great job!
Clara @ I♥food4thought

Brilynn said...

You can count on Dorie for excellent recipes. I made this last year and it was a big hit. Your cupcake version looks great!

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

Your cupcakes look fabulous, especially tucked nicely into your new cupcake courier! I have one too in yellow, and I love it!

Hygeian Stew said...

I love your icing, it looks like soft serve! I bet that would make a tasty combination too: ice cream and carrot cake!

Melissa said...

Very cute!

Robin said...

I used my food processor for the carrots too, what a timesaver!

I love your cupcakes, they look like they could be in a bakery! Glad you enjoyed this recipe too :-)

Annemarie said...

YUM!!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Great job! These look just wonderful. So glad you liked the recipe!

Shari said...

Your cupcake carrier looks great! I'll have to look for that.

Cecilia said...

The picture with all the unfrosted cupcakes looks gorgeous. They look good enough to eat right then.

Target has a cupcake carrier that not only holds 3 dozen cupcakes (that's a lot of cupcakes!) but also comes in a cute color? I have to check this out. Thanks for the tip.

Sharon said...

What an awesome cupcake holder. I love that it holds so many.
Your cupcake looked so great it made me with I had one here at work! Yum!

 
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