Carrot cake is one of my favorite desserts. And I’ve always had an unfortunate sweet tooth! The natural sweetness of the carrots with the tanginess of the cream cheese is an incredible combination that just gets better when presented in a beautiful cake form. And as an extra delight, that little bit of spice is wonderful at this time of year, especially when paired with a great cappuccino or chai tea! Who says pumpkin always has to be the star?!
Having tried plenty of carrot cakes in restaurants and cafes, I’ve found many of them to be extremely sweet, often with the icing half an inch thick, or full of walnuts. Great for many people, but not so much for me! So, as you might imagine, I was pretty excited when I came across this recipe. And after modifying it slightly, I have found my carrot cake heaven. Finally.
For me, this recipe represents the classic carrot cake. I haven’t included any nuts, but of course you can add them in or use them to replace the raisins if you prefer! Like many of our recipes, this cake is very simple to make, and it is sure to bring a few compliments to the table! Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
This recipe was inspired by Brian D’Amico’s ‘Sam’s Famous Carrot Cake’ on http://www.allrecipes.com.
Classic Carrot Cake
Yield: One 8 x 12 inch cake
3/4 cup of vegetable oil
3/4 cup of buttermilk
2 tsp of vanilla
1 cup of granulated sugar
2 cups of flour
2 tsp of baking soda
1/4 tsp of salt
2 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of allspice
3 cups of grated carrots
1 cup of shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 cup of raisins
For the icing:
16 oz of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup of butter, at room temp (4 oz)
2 cups of icing sugar
1 tsp of vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350 F and lightly grease an 8 x 12 inch baking pan.
Measure the raisins into a small bowl and cover with boiling water.
In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla until well blended. Stirring constantly, add the oil and continue whisking until completely incorporated. Next, add the sugar and stir to combine.
In sections, add the flour mixture to the batter and whisk just until no lumps remain.
Drain the water from the raisins and fold them into the batter, along with the shredded carrot and coconut.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 60-65 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
For the icing
While the cake is in the oven, prepare the icing, so that it has a bit of time to chill.
Beat together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Mix in the vanilla. Finally, add the icing sugar in parts and stir until well blended. Store in the fridge until ready to use.
Once the carrot cake has cooled, spread the icing over the top. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Enjoy with your favorite tea or coffee!
Tip: If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can easily make your own by combining 1 tbs of white vinegar and 1 cup (minus the tbs!) of whole milk. Whisk the two together and allow to sit for 10 minutes before using.