Of Carrots and Cream Cheese

So yes. This is the cake that helped me wish my mom a very happy birthday! 🙂

A moist and delicious carrot cake with cream cheese filling. When a smile adorned my mother’s face as she took her first bite of the cake, I knew I’d struck gold. Many thanks to the Joy of Baking website! 🙂

In addition to the carrot cake, this recipe calls for a cream cheese frosting. Now cream cheese is a luxury in India. Not just because of its cost, but because it is hard to find, and even if you do find it, you’ll have to travel miles for a small tub. As for ordering online, yes – a better option. But there is just something about making your own cream cheese. Though lots of recipes are available for making cream cheese, a tried and tested recipe is always a safe bet. I found one in this blog – Doughmydear (Homemade cream cheese). I followed that recipe to the dot, and voila- I found myself with one of the best cream cheeses there is!

Here is the recipe for the carrot cake, based on the Joy of Baking website, customised to suit my needs.

First, you’ll need two 5 inch springform pans. Grease them and cover the bottoms with parchment paper.

Carrot cake with Cream cheese frosting:

Carrot Cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1½ cups granulated white sugar (you can adjust your sugar to match your sweet tooth)
  • 1 cup flavourless vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs (at room temperature)
  • 2 cups fresh grated carrot
  • 1 cup toasted, slivered walnuts
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon (optional)

Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 180ºC.
  • Take the eggs in a large bowl and beat them till they turn light yellow in colour.
  • Beat in the sugar in small additions (do not over-beat), and gradually add the oil.
  • Once the oil is incorporated, add the vanilla essence and beat the mixture again.
  • Meanwhile, in another bowl, sieve together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon).
  • Add the flour in batches of three to the egg mixture, and beat them on low speed just until all the flour is mixed.
  • Now to the batter, add in the grated carrots and toasted walnuts and fold them in using a rubber spatula.
  • Once done, divide the batter equally between the two springform pans and bake them for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Remove the cakes from the oven, run a knife along the edges of the pan and allow them to cool for 5-10 minutes before removing them from the pan.
  • Once the cakes have cooled down to room temperature, take a serrated knife and cut the cake into two equal (almost) layers.
  • Now, you will have 4 layers of moist crumbly and yummy carrot cake.

 

IMG_20160508_203745
Carrot Cake

 

Cream cheese frosting:

  • 225g cream cheese
  • 1½-2 cups powdered white sugar (to suit your taste)
  • 50g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

Method:

  • Beat the butter and the cream cheese until they are blended.
  • Slowly sift in the powdered sugar, and blend them on low speed.
  • Finally, add the vanilla essence and the lemon zest and beat them all together till they are well-blended.

Assembling the cake:

  • Take one of the four layers of the cake, and spread a liberal amount of cream cheese over it.
  • Top this layer with another one of the layers and continue to repeat the process for all the layers.
  • Top the final layer with the remaining cream cheese and allow it to drip off the sides.

And the cake is ready! I refrigerated the cake overnight for my mom to cut it the next day morning. Being made of oil instead of butter, you need not worry about the cake hardening on being chilled. The crumbly texture remains throughout! 🙂

 

IMG_20160508_214527
Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

 

 

Well, tuck in! 😉

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