One of the Boy's favorite cakes is Carrot Cake. I've been making it from the same recipe for what seems like eons. For his 18th birthday I made this favorite. I thought I'd try cupcakes, but ended up being a little behind in the schedule so, it's a cake instead of cupcakes. It will still taste amazing, as it always does, but I really did want to try cupcakes. I'll put that in the file for the future.
The recipe I received from a friend, so I don't know its origins (this was back way before I started to care about that kind of thing, so I apologize in advance). I have made a few changes to the methodolgy and a small change in ingredients. That said, this is an amazing recipe for Carrot Cake. I've put half recipe ingredients in parentheses because often I don't do the full two layer cake, but just one for a quick cake.
2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour (1 1/4)
2 tsp. baking soda (1 tsp.)
1 tsp. salt (1/2 tsp.)
2 tsp. cinnamon (1 tsp.)
Mix these all together in a bowl and have ready when the time comes. Easy.
1 1/2 cups of butter, unsalted (3/4 cup)
1 cup granulated sugar (1/2 cup)
1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed (1/2 cup)
2 tsp. vanilla (1 tsp.)
3 eggs (1 egg)
Put butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix until all incorporated. Add vanilla and mix in. Add each egg, one at a time and mix until incorporated. Now you're ready for the flour mixture. Add it in heaping spoonfulls, but make sure it is mixed in before adding more. Stop the mixing and scrape the bowl often to not have bits of flour in the bottom of the mixing bowl.
2 1/2 cups of carrot, grated on the large hole of box grater (1 1/2 cups)
1 cup raisins (1/2 cup)
1 cup nuts, chopped I'm a fan of walnuts, but this is optional esp. if you're allergic. (1/2 cup)
Toss all this in the batter and mix, on low, until combined. Divide mixture into two 9" cake pans that have been sprayed w/Baker's secret (great stuff, that). Bake for approximately 30 mintues, rotate and bake for 25 or so more - checking towards the end. Use the toothpick test to verify doneness. Let cook on a rack while you consider the frosting (do I sound like AB?).
2 8 oz. bars cream cheese, softened (8 oz.)
1/2 cup butter, unsalted, softened (1/4 cup)
juice from one large lemon, strained (wing it, whatever tastes good)
2 tsp. vanilla (1 tsp.)
3 cups powdered sugar give or take (1 1/2 give or take)
Mix cream cheese and butter together, add everything else (and lemon zest if you like) and mix slowly until the sugar is incorporated.
Once cake is cool, frost as you see fit. Pretty simple as things go, but w/a decent amount of prep and around an hour in the oven this isn't something you rush. But it's well worth the time you put in. Enjoy.