Monday, November 30, 2009

Carrot Cake (Western Style)

Ok, if you are one of those who is wondering why I denoted the western style for this carrot cake, it's because the chinese version of it is very different. I did both version this weekend, so I thought I will post this up first.

This is again from one of my favourite website for baking recipes, but it can be a little too sweet so I've reduced it a little and I used lime zest instead of lemon as I didn't have any in the house then. It still turns out great though, do give it a try!

Carrot Cake (Western Style)

Adapted from Joy of Baking

1 cup (100 grams) walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
3/4 pound (340 grams) raw carrots (about 2 1/2 cups finely grated)
2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 large eggs
200 grams granulated white sugar (the original was 300g, you can adjust it further if you like)
1 cup (240 ml) safflower, vegetable or canola oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Note: For a moister carrot cake, I added 1 can of pineapple rings, which I blended it up and drained before adding to the batter, at the same time when I add the oil and vanilla extract. You may have to bake the cake a few minutes longer.

Note: This cake can be baked in a 9 x 13 x 2 inch (23 x 33 x 5 cm) pan. Just increase the baking time to between 30 to 40 minutes

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups (230 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted (I think I will reduce this to 200g next time)

1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract
finely grated lemon/lime zest of one lemon
I added a teaspoon of lemon juice as I found the frosting a bit too sweet from the icing sugar, but do adjust accordingly)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter or spray two - 9 x 2 inch (23 x 5 cm) cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with a circle of parchment paper.
  2. Toast the pecans or walnuts for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and then chop coarsely.
  3. Peel and finely grate the carrots. Set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and ground cinnamon. Set aside.
  5. In bowl of electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the eggs until frothy (about 1 minute). Gradually add the sugar and beat until the batter is thick and light colored (about 3 - 4 minutes). Add the oil in a steady stream and then beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated. With a large rubber spatula fold in the grated carrots and chopped nuts. Evenly divide the batter between the two prepared pans and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. After about 5 -10 minutes invert the cakes onto the wire rack, remove the pans and parchment paper, and then cool completely before frosting.
  7. To assemble: place one cake layer, top side down, onto your serving plate. Spread with about one third of the frosting. Gently place the other cake, top of cake facing down, onto the frosting, and spread the rest of the frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.
Serves 10 - 12.


In bowl of electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the cream cheese and butter, on low speed, just until blended with no lumps. Gradually add the sifted powdered sugar and beat, on low speed, until fully incorporated and smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract, and lemon zest.

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