Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tuesdays With Dorie - Bill's Big Carrot Cake

I wasn’t even sure I would have time to make the Tuesdays with Dorie recipe this week. But am I ever glad I did. Amanda of Slow Like Honey chose Bill’s Big Carrot Cake and I have to say the name is spot on, this is one huge cake!

Three incredible layers full of carrots, coconut, pecans and golden raisins sandwiched in between thick, sweet, dreamy, cream cheese frosting. How could I not make this? I almost omitted the coconut though, not being a big coconut fan myself, but Martin loves it so we compromised and I used the coconut called for in the batter but didn’t use any in the frosting or on top of the cake. The coconut taste is definitely there but not so much that it overpowers the rest of the ingredients. I’m glad I kept as close as possible to the instructions for the look of the cake as it is quite spectacular. I didn’t change the recipe much either except for substituting unsweetened apple sauce for half of the canola oil in the cake, and using low-fat cream cheese in the frosting because that’s what I had in the fridge!

I had eaten carrot cake before but I had never made it myself and this is without a doubt going to be my go to recipe. The cake is moist, just dense enough from all the add-ins and the frosting is fabulous, I mean absolutely fabulous, dahlings! All in all this cake is a keeper! Now go on and see what the rest of the Tuesdays with Dorie gang thought of the cake!

Bill's Big Carrot Cake

Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Yields 10 servings


Ingredients:

For the cake:

2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon salt

3 cups grated carrots (about 9 carrots, you can grate them in food processor fitted w/ a shredding a blade or use a box grater)

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans

1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)

1/2 cup moist, plump raisins (dark or golden) or dried cranberries

2 cups sugar

1 cup canola oil *or 1/2 cup canola oil and 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce*

4 large eggs


For the frosting:

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature *low-fat works well*

1 stick ( 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 pound or 3 and 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract

1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)

Finely chopped toasted nuts and/or toasted shredded coconut (optional)


Getting ready:

Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter three 9-x-2-inch round cake pans, flour the insides, and tap out the excess. Put the two pans on one baking sheet and one on another.


To make the cake:

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, stir together the carrots, chopped nuts, coconut, and raisins.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the sugar and oil together on a medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs one by one and continue to beat until the batter is even smoother. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing only until the dry ingredients disappear. Gently mix the chunky ingredients. Divide the batter among the baking pans.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point, until a thin knife inserted into the centers comes out clean. The cakes will have just started to come away from the sides of the pans. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes and unmold them. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.

The cakes can be wrapped airtight and kept at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.


To make the frosting:

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the frosting is velvety smooth. Beat in the lemon juice or extract.

If you'd like coconut in the filling, scoop about half of the frosting and stir the coconut into this position.


To assemble the cake:

Put one layer top side up on a cardboard cake round or a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper. If you added the coconut to the frosting, use half of the coconut frosting to generously cover the first layer (or generously cover with plain frosting). Use an offset spatula or a spoon to smooth the frosting all the way to the edges of the layer. Top with the second layer, this time placing the cake stop side down, and frost with the remainder of the coconut frosting or plain frosting. Top with the last layer, right side up, and frost the top- and the sides- of the cake. Finish the top with swirls of frosting. If you want to top the cake with toasted nuts or coconut, sprinkle them on now while the frosting is soft.

Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes, just to set the frosting before serving.


Serving:

This cake can be served as soon as the frosting is set. It can also wait, at room temperature and covered with a cake keeper overnight. The cake is best served in thick slices at room temperature and while it's good plain, it's even better with vanilla ice cream or some lemon curd.


Storing:

The cake will keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. It can also be frozen. Freeze it uncovered, then when it's firm, wrap airtight and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost, still wrapped, overnight in the refrigerator.

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67 comments:

Grace said...

yes, dahling, it certainly does look fabulous. it also looks like there was no skimping on the frosting, which i appreciate. it's a travesty when a cake doesn't have ample frosting, especially when that frosting is cream cheese frosting. geez, can you guess my favorite part of this cake? :)

Amy said...

Looks fabulous! I love this frosting -- I have made it before, and it's delicious. I love the frosting squooshing out between the cake layers. Nicely done!

Engineer Baker said...

I love that you kept close to the instructions - your cake looks exactly like the picture in the book! Great job!

Sarah said...

Your cake looks great! I loved the frosting too...the lemon addition was just perfect. Good job!

Mary Ann said...

I love the look of the three layers. It is so pretty! I was thinking about subbing half low-fat buttermilk for some of the oil but wasn't brave enough. Good to know it probably would have worked!

Carrie said...

Just lovely!

Isabelle said...

Tes photos sont super appétissantes :)
j'ai beaucoup aimé ce gâteau, même si habituellement, mon gâteau aux carottes a de l'ananas

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

Why oh why, did I give all mine away (with the exception of the 6-incher in the freezer)?! I didn't get to eat nearly enough (one little slice only) of this cake, and checking out everyone's posts is just making me hungry for more! Your's is looking especially ab-fab, my dear! ;-)

Bumblebutton said...

Gosh, your cake is gorgeous! And I'm making a note in my book about subbing in some applesauce for next time.

Brilynn said...

I made this cake last year, it was awesome, and enormous! Yours looks great, it's definitely a go to recipe!

Chris said...

Looks delicious! That first picture...yum! I love the applesause substitution! I too made note.

rebekka said...

Oh, my...your photos look SO good...like I am about to go attack the carrot cake in my fridge right now! Great job!

danielle said...

Nice job on capturing the sweetness and comfort of this cake both verbally and visually.

Anne said...

That looks absolutely amazing... like it could be the photo in the cook book! Great work! Good to know about the applesauce... I'll leave a note in my book. Thanks!

CB said...

