I don't know what got into me but I suddenly had a major craving for carrot cake. It surprised me since I usually crave chocolate cake, never a carrot cake, which I had previously thought was kind of boring... It's a good thing I'm a baker and I could whip up a recipe at home in no time...
I've made carrot cakes before, and I think it's made an appearance on the blog three times now. But this one is it! I love this one. It really hit the spot in my carrot cake emergency. I very slightly modified it from the last post. It's a great adaptable recipe for the classic carrot cake.
I don't like raisins and generally I don't like nuts in my cake either. And pineapples would be a huge no-no! But I really think this cake would be perfect with pecans or walnuts. As per usual, I forgot to include the nuts in the batter since I'm so used to making it classically. So I put them on top instead!
Instead of putting the regular spices that carrot cake includes, I decided to put a chai spice mix into it. I added cardamom and cloves to the recipe and I think it really elevated the cake. The flavors were a little different and smelled like my favorite masala chai. This combined with the perfect moistness and softness of it... mm. It would be great as a muffin too. I don't think it really needed frosting, I could have eaten plenty without any at all, but Joe loves my classic cream cheese frosting so I paired the two.
Just to explain, I tinted the frosting pink to make a heart shaped cake for the upcoming V-day, but the heart shaped cake came out all wrong so I had to scrap the idea :(
My Favorite Carrot Cake
(Adapted from Cook's Illustrated)
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp salt
1 lb (6-7) carrots, grated or peeled
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups canola oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix all the ingredients together, starting with the oil, sugar, eggs, and then adding in all the dry ingredients and stirring well till combined.
Add in nuts/raisins/pineapple slices to your liking!
Scoop evenly into muffin liners.
Bake about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs attached (or clean).
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 packet cream cheese (8oz)
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Whip the heavy whipping cream till it thickens, and holds up. Set aside. Combine everything else in a bowl and whip until it's frosting-like. Then fold in the heavy whipping cream. When chilled, this frosting holds up great!
If you like carrot cake in any capacity or haven't tried it before, this is the perfect recipe to start :)