Speedy wanted carrot cake, I gave him carrot cake. Actually, he’s been requesting it for the last couple of months. But the girls aren’t carrot fans so I had to wait until they were in the condo and there were just Speedy and me in the house to indulge in this luscious carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. I should mention too that the cake was split into two layers and there is a generous amount of marmalade between the layers. Delicious. Moist, aromatic, full of texture but not too dense.
- 3/4 cup grated carrots (don’t squeeze out the juice)
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup crushed pineapple well drained
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup white sugar + 2 tablespoons
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup softened butter
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped cashew nuts
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/3 cup jam or marmalade
- 1/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
- 250 grams cream cheese softened to room temperature
- 1/3 cup butter softened to room temperature
- 2 sifted confectioner’s (powdered) sugar depending on how sweet you like your frosting
Preheat the oven to 350F.
If not using a non-stick pan, grease, flour and line an 8-inch round cake pan.
Toss together the grated carrots and brown sugar.
Stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Split the vanilla bean and scrape off the seeds (see how and what to do with the skin).
Beat the butter and white sugar until creamy. Add the egg and mix until incorporated. Stir in the crushed pineapple, nuts, vanilla seeds and raisins. Add the flour mixture and mix until evenly blended. Finally, add the carrot-sugar mixture and mix until incorporated.
Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake at 350F for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean.
Cool the carrot cake in the pan for about 10 minutes then invert and re-invert. Cool completely on a rack.
Make the cream cheese frosting. Beat the softened cream cheese and butter together. Add the confectioner’s sugar, half a cup at a time, mixing after each addition until smooth.
Split the cake in half. Lay the bottom half on a plate (if you have a cake stand, use it). Spread the jam or marmalade on the bottom half.
Cover with the top half.
To keep the plate clean, place small pieces of non-stick baking paper underneath the cake (an Ina Garten tip).
Spread the cream cheese frosting on the top and sides of the cake.
Sprinkle the toasted coconut flakes over the frosting. Then, pull off the small pieces of baking paper to remove all the excess frosting and coconut flakes from the plate so that your carrot cake is nice and neat.
Walnuts and pili nuts are also great for baking carrot cake.
Toasted coconut flakes are available in supermarkets.
In you don’t have vanilla beans, substitute about 1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract.