I normally reserve carrot cake for Easter time but I'm really not sure why I associate the two. Maybe it's because the Easter bunny likes carrots? Perhaps it's because of it's simple white design with carrot accents. Or maybe it's just because I have a plethora of carrots in the springtime. For whatever reason - I tend to reserve my carrot cake for Springtime. Not anymore though. I'm breaking with my weird seasonal carrot cake tradition and baking carrot cake in the middle of the summer! (I know - living on the edge.)
This recipe came from my Cook's Illustrated magazine. It was intended to be a 4 layer rectangle cake baked in a sheet pan but I worked my culinary magic on this recipe and converted it to a three layer cake.
2 1/4 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tesapoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon cloves
2 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 1/4 cups oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
6 carrots, shredded
1 1/2 cups butter
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup dried buttermilk
3 teaspoons vanilla
18 ounces cream cheese
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon , nutmeg, salt and cloves.
Combine sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla in mixing bowl. Whisk until smooth.
Stir in carrots.
Fold in dry ingredients with a rubber scraper.
Pour into 3 greased cake pans.
Bake 30 minutes at 350.
For frosting, combine butter, sugar, buttermilk, vanilla and salt in mixer.
Add cream cheese, 1 ounce at a time. Beat until creamy.
Spread frosting between the cake layers.
Cover sides and top with a thin coat of icing. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
Spread remaining icing over cake. Tint a small amount green and another small amount orange to make carrot decorations if you like.