It was my sister's and brother-in-law's birthday last week and their favorite cake is carrot cake. This cake recipe is just delicious. I have been told for years that this is the best carrot cake ever, and that comes from folks who have had a lot of carrot cake. I think the real French Butter Cream mixed in with whipping cream and soften cream cheese for the filling really adds something to this cake. It even taste better as it ages. The cake is moist and the butter cream is not overly sweet, because it is not made with confectioner's sugar. If you are going to pipe an intricate design like I did, I would then add confectioner's sugar to stabilize and give your piping work a little more stability, especially if you are not that comfortable with a pastry bag.
I made the cake a little fancy for a Birthday, but I just like it frosted with butter cream and ground nuts on the side of the cake. I made it into a three tier cake and kept one cake for me to nibble on with a cold glass of milk. Those are the perks of being the baker. You could also make this cake into a large sheet cake for potluck. I would probably use a 10x15inch pan with 2 inch sides.
Recipe: Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease and flour 4 (8 or 9 inch cake pans)
I used only three layers for this cake and kept one for me!
2 cups all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 T. plus 2 tsp. baking powder
1 T. plus 2 tsp. baking soda
1 T. plus 2 ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 pounds carrots (processed in a food processor)
1 1/4 cup walnut oil or canola
3/4 cup plus 2 T. honey
3/4 cup plus 2 T. real maple syrup
8 large eggs
3/4 plus 2 T. dark raisins
1 cup walnuts
3/4 cups crushed pineapple (drain juice) add 1 T. juice
optional: 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut ( I left this out)
In a large bowl, combine the oil, honey, and syrup whisking together well. Add the eggs, one at a time whisking well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients, stirring just until the mixture is well blended. Stir in the raisins, carrots, nuts and pineapple.
Pour the batter into the pans and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool on cooling rack.
Butter Cream Frosting:
4 cups granulated Sugar1 cup water
6 eggs, room temperature
2 1/2 lbs. unsalted, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, split and beans removed (optional)
Combine 4 cups sugar and 1 cup water in a heavy sauce pan. Heat and brush sides with water to avoid crystalization. Boil and bring to a temperature of 236 degrees. Meanwhile, while your sugar is boiling you should whip the eggs in a heavy duty stand mixer. When sugar syrup reaches temperature, lower mixer to low speed and slowly add hot syrup, using whip attachment. Be very careful during this process. You can get burned. Do with great care and concentration. I pour my sugar syrup towards the side of the bowl not on top of the whip attachment. Continue mixing until the egg and sugar mixture is totally cool about 15 minutes, the metal bowl should be cool to touch. Than add your soften butter a little at a time. When all the butter is incorporated keep whipping. If it does look like it is separating, it will come together. You can also pop into fridge for 5 minutes and continue whipping. Add vanilla and vanilla beans and whip for a minute longer.
Meanwhile whip 1 cup of heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form, set aside
then whip one 8 oz. very soft cream cheese. Combine the two and add 3 cups of prepared buttercream and combine well. Layer your cake layers with this mixture.
Use the remaining frosting to cover your cake. If you are planning to do an intricate design on the outside of the cake, it is optional but you can add about a cup of confectioner's sugar to stiffen up the frosting. This is not necessary if you are skilled and have some experience working with a pastry bag and spatula.
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