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.
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.