Have I told you how much I love buttercream?
This cake was supposed to be easy peasy. Let me tell you, I was in labor with my baby way less time than I had to spend on this cake! It looks simple and it should have been but it wasn’t. Here is a carrot cake (which I will give you the recipe for below) with cream cheese frosting. This cake was supposed to just have frosting, not fondant… that’s where the disaster came in.
I love eating buttercream but…
I’ve never particularly loved doing buttercream cakes, although it technically should be easier. YouTube videos have played such a big role in my decorating that it’s crazy and I’ve tried every technique you can throw at me. Mine still come out looking like a 5-year-old decorated them but by God’s grace alone I am getting better. Not for this cake though. However, in the end, it turned out lovely.
Let’s just forget that I:
- put the buttercream on 3 times total,
- scraped it off twice,
- made chocolate ganache that didn’t turn out
- and finally said “Foot on it” and made fondant at 2 in the morning.
This was for my sister-in-law’s mother for her birthday. 4-dozen cupcakes in various flavors were made to go along. Look below for a delicious carrot cake recipe that I adapted from another baker at Gimme Some Oven. I loovvveee this website, she has so many yummy recipes.
First of all, I needed one that didn’t include pineapple and coconut, as I believe a carrot cake should be just that – a carrot cake.
Furthermore, it had to be a carrot cake that didn’t have a lot of extra spices in it… Carrot cake may be a spice cake of sorts but I didn’t want it to have cloves and all that nonsense covering up the beautiful cinnamon notes that should ring out right beside the carrot. This one is awesome because it has just the right amount of cinnamon and a little nutmeg besides.
Here is the recipe as I made it. I needed something that was moist but, most of all, wouldn’t fall apart when I tried to stack it – this one was perfect! I’ve included my stand-by frosting recipe, not the one I used on this cake, for obvious reasons. Nobody wants to frost a cake 3 times.
- 1 1/2 cups plus 2 Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 7 eggs
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- 3 1/4 cups flour
- 2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 lb. finely-grated fresh carrots
- (optional: 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts and/or 1/2 cup raisins)
- 1 8-oz box of cream cheese
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar (use more for thicker frosting)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Or alternately, you can use two 9-inch round baking pans.
- Spread nuts on a large baking sheet and put in the oven for about 5 minutes. You should be able to smell a toasty smell when they are done.
- In the bowl of a large stand mixer, mix together oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until combined and smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla, and mix until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and nutmeg) until combined. Add the dry ingredient mixture to the mixing bowl, and beat on medium-speed until just combined, scraping down the pan at least once to be sure that everything is well mixed. Then fold in the grated carrots by hand, and stir until combined. If you would like to add nuts and/or raisins, stir them in at this time as well.
- Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans. Then bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Remove pans and let them cool on a wire rack until the cakes reach room temperature. Remove them and use a large knife or a cake leveler to level off the domed tops of the cakes so that they are level and even.
- Layer the cakes with the cream cheese frosting, and then frost the outside of the cake as you desire. Serve that day or store, covered, for up to 4 days.