Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Carrot Cake

Brandon loves carrot cake, but until now I have not been very successful in finding a recipe that produced a moist cake that had the right balance of carrots, pineapple, nuts and raisins. I finally decided to take several recipes, compare them, and then make up my own based on our tastes and preferences. I think we finally found a winner!

4 extra large eggs
1 cup oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup crushed pineapple (drained, but not squeezed dry)
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 3/4 cups finely grated carrots
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup raisins (if desired)

Simple Syrup:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, room temperature
6 Tbsp. butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. heavy or whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350. Grease two 9" round pans and line bottoms with parchment paper.

If using raisins; place in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let them soak for 15 minutes until plump. Drain excess water and reserve on paper towel. Toss with 1 tsp. flour before adding to cake.

In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil and sugars. Stir in pineapple and vanilla. Sift flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt and gently add to sugar mixture, stiring just until flour is incorporated. Stir in carrots, nuts, and raisins (if using).

Pour into prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes clean. Let cakes cool in pans for about 10 minutes, then turn out on a wire rack and cool completely. Brush tops of cake with simple syrup and frost as desired.

To make simple syrup: Bring sugar and water to boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Cool completely.

To make frosting: Beat the cream cheese and butter together in a medium-sized bowl with the mixer on high speed. Add the powdered sugar, then the vanilla, beating until smooth. With the mixer running, gradually add the cream and beat until the frosting looks whipped and creamy. Add a little more cream if necessary until it's easy to spread.

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