No question carrot cake is a great American classic now popular all over the globe. I wanted to make an over–the-top carrot cake for my dad’s milestone eighty-years-young birthday tomorrow. Here is what I came up with:
This cake is extra moist.
INGREDIENTS: One 12-inch round cake pan, lined with parchment paper
- 3 cups of grated carrots
- 2 cups of flour (can substitute one cup of semolina)
- 1/2 cup of almond flour
- 1 1/2 cups of white sugar
- 1/2 cup of grape molasses (can use honey or apple cider molasses or maple syrup)
- 2 teaspoons of baking soda and baking powder, a dash of salt
- 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- 1 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
- 4 extra-large eggs
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and the rind of an orange
- 1/2 cup of grated coconut
- 1/2 cup of raisins, soaked in hot water till plump (about 2 hours)
For the frosting:
- 400 g or 2 boxes of cream cheese spread (I used Puck brand)
- 2 to 3 cups of powdered sugar (to taste, stop when it tastes too sweet)
- 175 g of butter (almost 2 sticks), unsalted
- 2 teaspoons of orange blossom water
For the garnishing:
- 2 cups of pistachios, soaked in water for one or two hours, then peeled and dried and chopped extra fine.
- some gold leaf (optional!)
- In one bowl, place the dry ingredients and whisk for a few seconds to mix them well: flour, semolina (if using), almond flour, baking soda and powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- In a mixing bowl, place the eggs, sugar, molasses and oil. Mix until the ingredients are well combined.
- Add the flour mixture, then the carrots and mix well; add the coconut and raisins. Mix and pour into a baking pan greased and lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350F (180C-200C) for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted towards the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool, frost and cool again. Garnish with the pistachios and serve.
- For the frosting: Place the butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl; mix till smooth, add the sugar gradually and the orange blossom water. Mix till smooth and using a spatula, spread all over the cake.
NOTE: Serve the cake in small portions like a wedding cake. Form a circle two inches from the circumference of the cake and cut small portions two inches in width; then form another circle, and so on until the cake is all gone.
NOTE: Try to find fresh carrots and grate them fine, not coarse; they will release a lot of water and this, along with the molasses or honey, will help the cake stay moist.
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