Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Best Carrot Cake EVER!!

Mmmmm...carrot cake...

I LOVE carrot cake.  Especially GOOD carrot cake.  So when I found this post on Sally's Baking Addiction, I knew I had to try it.

And boy, am I glad I did!  I think our card-playing guests from last night are glad I did, too!!

Not only was it super-delicious, but it was super-easy to make, too!

The Cast:
  • Brown Sugar
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Banana Yogurt (the original recipe called for Greek yogurt but if you read my previous post, you know I didn't have any!  lol)
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Baking Soda
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt
  • Flour
  • Carrots
  • Almonds (the original recipe called for pecans, but I didn't have any)
  • Craisins (another change from the original recipe!)

This recipe calls for the carrots to be finely shredded.  I used the shredding disk on my food processor, but I didn't think they were fine enough, so I ended up switching to the regular blade to get them nice and fine.

After removing and measuring the carrots, I ground up my almonds in the food processor.  I like the texture they ended up being - some fine, some chunky.  Measure those and set aside, too.  But make sure you forget to take a picture of that step!

Next, the oil and brown sugar are mixed together using either a stand mixer or hand mixer.

Next, add in the yogurt.  (Action shot!)

After the yogurt is mixed in, add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating between each one until they are incorporated.

I also add my spices and baking soda into the wet ingredients at this point.  I hate dirtying an extra bowl to mix them with the flour! 

I also "added" my whole nutmeg at this point (oops!) and had to fish it out of the bowl.  TWICE. 

Add the flour and mix just until it is incorporated.  Do not overmix.

Add the carrots, almonds, and Craisins.

Mix until incorporated.  Get a spoon and have a bite or two, just to test it out.  (This is THE most important step in baking if you ask me!)

Spread it into a greased Springform pan and pop that baby into the oven!

The original recipe says to bake at 350 for 32 to 38 minutes.  I took mine out after 35 minutes, but I really should have baked it longer.  The middle ended up not quite done.  I was paranoid about OVER baking it though!!  Next time, I will definitely do it at LEAST 40 minutes!

Now is the hardest part...let it cool completely.  Luckily, we had people coming over the night I made this, so I had some cleaning up to do.  Otherwise...who knows if the cake would have ended up intact.  It smelled THAT GOOD!

The fact that I had THIS huge mess to clean up after making my cake didn't hurt!

I am SUCH a messy cook.  I end up tossing all of the dishes in one side of the sink and the trash in the other as I cook, then clean it all up at the end. 

Once the messy sink is clean, the living room is vacuumed, and the cake is completely cool, it's time to frost!

The Cast:

Cream Cheese, Softened
Butter, Softened
Powdered Sugar
Vanilla Extract
Heavy Cream

Cream the cream cheese together until they are thoroughly mixed and fluffy.

Mix in the powdered sugar and vanilla until combined, then mix in vanilla and heavy cream.

I beat the heck out of mine so it was SUPER light and fluffy.  I got SO many compliments on the frosting! 

Remove the cake from the Springform pan and turn it out onto your serving platter.  Spread the top with the frosting, then sprinkle with almonds.

Get ready for a slice of heaven.  This carrot cake is SO moist and delicious.  The almonds get soft, but still have enough crunch to give it some texture.  The Craisins add the perfect little bursts of sweet, tart flavor.  And the frosting - oh man, was it good! So light and fluffy...I'm drooling just thinking about it!!

The original recipe says this cake will last up to 6 days at room temperature.  I don't see how this cake could last ANYWHERE for 6 days - I made it a day ago, and it is almost gone already!  Only one piece left!!  I am DEFINITELY going to be making this cake again and again!!