This weekend I had the pleasure of making a baby shower cake for my long-time friend Tisa. She is having her first baby and some of our high school friends were able to gather and celebrate this new beginning. Before the shower, I asked her what type of cake she wanted and her request was for Carrot Cake with the works. This recipe has excellent spiced flavors, paired with a moist crumb, sweet pineapple, golden raisins and crunchy walnuts.
Since I was going all out on this Carrot Cake, I spared no ingredients. This cake contains oil for moistness and butter for flavor and light texture. It also contains a combination of white and brown sugar for sweetness, moistness and warm flavor. (Don’t worry though, this cake is not excessively sweet.) I also made sure there was a pronounced spice presence of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. I like this spice combination because they are all warm, rounded flavors that contribute without being offensive.
This cake contains a fair amount of baking soda which interacts with the acidity of the pineapple, carrots and brown sugar. For this reason I added only a small amount of baking powder to the batter in order to prevent overleaving. The resulting cake had a light texture in spite of the weighty ingredients.
This cake can be easily adapted to your palate. If you are not a fan of pineapple in your carrot cake simply substitute another cup of shredded carrots for the pineapple. If you are not a fan of nuts or raisins, leave them out. You could also add 1/2 cup of shredded sweetened coconut to the batter if you so choose.
I frosted this cake with a mild Cream Cheese Swiss Meringue Buttercream that is not too sweet and compliments the flavors of the cake gorgeously.
I hope you enjoy this delicious rendition of the beloved Carrot Cake!
- 4 ounces (115 grams) unsalted butter, softened -1/2 cup
- 7 ounces (200 grams) vegetable oil- 1 cup
- 7 ounces (200 grams) granulated sugar- 1 cup
- 8 ounces (230 grams) light brown sugar- 1 cup packed
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) vanilla extract
- 11 ¼ ounces (320 grams) All-purpose/plain flour- 2 ¼ cups
- 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) baking powder
- 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) baking soda
- ½ teaspoon (3 milliliters) salt
- 2 ¼ teaspoons (11 milliliters) cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon (3 milliliters) freshly ground nutmeg
- 2 cups (480 milliliters) packed finely shredded carrots
- 1 cup (240 milliliters) crushed pineapple, well drained (or an additional cup of carrots)
- 4 ½ ounces coarsely chopped walnuts- 1 cup (optional)
- ½ cup (120 milliliters) golden raisins (optional)
- 8 ounces (227 grams) egg whites from whole eggs or a carton
- 16 ounces (454 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 ounces (57 grams/3 tablespoons) corn syrup
- 16 ounces (454 grams) unsalted butter softened but not warm
- 4 ounces (113 grams) cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C). Spray three 8-inch round cake pans with Baker’s Joy or grease and flour.
- Beat butter, oil and sugars for 2 minutes on medium-high speed of mixer. Add eggs one at a time and beat until well combined. Stir in vanilla.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and spices; add to mixer. Turn mixer on low and mix to moisten dry ingredients. Increase speed to medium and mix for about 1 minute until well blended.
- Add carrots, pineapple, walnuts and raisins to the batter and stir until well mixed.
- Pour into prepared pans and bake for about 25-30 minutes until the cake tests clean with a toothpick. Cool 10 minutes in pan and then turn out to a cooling rack. Cool completely if using immediately, or wrap in two layers of plastic wrap if using later. Frost the cooled cake with your choice of buttercream. Enjoy!
- Whisk egg whites and sugar together in a microwave-safe bowl followed by the corn syrup. Make sure the mixture is well mixed so the sugar can protect the eggs from cooking. Heat the mixture in the microwave for 2-4 minutes on high in 30 second intervals whisking well after each 30 second heating. Heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture reaches 160 f/75 C. Pour the syrup into a cake pan or shallow metal bowl (straining the mixture if any lumps are present) and chill in the freezer for 15-20 minutes until it is cool.
- Meanwhile, beat the butter in a mixer bowl with the flat paddle attachment on high for about 2 minutes until creamy and lightened. Add the cream cheese and beat on medium-high for 1 minute until well combined.
- Reduce speed to medium-low and gradually add the cooled sugar syrup to the butter. Scrape down the sides of the mixer bowl and beat on medium-high for 2 minutes.
- Reduce speed to low and slowly add vanilla extract. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 1 minute until light and creamy.