Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Carrot Cake

I have still been practicing for mom's wedding cakes, I just haven't been blogging about it. I have switched to cupcakes, though, to test (and hone) my icing skills and tweak the recipes til they're just right. I mean, you only get to make your mom's wedding cake assumes. (Kidding, mom!) The wedding is THIS weekend, and I am very very excited!

Anyway, this carrot cupcake was from the batch I made for my friend Angelo's birthday, and if you scroll down you'll see a different version of this recipe, which is less rich, with no brown sugar and no dates or walnuts inside, so don't worry about that one. If you're really into texture in your carrot cake, go nuts (ha!) with more walnuts, pecans, coconut and maybe some raisins. Just be sure to chop stuff up a bit, k? K.

Carrot Cake

2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar (I always use dark, for everything.)
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground clove
3 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup finely chopped dates

Preheat the oven to 350ยบ. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat the sugars and eggs with a hand mixer on medium speed until frothy, about 20 seconds. Add the oil in a steady stream and beat another 20 seconds. (The steady stream part is easier if you have a standing mixer, but I find pouring it in slowly with one hand and holding the hand mixer with the other works just fine.) Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture. Stir in the carrots and dates, then pour into pans and bake in the center of the oven. Cupcakes should be about 25 minutes, 9" round cakes should take about 35 minutes. As with all cakes, bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cream Cheese Icing

2 8-oz bars of cream cheese
1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, softened but still cool
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tbsp whole milk

Beat the cream cheese and butter with a hand mixer until smooth. Beat in the vanilla and milk, then the sugar one cup at a time. You may not need all 3 cups, and you may need more, so be prepared.

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