I’m really delayed in posting about this super yummy carrot cake with cream cheese buttercream. I made this cake few weeks ago, but I’ve been finishing up a course I was taking and had a huge assignment and exam, and I also started a new job (no more jobless wonder over here). Anyway, I’m FINALLY done the course (only 8 more to go… yay?), so now I can actually write about this great cake! No more excuses.
So, my partner’s grandfather’s 90th (because that’s not a mouthful) was a few weekends ago and I was asked to make the cake. I’m an inherently awkward and nervous lady (ha, I ain’t no lady), so I was pretty scared about making this cake. Now, I know I can bake a cake, and a pretty good one at that! But as soon as it comes to baking for other people I get all weird and psych myself out. To add to that, I had a huge assignment due by 11pm the night before the birthday party, so I was pretty overwhelmed.
In the end, the cake turned out great, but there were definitely some mishaps along the way! I ended up making the cake twice because I made 3 layers the first time and I just wasn’t thrilled with the thickness of the layers. I should have used smaller pans, but I was so frazzled that I wasn’t really thinking straight.
Attempt numero deux was a success, though! And then came the cream cheese buttercream. Now, I looooove me some swiss meringue buttercream. Seriously, it’s like crack. But throw in some cream cheese and I just can’t get that shit to work. I failed miserably on my first attempt, read countless tips on various baking blogs on how to repair a broken swiss meringue, and it just wouldn’t work. Normally I find that if I leave my mixer on and let it do it’s thing, it eventually comes together. Not this time. I was crushed. There I was at 11:00PM frantically driving to Wal-Mart to buy canned cream cheese frosting. Yeah, you read that right. I was ready to throw in the towel and slather some goopy factory-manufactured crap onto my beautiful cakes. However, the Wal-Mart whose website said they were open until midnight blatantly lied and was a ghost town when I arrived around 11:30PM. Bamboozled by Wal-Mart amidst the crisis in my head – oh, I was a mess.
I ended up waking up at 4:30AM the next day (sleep is for the weak, right?), driving to the nearest 24 hour grocery store for more eggs and cream cheese, and tried again. Once again that bloody buttercream fell apart when I added the cream cheese. I added it slowly, but it had, like, zero cream cheese flavour and definitely needed a bit more. I didn’t even add much, but that buttercream just wasn’t having it. So, at 6:00AM I busted out attempt number 3. Just a simple cream cheese buttercream, not as luxurious as a swiss meringue, but it worked! And I had plenty of time left to get to work on decorating the cake. Oh, and speaking of decorating the cake, I made my own fondant and will be posting about that as well.
Anyway, this cake is ridiculous. I’ve made this specific recipe twice and I don’t think it’s lasted in this house for more than two days either time. I’m really not a fan of bland carrot cake (well, who is?), and this cake is anything but! It’s really moist, not sickeningly sweet, and I like adding the extra spices (nutmeg and allspice) to give it a little oomph. I was skeptical at first about the crushed pineapple, but no one even noticed it was in there.
So, without any further rambling, I present you with the recipe:
Super Yummy Carrot Cake Recipe
- 6 cups finely grated carrots, squeezed to remove most of the moisture
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 ½ cups white sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- In a medium bowl, combine grated carrots and brown sugar. Let sit for approx. 60 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9 ½ inch cake pans.
- In a large bowl, beat eggs until light. Gradually beat in the white sugar, oil and vanilla. Stir in the pineapple.
- Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg.
- Stir dry ingredients into the wet mixture until absorbed.
- Stir in the carrot mixture.
- Pour evenly into the prepared pans.
- Bake for 45 to 50 minutes in the preheated oven, until cake tests done with a toothpick.
- Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. When completely cooled, frost with cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (spreadable, but not too soft/warm)
- 8 oz. cream cheese, chilled
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or more if you really like vanilla!)
- 3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted (depending on how firm/sweet you like your buttercream)
- Using an electric stand mixer (or handheld), beat butter on medium speed until creamy.
- Add cream cheese and beat together with butter until smooth and fully incorporated.
- Add vanilla, and increase speed of mixer, scraping the sides of the bowl when necessary
- Gradually add confectioners’ sugar on low speed until desired consistency/level of sweetness is reached.
- Beat on high speed until well combined and smooth.