Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tuesdays With Dorie #9

This week, carrot cake was chosen for Tuesdays with Dorie. I am happy, but my husband is thrilled! Carrot cake is his absolute favorite. I made cupcakes because they're much easier to transport and eat. I got 22 cupcakes out of this batter. I piped carrots on these because I alwas pipe carrots on a carrot cake. It was super hot in my kitchen, so I added another 1/2 cup of powdered sugar to my icing, but it was still a bit wet. The craisins and coconut were truly delicious in this cake, and I might agree with Dorie, this is the best carrot cake ever!

Bill's Big Carrot CakeBaking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Yields 10 servings
For the cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon salt
3 cups grated carrots (about 9 carrots, you can grate them in food processor fitted w/ a shredding a blade or use a box grater)
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
½ cup moist, plump raisins (dark or golden) or dried cranberries
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 large eggs

For the frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick ( 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 pound or 3 and ¾ cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or ½ teaspoon pure lemon extract
½ cup shredded coconut (optional)
Finely chopped toasted nuts and/or toasted shredded coconut (optional)

Getting ready:Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter three 9-x-2-inch round cake pans, flour the insides, and tap out the excess. Put the two pans on one baking sheet and one on another.
To make the cake:Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, stir together the carrots, chopped nuts, coconut, and raisins. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the sugar and oil together on a medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs one by one and continue to beat until the batter is even smoother. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing only until the dry ingredients disappear. Gently mix the chunky ingredients. Divide the batter among the baking pans.
Bake for 40-50 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point, until a thin knife inserted into the centers comes out clean. The cakes will have just started to come away from the sides of the pans. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes and unmold them. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.The cakes can be wrapped airtight and kept at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.
To make the frosting: Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the frosting is velvety smooth. Beat in the lemon juice or extract. If you'd like coconut in the filling, scoop about half of the frosting and stir the coconut into this position.
To assemble the cake:Put one layer top side up on a cardboard cake round or a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper. If you added the coconut to the frosting, use half of the coconut frosting to generously cover the first layer (or generously cover with plain frosting). Use an offset spatula or a spoon to smooth the frosting all the way to the edges of the layer. Top with the second layer, this time placing the cake stop side down, and frost with the remainder of the coconut frosting or plain frosting. Top with the last layer, right side up, and frost the top- and the sides- of the cake. Finish the top with swirls of frosting. If you want to top the cake with toasted nuts or coconut, sprinkle them on now while the frosting is soft.
Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes, just to set the frosting before serving.
Serving: This cake can be served as soon as the frosting is set. It can also wait, at room temperature and covered with a cake keeper overnight. The cake is best served in thick slices at room temperature and while it's good plain, it's even better with vanilla ice cream or some lemon curd. Storing:The cake will keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. It can also be frozen. Freeze it uncovered, then when it's firm, wrap airtight and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost, still wrapped, overnight in the refrigerator.


Mary Ann said...

I am with you on this being a great carrot cake! Cute carrots on your cupcakes- great job!

Marie said...

Cute carrots decorating your cupcakes! I made the larger version but I have to make cupcakes for the young women on Thursday night and may make this again as cupcakes for them!

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

Your cupcakes are so cute --- luv um!

Rebecca said...

What is it with men and carrot cake? My father and BIL called dibs on mine before they were made. Adorable cupcakes!

CRS said...

Very cute!

LyB said...

Your cupcakes are the cutest ever, lovely job on the carrots! :)

Anonymous said...

I love that you made cupcakes! What a great idea! :)

Chris said...

Your cupcakes are precious!

Annemarie said...

Your cupcakes are darling!

PheMom said...

Such cute cupcakes!

Liv said...

you know carrot cake is my favorite!! and they look adorable too!

Erin said...

Your cupcakes look so cute! I love the carrot decoration on top!

April said...

Very cute cupcakes!

Jayne said...

So cute! I love the piped carrots. Great job!

amanda. said...

Carrot cake is my hubby's favorite too.

You did a wonderful job. The cupcakes are beautiful!

Emily said...

Those are so cute!! I want to improve on my decorating skills!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

nice cupcakes!! i love the little carrots on top!

Jennifer said...

Very cute cupcakes! Nice job with the carrots on top.

Gretchen Noelle said...

Very cute cupcakes and decoration!

mimi said...

love those carrots iced up on top! they are so whimsical looking.

Donna said...

Very cute! Gotta make your hubby happy!

Natalie said...

So great! I had every intention of piping carrots on top of mine, but then the first one didn't work and I had to bake it again and ran out of time and argh!!! Your cupcakes look fantastic, good job!