Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Carrot Cake

First off, I would like to apologize for the poor quality of the photo. The last couple of cakes, I have photographed in other people’s homes and …well, my mini fake studio was not available. This particular cake was for my friend Lucy’s birthday.

She had requested a carrot cake, a four-layer carrot cake, to be exact. Last week she came over, went through all my baking books, and finally settled on …Melissa Murphy’s Carrot Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting.

I also made her a batch of carrot cupcakes (halved the recipe) for any children that were present at the party. The batter seemed a little dense as I made it and I was worried it would turn out a dry cake. When the cakes came out of the oven, they were tall and fluffy. (Whew!) The cream cheese frosting was marvelous. The orange zest really made the icing special.

Once the cake was cut, I was even more pleased at the moist and tender crumb the cake had. (Whew!) I had never made this recipe before, and I usually do a practice cake on new recipes, especially if they are for a party. This was not the case this time around. With my busy schedule and my birthday all falling on the same week as hers, I just ran out time. I was so thrilled that it tasted delicious and that the birthday girl was pleased as well.

Carrot Cake With Fresh Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
From The Sweet Melissa Baking Book by Melissa Murphy


For the cake:
2 cups of AP Flour
1 ½ tablespoons of cinnamon
¾ teaspoon of baking soda
¼ teaspoon of baking powder
4 large eggs
¾ cup of canola oil
2 cups of sugar
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 pound freshly grated carrots
¾ cup of walnut pieces

For the frosting:
12 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature
2 ½ cups of powdered sugar
Zest of one orange
½ pound of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Butter and flour two 8x2-inch round cake pans and line with parchment paper, set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Set aside.

In the bowl of electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs on high speed until light and fluffy. Decrease the speed to medium and add the oil, sugar, and salt. Mix to combine. Decrease the speed to low and gradually add the flour.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the carrots and walnuts with a rubber spatula.

Divide the batter evenly among the pans. Spin the pans to level the batter. Bake for 45 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 20 minutes before removing from pans to cool completely.

Frosting:

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together cream cheese, sugar, and zest. Start on low speed and then gradually increase speed to med-high and beat until smooth and fluffy.

On medium speed add the butter and mix until smooth. Add the vanilla and mix until combined. Do not over beat.

41 comments:

Katie said...

What a wonderful cake and so tall! No need to worry about the photo - it looks great.

You are so kind to always bake your friends brithday cakes.

My Sweet & Saucy said...

Don't apologize about the photos...it looks perfect! I tried Melissa's recipe and loved it too! You cake really does look beautiful with the carrot, swirl, and nuts on top!

Magnolia Wedding Planner said...

It's a wonderful photo darling and indeed a stunning cake ;-) as ever!
The little carrot is fantastic!
It seems fake for how much it's perfect.
Thanks for the recipe!
Silvia

April said...

It looks beautiful!

Grace said...

there isn't a local restaurant or cafe offering carrot cake that i haven't sampled. it's my absolute favorite (but only with cream cheese frosting--if that's not there, it ain't worth it!). that being said, your cake is beautiful! now i'll be craving carrot cake all day, which i don't mind, as long as i get some soon! :)

Patricia Scarpin said...

Gigi, my birthday is in November, ok?? ;)

That is a great looking cake, oh my!

Carole said...

You are very brave to make this cake blind from the cookbook. Why is it when I try a new recipe for a special event, it always turns out to be just "ok"? How many cupcakes did you end up with when you made the half recipe?

Stef said...

The cake looks gorgeous! No need to apologize about the photo. But... what about those cupcakes for the kids comment? Why do adults not get cupcakes? That's sad.

Helen said...

Photo looks great - I must try this one, however I might wait a little as I made 6 carrot cakes for orders last week! A bit carrot caked out! Thanks for posting! Hx

Kristen said...

OMG - are you kidding? That photo has my mouth watering!!

LyB said...

What are you talking about, apologizing for the photo? Really, it looks so delicious with it's four layers of carroty goodness, and that frosting, beautiful! Your friend is very lucky!

VeggieGirl said...

Poor quality of the photograph?? What?? Am I looking at a different photograph?? Gigi, the cake looks BEYOND stunning!!

