My husband celebrated a milestone birthday last week, and turned the BIG 3-0!!! I had major party plans to throw a wonderful Mustache Bash as inspired by Jen from Beantown Baker but with the recent passing of my husband’s grandfather, we postponed the celebration for a later date. I still wanted to bake up a birthday cake for the birthday guy because birthdays and cakes go hand and hand. Eric isn’t one for crazy and colorful rainbow cakes like me, but he has one favorite that he will always request for his special day. Carrot cake.
My husband loves carrot cake because he thinks it’s “healthy from the colorful carrots and beta carotenes and it helps your eyesight.” (He really said that and told me to quote him on that). Plus, it has a nice balance of nutty and sweet. I have been saving this recipe for a rainy day like this ever since I saw it on Bobby Flay’s Carrot Cake Throwdown. Even though Bobby Flay had lost the challenge, my husband and I had thought this cake was absolutely scrumptious in every way possible. With just one bite, you will savor the gooey marshmallow cream cheese frosting combined with the light and luscious carrot cake. It’s an interesting take combining the marshmallow and cream cheese frosting, utterly oozy and gooey and oh so sweet. Yummy.
Happy 30th Birthday Eric, my dear sweet and adorable husband.
Carrot Cake with Marshmallow Fluff Cream Cheese FrostingAdapted from Bobby Flay
¼ cup melted unsalted butter, cooled, plus more for buttering pan
1 cup pineapple chunks, drained
3 large eggs
½ cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 pound carrots, peeled and grated on the small holes of the grater (about 3 cups, lightly packed)
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups organic cane sugar
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
⅓ cup finely diced crystallized ginger
¾ cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans
Cream Cheese Marshmallow Frosting, recipe follows
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 2 (8-inch) round cake pans and line the bottoms with rounded parchment paper. Butter the parchment well too.
In a food processor, pulse the pineapple until it is finely chopped. In the bowl of the stand mixer, add and beat the eggs for 10 seconds until combined. Combine the oil, ¼ cup melted butter, vanilla, carrots, chopped pineapple and grated fresh ginger and mix until combined.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt until combined. Add the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and beat on low speed just until combined. Remove and fold in the crystallized ginger and pecans. Divide the batter evenly between the 2 cake pans.
Bake for 40 to 55 minutes, or until golden brown. Place a toothpick in the center to make sure it comes out with few crumbs. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then invert them onto a wire rack and let them cool completely. Remove the parchment from the bottoms of each cake. Cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting:3 tablespoons water
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
⅓ cup plus 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped and reserved or vanilla bean paste
2 large egg whites
Pinch cream of tartar
8 ounces cream cheese, slightly softened
1 stick unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 pound organic powdered sugar, sifted twice
2 cups Fluff
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a small saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer, bring the water, corn syrup, 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar and vanilla bean to 246 degrees. Before adding the syrup to the egg whites below, carefully remove the vanilla bean. (Or add in the vanilla bean paste).
While the sugar warms up, whip the egg whites in the bowl of the stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Add the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar until creamy and foamy, about 2 minutes. Still whisking, sprinkle in the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and continue to whisk until the whites hold very soft peaks, about 2 minutes. While mixing on slow speed, carefully drizzle in the hot syrup. Turn the mixer to high and whisk until thick, fluffy and just warm, about 7 minutes. Turn the mixer to low and whisk in the reserved vanilla seeds. Scrape the fluff into a bowl. Wash the bowl and whisk and return them to the machine.
Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of the mixer and mix until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and mix on low until combined. Increase the speed and whip until light and fluffy. Add about 2 cups of Fluff and the vanilla and whip until combined. Refrigerate for 30 minutes until ready to frost the cake.
When ready to frost the cake, slice the top layers of the cake so they are even. Place one layer on your cake plate. Add a big dollop of frosting, and spread evenly. Add the top layer and evenly distribute the rest of the frosting on the top and on the sides of the cake.
Decorate with candied marzipan carrots, or sprinkles.
Review: Best carrot cake. NFC.