Thursday, August 06, 2015

Carrot cake from The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook

I made this for my friend, Kathleen's, birthday. It makes a delicious, 2 layer cake. There's a good bit of prep involved in this cake, but if you plan for it, you can do it ahead. I made the cake a day early and kept it refrigerated. It kept beautifully, but let it come back to room temp before serving.

Preheat oven to 325

Cake
2 cups AP flour (I use White Lily)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp dry ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt

1 cup vegetable oil (i like canola)
1 3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs at room temp
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

2 cups lightly packed grated carrots
1-8 oz can crushed pineapple in its own juice, with juice 
1 cup chopped toasted pecans + 1 cup more for garnish (garnish is optional)
3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Prep
-Toast and chop pecans-place on a baking sheet in a 350 oven for 15 minutes. Then chop. I use my food processor and chop them fairly fine. That way your cake will slice nicely. If you want more texture, chop more coursely.

-Grate carrots

-Sift dry ingredients

Grease and flour or spray with Baker's Secret 2-9 x2 round cake pans and line bottoms with wax or parchment paper.

In a large bowl, on medium speed beat together the oil and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until thick and light, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat well. Gradually add dry ingredients, beating until well incorporated. Stir in carrots, pineapple with its juice, pecans, and coconut. Divide the batter between the pans and bake 40-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans on rack for 1 hour. Remove from pans and let cool on rack.

When cool, ice with cream cheese frosting and garnish with pecans. Refrigerate, but allow to come up to room temp before serving.

Cream cheese icing
Have all ingredients at room temp
6 tbl butter
2-8 oz packages cream cheese
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
5 cups confectioners sugar

Beat butter and cream cheese on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla, beating well. Add the sugar 1 cup at a time beating continuously until smooth and creamy. Cover and refrigerate if not using immediately. If you leave it in the fridge more than an hour or 2 you may need to beat it again.

Garnish
if desired, with 1 cup chopped toasted pecans. Hold the iced cake in 1 hand over a large shallow pan and press handfuls of the nuts onto the side of the cake, rotating the cake and letting excess pecans fall onto the pan. You can then scoop up and reuse the excess pecans.

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