Oh my goodness, moist carrot cake is the BEST - yum!

glamah16 said...

I must be awful at photography because I think this photo is great!

How To Eat A Cupcake said...

OMG freakin YUM!

Janna said...

Carrot Cake is the best! I have grown to love it more and more as I get older and I try to cram more tasty things into it. :)
Plus, who can argue with cream cheese icing? So good! This cake is so pretty! What size spatula did you use?

Deborah said...

First of all, I think the photo is great! And I have heard good things about this recipe - I'll have to try it!

Mara said...

poor photo?!?! darlin' that looks GREAT!!!

i was eyeballing this recipe in the Sweet Melissa book the other day..wondering how it would compare with Dorie's. now i may just have to try it. beautiful!

Kevin said...

Nice looking carrot cake. I really like the sound of the orange zest in the cream cheese frosting!

Gigi said...

Janna,
The spatula is from Ateco and it is small only a 1/2-inch wide. It's awesome for creating the perfect swirl on top and on the sides of cakes. Martha has a video on her site and she shows you how to create the swirls.

Carole,
Half the recipe yielded me 12 cupcakes. And I baked them for 25 minutes.

Hannah said...

Are you kidding me? The first thing I thought when I saw the photo was "wow, how beautiful!" Seriously, you have nothing to apologize for. :)

Steph said...

Poor quality picutre? I think it looks amazing, I've goota litle bit of drool coming out of the corner of my mouth.

RecipeGirl said...

The photo looks great- even without your mini studio!

I love a good carrot cake, and this one looks good!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Oh my. Carrot cake is my all-time fave. And it has to be made with cream cheese frosting. Anything else is just... bleurgh. So, yours, a fantabulous, four-layered creation of beauty, is my idea of bliss. Do you ship?? ;-)

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

I want to hear more about your mini studio... what's the dish?
How do you get those fabulous photos?

Indigo said...

Adsgbjsdn that cream cheese frosting looks to die for. Wow. Really, wow.

Dhanggit said...

what a fabulous cake!! my hubby hates carrot cake, but its one of my favorite cake..maybe this recipe of yours will help me convert him!! btw, me i love the photo anyways its the taste that counts :-)

Maria said...

Gigi this cake is amazing!! I bought The Sweet Melissa's book after your reviews and wonderful bakes from the book!!

Btw you have an award waiting for you on my blog ;o)

Maria
x

Rosie said...

Gigi what an awesome cake it really is stunning!! I just love carrot cake and this one must be one of the best I have ever seen sweetie. Well done.

ovenhaven said...

Gosh, you're really quite the cake expert, aren't you! I love how tall the cake is, and the layers are so perfect! Great job, Gigi :)

dobetter said...

Wow Gigi, you are such a cake pro! Your cake looks like something I'd find in a high-end bakery. Nice!

jasmine said...

I really really like this cake--I need to revisit, but as muffinny cupcakes....

j

Summer said...

Thanks for visiting my blog! I love your blog, I found it off the Daring Barkers blogroll and have been looking at it since! You make the most amazing things! I did just join the Daring Bakers, actually yesterday! I get to start in june! Can't wait! I hope it's ok that I put your blog on my favorites list!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

"poor quality of the photo," are you kidding? that looks fantastic! your frosting spirals are awesome...it looks really beautiful!

eliza said...

hi Gigi, thanks for stopping by at my blog recently. my, you made a very beautiful presentation!

Joy the Baker said...

It looks perfect! Absolutely perfect! You've got the touch!

Carole said...

I finally got a chance to make this recipe for a church function but I made 24 cupcakes. Boy were they a huge hit and I loved them as well. I posted my results if you get a chance. Thanks again for sharing!

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

Your carrot cake looks amazing and picture perfect! Well done!

Jules Someone said...

That looks fabulous! I'm craving cream cheese frosting right now!

eatme_delicious said...

Wow this cake is stunning!! Your cakes always look so gorgeous and perfect. Happy belated birthday! (Yes I know I'm very late.)

La Pinche Cocinera said...

Hi Gigi!!

I Love this cake, beautiful..

La Pinche Cocinera said...

Hi Gigi!!

I Love this cake, beautiful..