I think I just found my new favorite carrot cake recipe. See, I don't like fruit in my carrot cake. Many people like raisins, some like currents, and my own mother is a fan of canned pineapple. I'll take none of it. All the carrot cakes I've tried had fruit, were dry, and didn't have enough carrot. Much to my delight, the carrot cake I made tonight was perfectly moist and sweet and the walnuts added just the perfect crunch. If heaven could be found in a cupcake liner, I have found it tonight.
Makes 24 cupcakes (or one two-layer cake)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups canola oil
4 large eggs
3 cups finely grated peeled carrots - this is key. See my fancy solution to avoid grating my thumbs?
1 cups coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup raisins (optional..blah!)
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Line 24 cupcake molds with papers, or butter and flour them.
Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in medium bowl to blend. Whisk sugar and oil in large bowl until well blended. Whisk in eggs 1 at a time. Add flour mixture and stir until blended. Stir in carrots, walnuts and raisins, if using them. Divide batter among cupcake molds, filling 3/4 of each.
Bake cupcakes 14 to 18 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of one comes out clean. Let cool in pans for five minutes or so, then transfer cakes to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before icing them.
To make a carrot layer cake: Butter two 9-inch-diameter cake pans instead of cupcake molds. Line bottom of pans with waxed paper. Butter and flour paper; tap out excess flour. Divide the batter between the prepared pans, and bake the layers for about 40 minutes each, or until a tester inserted into center comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans 15 minutes. Turn out onto racks. Peel off waxed paper; cool cakes completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting (Updated)
Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, or 500 grams softened
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature (very important)
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
In a stand mixer beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar a couple of tablespoons at a time. Chill the frosting for 10 to 20 minutes, until it has set up enough to spread smoothly. (Trust me on this one - I had to learn it the hard way. Still tasty, though).
Special thanks to Boyfriend for helping me line the cupcake tins. This one's for you. xoxo