It was my husband's birthday over the weekend so I always use that as an excuse to bake and though his favorite is the Pound Cake since it reminds him of the cakes his mom whipped up for him as a kid, I decided to remind him that he has other favorites which usually take a backstage - once such is the Carrot Cake. He is quite the fan and that is also the reason why these Pumpkin Rolls are such a hit at home. I spread on a rather thin layer of cream cheese frosting and it's sweet-tangy taste is a great combination for this luscious cake that is loaded with shredded carrots, raisins, sweetened coconut flakes and walnuts. I typically add some pineapple too but ran out of it this time so skipped them. I doubled the recipe below to get a 8 inch square pan full of cake but the following measurements should work great for a loaf pan. Since I doubled the recipe, instead of using half cup of oil, i used 1/4 cup oil and put the 4oz pack of pear puree (baby food actually) that thankfully was not past it's expiry date to good use and substituted that for the remaining oil - worked like a charm. You could use applesauce instead.
My decorations are primitive at best and if my daughter were a little older, I could've pretended that she did it and saved myself some embarassment but alas, you all will have to see my handiwork. It's just the same cream cheese frosting to which I added a few drops of food coloring and put it in a ziploc bag and cut the tip of the corner. In a more artistic hand, am sure it would've looked a lot better.
CARROT CAKE with CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
Ingredients: (the following measurements are for a loaf pan, double for an 8 to 9 inch pan)
All purpose flour - 2/3 cup
Baking Soda - 3/4 tsp
Salt - 1/8 tsp
Cinnamon - 3/4 tsp
Sugar - 1/2 cup (you could use equal parts of white and brown sugar)
Oil - 1/4 cup (Canola / Vegetable oil)
Egg - 1
Buttermilk - 1/4 cup (I blended homemade yogurt with water)
Vanilla extract - 3/4 tsp
Carrots - 1 cup, shredded
Walnuts - 1/3 cup, chopped
Raisins - 1/3 cup
Sweetened Flaked Coconut - 1/4 to 1/3 cup
If using Pineapple, you could add 1/3 cup of crushed pineapple without juice.
1) Preheat oven to 350F and grease the cake pan (I used non-stick spray)
2) Sift the flour, baking soda, salt & cinnamon or stir thoroughly with a wire whisk. Keep aside.
3) To a big bowl, add the sugar, egg, buttermilk, oil and vanilla and blend them well.
4) Add in the dry ingredients from step 2 above and beat till well mixed with the liquid above.
5) With a spatula, stir in the toppings - shredded carrots, raisins, coconut & walnuts in my case.
6) Pour this mixture into the greased pan and bake for 40 mins to an hour or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
I made it the previous day and refrigerated it to let the flavours develop... this gets better with each passing day.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting recipe, click here. I only used 6 oz of light cream cheese and had some leftover after frosting the 8 inch square pan which is double the above. So, if using measurements above, I would think 4oz of cream cheese will be more than enough.
Here's a snap of what I baked last year: It was a layered cake with raspberry jam filling & a chocolate ganache topping. I didn't post about it last year since we were leaving for India a few days after that so it was crazy busy.
Click here to see the Pineapple cake from his 2007 Birthday.