Despite, the hectic-ness of our crazy life, I did manage to throw together a birthday party for my wonderful husband with the help of our dearest friends, thanks again Adrian and Monica. And I baked up a beautiful carrot cake for all of us to enjoy, too. Eric's ultimate favorite cake is carrot cake, and I have made a few different variations for him in the past couple of years (tropical carrot cake, carrot cake with marshmallow fluff). I had my eyes set on this cake the moment that I got this fantastic cookbook from Joy the Baker. I was lucky enough to meet up with Joy during her book tour and get her awesome autograph, too. I had already met her from a previous encounter back in November at the Foodbuzz Fest.
Birthday boy was happily delighted with this gorgeous carrot cake. He was so lucky that he got two birthday cakes, and I'll share the other sweet treat next week. This gorgeous cake is utterly scrumptious and very moist, and the perfect cake to enjoy for any birthday celebration or for the upcoming Easter holiday.
Adapted from Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple & Comforting Recipes
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1 cup sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries (optional)
1/4 cup chopped & toasted walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10- or 12-cup Bundt pan or two 9-inch cake pans and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
In the bowl of the stand mixer, cream together the eggs, yolk, and sugars. Mix until combined and add the oil. Add the crushed pineapple and vanilla, and mix until combined.
Add the pineapple mixture, all at once, to the flour mixture. Fold together with a spatula. When almost incorporated, fold in the carrots, coconut, and (if desired) raisins or cranberries and walnuts. Fold until evenly blended. Pour cake batter into prepared bundt pan and bake for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Let cake cool in pan for 15 minutes before inverting on a wire rack to cool completely. Frost with cream cheese frosting. If baking with cake pans, bake for 35 to 45 minutes.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 bar cream cheese, 8 ounces, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
pinch of salt
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In the bowl of the stand mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed. With the mixer on low, add the salt and powdered sugar followed by the vanilla extract. Beat until almost incorporated and the mixture is velvety soft.
Use immediately by spreading on cake. Garnish with extra walnuts and freshly grated carrots.
Review: Sinful and one of my favorite carrot cakes yet. Buy your copy of Joy the Baker cookbook ASAP because it's filled with lots of eye-catching desserts and plenty of droolworthy recipes. You might be able to meet Joy on her book tour if you can. Meet her because she's pretty freaking awesome, too.