I decided to start this adventure in blogging with a special cake I was asked to make for my cousin’s graduation party. I thought that would be fitting since graduations are the end of one part of your life and the beginning of something new and uncharted. Just like this blog!
I only decide a recipe worthy enough to make after countless hours of online searching, reading hundreds of reviews, looking at pictures, and finally deciding which one, or a combination of them, will work best.
I found this recipe at www.myrecipes.com. It was originally published in Southern Living Magazine in October of 1977. I was drawn to this recipe because (a) it didn’t have any raisons, which I abhor in a carrot cake and (b) it had other unique ingredients added to it like coconut and pineapple and a good amount of cinnamon. I was also intrigued by the Buttermilk Glaze that is poured on the cake directly after pulling it from the oven.
I always try and start baking by first collecting the ingredients I need, getting my “mise en place” in place. As I was grating the carrots I found it surprising that the whole bag of carrots was not needed. In the end, I only needed two large ones!
The timing of when to start the Buttermilk Glaze depends on if you decide to make a triple or double layer cake. If you want a triple as the recipe calls for, you should start making the glaze almost immediately after you shut the oven door. If, however, you do as I did and make a double layer, you have about five or ten minutes of down time.
When making the glaze, make sure you use a LARGE pan. Even though the recipe says to use a large pan, I decided to use a small one because, well, I didn’t think I would be making much. How wrong I was. While boiling, the sauce easily overtakes the pan, almost quadrupaling in size. Luckily my husband was available to make a quick pan switch-a-roo before the glaze overflowed and made my burner a sticky mess. I decided to stir the glaze continuously. As the butter, sugar, and corn syrup carmalize, they had a tendency to stick, and I didn’t want a burnt tasting glaze. I didn’t use the entire batch of the glaze. I stopped once it started overflowing my cake pans. I would probably be plenty if you make a triple glaze, however, but since I only made a double I had about a half a cup left over.
When removing the cakes from the pans to cool, the cakes will be ooey, gooey, and still quite warm. Luckily the cake didn’t stick to the pan at all, so it was a quick procedure to accomplish once my faithful helper stepped in to assist.
I wasn’t too confident about the Cream Cheese Frosting. It seemed really sweet, and was really soft, it wasn’t a nice thick buttercream like I am used to. I was worried that it wasn’t going to set up well.
So what was the verdict? “Amazing!” “Superb!” “Fantastic!” Let’s just say that at the party, there were three cakes. By the end, two cakes were half eaten, and one cake was completely wiped clean. Not even any crumbs left! So I think it went over really well! Is that a little boastful? Maybe. But I'm going with it anyway!
Best Carrot Cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil (I used half cinnamon applesauce and half oil)
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups grated carrot
- 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
- 1 (3 1/2-ounce) can flaked coconut
- 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- Buttermilk Glaze
- Cream Cheese Frosting
Line 3 (9-inch) round cakepans with wax paper; lightly grease and flour wax paper. Set pans aside.
Stir together first 4 ingredients.
Beat eggs and next 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add flour mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Fold in carrot and next 3 ingredients. Pour batter into prepared cakepans.
Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Drizzle Buttermilk Glaze evenly over layers; cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Bring first 5 ingredients to a boil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Boil, stirring often, 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 3 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth.