Recipe: March 2020: Chocolate Carrot Cake

It’s time for another recipe! First, the recipe. Then, me blathering onward about my occasionally questionable culinary capabilities and the memories this particular feast holds for me.

  • The Ingredients
    • The Cake:
      • 3 cups finely shredded carrots
      • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
      • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
      • 1 teaspoon baking soda
      • 1 teaspoon salt
      • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
      • 1 cup applesauce
      • 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temp
      • 4 large eggs
      • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
      • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
      • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
      • 1 cup crushed pecans
      • 1/2 cup golden raisins, soaked in liquor until rehydrated
    • The Cream Cheese Frosting
      • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese
      • 1/4 teaspoon salt
      • 4 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
      • 2 sticks unsalted butter
      • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
      • Don’t be afraid to add your own touches!
  • The Way of Preparing the Cake
    1. Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C/Gas mark 4
    2. Prep three 9 inch round pans with spray, flour, and parchment paper. Alternatively, line and spray a large muffin tin.
    3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, sugar, salt, and cocoa powder.
    4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the carrots, raisins, applesauce, buttermilk, eggs, vinegar, nuts, and vanilla.
    5. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until just combined and a smooth batter is formed.
    6. Divide among the three pans evenly, or fill your cupcake molds with an ice cream scoop.
    7. Bake for about thirty minutes, rotating the pans every ten minutes or so until a toothpick comes out from the center clean. The cake should pull away from the walls of the round pan a bit. This is normal.
    8. While the cakes are still warm, run a knife around the outside of the pans and tip the cakes out carefully. Flip them back, right side up, and let them cool.
    9. Once completely cool, stack and frost!
  • The Way of Preparing the Frosting:
    1. Cream together the sugar, butter, and cream cheese until completely mixed. Scrape down the bowl repeatedly so everything is well combined.
    2. Mix on high until light and fluffy, about six minutes.
    3. Add in the vanilla and mix until well combined.
    4. Refrigerate for at least half an hour, covered tightly, until stiff before using.
    5. This can be stored in the fridge for up to three days or frozen for six months.
  • Notes
    • How to make better:
      • Add two to three tablespoons of hot cocoa mix to the batter
      • I know it sounds weird but glaze the layers before you frost them with simple syrup, chocolate syrup, or melted apricot jam.
      • Almond extract instead of vanilla in the frosting.
      • Garnish or add in crushed pecans for a little extra crunch.
      • Soak the raisins in amaretto before adding to the cake.

Memories

This recipe look a little familiar? Yup, it’s a very similar base cake to my Colored Velvet Cake recipe. I find that traditional carrot cakes are too dense and I like the light, fluffy texture that the chemical reactions of this cake brings to the dessert table!

This is one that I don’t make all that often, but carrots around Easter, much like eggs, seems to be an accidental tradition.

Happy baking!

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