Beautiful cake! I'll have to try the applesauce substitution next time. Great idea!
Clara @ I♥food4thought

PheMom said...

Great idea with the applesauce. Your layer cake looks absolutely perfect! Now I want to go make this recipe again. Yum!

Melissa said...

Looks great! Applesauce...great idea!

soulafa said...

J'aime beaucoup l'idee de la compote de pommes dans ce cake, le tien est magnifique, bravo!!

Melissa said...

Hey, I decided I'd let anyone know the "secret" who asked :) Zuchinni. Sub zuchinni for 1/3-1/2 of the carrots. Moist and perfect every time.

Meg said...

That looks amazing. Staring at delicious pastries with nuts has become like porn for me; I don't cook with nuts now that we know my daughter has a nut allergy. But oh, do I miss things like carrot cake. With lots of cream cheese frosting. Your cake definitely qualifies as pastry porn for those of us living nut-free (and carrot cake just isn't as good without nuts). I will, however, try apple sauce for oil in another cake sometime and see how that goes.

Kelly said...

I agree. This is my new "go to" recipe for carrot cake. Maybe next time I will be brave enough to try it with the coconut.

Di said...

I think you're one of the few who stuck that closely to the recipe as written. =) Your cake looks fantastic.

Kim said...

Fabulous! your pics are so crisp and elegant! I enjoyed looking through them! Kudos!

Anonymous said...

Your cake looks great! If I made it again i think I'd substitute apple sauce for the oil too, but I didn't have any on hand when I made them yesterday.

Dianne said...

Oh an that last comment was me. I forgot to add my name. It's been a long day... :)

Lori said...

THat first shot with the frosting oozing over the sides... I'd love to just put my finger in that and lick it up. Very inviting.

Jayne said...

Beautiful job! Your photos make me want to make the cake and frosting again - NOW!

Jerry said...

And now I want carrot cake! Yummy!

Hillary said...

That is one hell of a good looking carrot cake! That frosting looks so thick and creamy.

BAKE-EN said...

You have the most gorgeous pictures! Great job, your cake looks beautiful.

Heather said...

It certainly looks fabulous! I bet the taste was wonderful as well! Great job!

Gretchen Noelle said...

GREAT looking cake! I love how the frosting looks like it is just billowing over the cakes. Great job!!!

Gigi said...

Dahling, your cake looks fab! Great job on your cake. I loved the photos with the icing peeking out the sides.

Robin said...

This looks fabulous. This definitely will become the carrot cake recipe I turn to as well!

Shari said...

I love that first photo with the icing dripping down. Amazing.

Beeb said...

Pretty pretty! I have a wee bit of frosting envy - mine was a little lacking. so sad.

Kevin said...

That carrot cake looks amazing! I like the nut topping@!

KN said...

I love the frosting look…there definitely is something totally inviting with it spilling out from the layers.

steph- whisk/spoon said...

this recipe is totally ab fab! and yours looks scrummy!

Marc @ norecipes said...

Oh man that looks delicious! I could eat whole bowls of cream cheese frosting. YUM!

Chuck said...

OMG, that Carrot Cake looks amazing and the frosting just slightly hanging over is to die for. Stunning!

Andrea said...

Very beautiful cake. The 3 layer thing is good for drama on a cake stand. I will use the apple sauce substitution next time. There is so much moisture in this cake I imagine it is very forgiving.

Emily said...

It looks awesome--well done!

Liliana said...

Your cake looks absolutely divine!
Good idea to substitute the oil for applesauce.

Patricia Scarpin said...

LyB, next time you bake this beauty let me know - I'm drooling! :)

Helene said...

C'est la première fois que je visite ton blog. J'aime vraiment et quel beau gâteau.

Katrina said...

Gorgeous! I love the look of the frosting practically oozing out between the layers.

Aimée said...

Beautiful cake! You really out did yourself here.

MrsBethorama said...

i also used low-fat cream cheese but never thought about using applesauce. I'll have to try that next time :)

kim said...

mmm your cake looks so good! good idea with the applesauce, i will have to make a note of that one :)

Chez US said...

Glad you had time, it looks great!!!

Jennifer said...

Wow... your cake is gorgeous! Looks like success!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Your cake looks gorgeous! I like that you put some applesauce in there to lighten it up a tad. Beautiful pictures, too!

Sherry Trifle - Lovely Cats said...

Scrumptious! I like your idea about substituting some of the oil with applesauce. Will try that next time.

Lina said...

Your carrot cake looks absolutley divine! Carrot cake has the best frosting EVER!

Donna said...

WOW! Your frosting looks heavenly!

Peabody said...

Turned out fantastic...I love the icing pouring over.

Alfie said...

What a fabulous cake Lyb - beautiful photos, makes you just want to dive in and grab a bite!

Erin said...

Your cake looks mouth watering. I love the way you have the frosting squezing out between the layers. Great job!

Madam Chow said...

I passed this week, but I will definitely try the cake in the future!

nicisme said...

Room for another comment, lol - beautiful cake and great photos!

Sharon said...

Wow, yours looks delishous! I think I am going to definately get a third round cake pan.

Helen said...

Mmmm this looks delish! Your photos are fantstic and just make me want to every recipe again! Hx

Mary said...

Your photos are beautiful as is your whole blog! I love the choice of recipes you make. Nicely done!

Cecilia said...

What a gorgeous cake! I'm glad you decided to put in the coconut because I think it really added to the heartiness of the carrot cake.

Natalie said...

Beautiful cake and beautiful pictures! (I'm late to commenting on these, sorry!)

Mara said...

wonderful on the applesauce idea!! i am not a fan of using that much oil but was too chicken to try it the first time around. and i love philly light cream cheese, it tastes very close to original for me.