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Best Carrot Cake

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INGREDIENTS

CARROT CAKE

2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 large eggs

1 1/3 cups vegetable oil or canola oil

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups grated carrots

1 3/4 cup chopped pecans

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

1/2 cup butter softened

1 box (8 ounces) cream cheese softened

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 cups powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour 2 round cake pans thoroughly.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, brown sugar, sugar, and vanilla.  Using a spoon, stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients in three intervals; just until incorporated.  Stir in the carrots and 3/4 cup chopped pecans just until mixed. Divide evenly between pans.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool pans on cooling racks for 30 minutes prior to inverting.  Cool completely before frosting.

In a stand mixer on medium, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth, creamy, and lump-free.  Add salt and vanilla extract while continuing to beat, scraping down the beater and sides of the bowl.  Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time while beating; scraping down the beater, and bowl a couple more times.

Place one of the cooled baked cake layers on a cake stand.  Use a little short of 3/4 cup of frosting on the bottom layer and spread evenly. Now add the second layer and spread about 1 cup on the top. Use about 1 cup on the sides and reserve the rest for piping the edge if desired.

See also  Zeppole (Italian Donutes)

Use your hands to gently press the remaining chopped pecans (1 cup) onto the sides of the cake.  Scoop up any pieces that fall along the way and press again.  If desired, pipe top or bottom edge. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

NOTES

Grate the carrots using a box grater or a food processor.  I like to use the small end of a box grater as I think this size is perfect for carrot cake.

Grease and flour the cake pans well. It isn’t very good when your masterpiece sticks.  I love Baker’s Joy, and I have always had excellent results with it.

Bring the eggs to room temperature before making the cake.

Stir the cake portion of this recipe with a spoon and resist the urge to over-mix it.  Mix just until combined.

Start checking the carrot cake for doneness at 30 minutes.  Do not over-bake.

For the cream cheese frosting, soften the butter and cream cheese prior to making.

You can also use a hand mixer on medium speed to make the cream cheese frosting.

Use a cake stand with a little bit of a lip around it so that when some chopped pecans fall while you are pressing them on the sides, you can easily scoop them up and try again.

Carrot cake will stay fresh for 5-7 days when properly covered and stored in the fridge.  Cover with plastic wrap to keep the cake from drying out.

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