Monday, May 13, 2013

Carrot cake

Recently I was very much into baking cakes, actually from scratch. I used to bake cakes for my husband's birthday or if we have guests coming. But I usually use cake mixes and ready-made frosting. It was easy but not much fun. So I wanted to make at least one cake from scratch. My husband was the one who really motivated me in doing so. We got a perfect opportunity when we were visiting our friends for Christmas and one of our friend's daughter has her birthday on the same day. We decided to make a simple cake and frosting to start with and browsed a lot of  videos. I did so much browsing that my daughter at one stage wanted to watch the 'cake making' videos instead of cartoons...Even she too was so much geared up for making a cake. We finally rounded up on red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. We decided on combining two recipes, which was a grave mistake, and unfortunately it turned out to be a pinkish cake with dripping cream cheese frosting. But we somehow managed to make it up with some ready made frosting I had in my pantry and took it to the get together. Our friends were kind enough to say that the cake looked and tasted great. We promised ourselves the next time we should make a perfect  cake with a proper recipe and we tried carrot cake. Trust me...It was perfect. Even with intrusions from my kid, I managed to make it perfect. As they say there's nothing to go wrong in a carrot cake.

Things you'll need:
All purpose flour - 1 cup
Baking soda - 3/4 tsp
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Ground cinnamon - 1/2 tsp
Ground nutmeg - a pinch
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Raw carrots - 1 cup, grated
Eggs - 2
Sugar - 1 cup
Vanilla - 1/2 tsp
Canola or Vegetable oil - 1/2 cup
Applesauce - 4 oz

For cream cheese frosting:
Confectioner's Sugar -  3 cups
Cream cheese - 8 oz, softened
Butter - 1/2 cup, softened
Vanilla - 1 tsp

Yield - 15 Servings


Step 1 :
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and dust a 9 inch cake pan. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Take 2 tbsp of flour mixture and coat the carrots in the flour mixture.

Step 2 :
With an electric mixer or hand mixer, beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla, oil, and applesauce, in medium speed until thoroughly mixed. Add the flour mixture in small batches and mix together. When the dry and wet ingredients are mixed without lumps, combine the carrots with the mixture.

Step 3 :
Pour into the greased cake pan and bake for 45 mins to one hour or till a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool down in the pan for 15 mins and then transfer to a wire rack and allow it to completely cool down.

Step 4 :
Prepare frosting by mixing the butter, vanilla  and cream cheese with an electric or hand mixer at medium speed, and adding the sugar in batches.

Step 5:
Frost the cake according to your imagination and serve in slices.

You can double the cake ingredients for a 13x9 pan or two 9 inch pans.
You can also use crushed pineapple instead of applesauce or omit them both. Adding the fruits results in a moist cake.
You can add food colors to the frosting and draw some designs on the cake.
You could add some finely chopped nuts for a rich taste. Add them along with carrots to the flour mixture.