Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Best Carrot Cake EVER

Right up front, I'm going to say this: This cake is not good for you. You will feel your arteries twitch as you read it. But it is absolutely, positively, freaking fantastic.

Cake

3 sticks, plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup chopped toasted pecans (optional)

Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese
1 stick unsalted butter
1 (1-pound) box confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chopped toasted pecans (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter three 9 inch round cake pans with 1 tablespoon of the butter and set aside. (I use parchment paper usually - they seem to stick a bit more than other cakes.) 

With your mixer, cream the butter. Add the sugar, and beat. 

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, and mix well.

 Add the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar, alternating with the eggs, beating well after the addition of each. Then add the vanilla extract and mix. Finally, add the carrots and beat on medium speed until well incorporated. If you are using pecans, fold them in now, manually. 

Divide the batter (it's really thick, that's fine, don't panic!) between the 3 cake pans and bake until set and a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean (usually about  25 to 30 minutes). 

Remove from the oven and let rest in the pans for 10 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, remove from the pans, and let cool.

While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting. 

First, in a large bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar gradually, beating constantly. Then add the vanilla. If you're using pecans, you can fold them in now... Or you can use the nuts to decorate the frosted cake.

When the cake is cool, stack and frost. Then let the frosting harden slightly before serving (I put mine in the refrigerator). 

Kids love it. Adults love it. Dogs love it. Your cardiologist probably loves it, but won't say that on the record. 

(Don't be thrown by the picture - I doubled the recipe and made a two layer 9x13 for a very large group.)


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