There is always so much debate over carrot cake…raisins, nuts, coconut, pineapple? Truth is, we all know that the cream cheese frosting is where it’s at!
- 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
- 3 Tbsp rum (optional, for some)
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 lb carrots, peeled and finely grated
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 16 oz. cream cheese
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4 1/2 to 5 cups icing sugar
Candied Carrot Medallions
- 2 carrots, peeled and very thinly sliced with a mandolin
- 2 Tbsp sugar, plus more
- 1/4 cup water
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line and grease two 9-inch round cake pans.
In a small saucepan, combine the rum and raisins. Bring to a simmer turn off heat allowing for the raisins to plump up. 15 minutes.
Toast the walnuts for 5-7 minutes on a baking sheet and allow to cool.
Combine the carrots and the butter milk in a bowl
Whisk together the flour, spices, leavening ingredients and salt in a separate bowl.
Beat the oil, sugars, vanilla and eggs together until they are light and pale. 4 minutes.
Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the wet ingredients in 3 additions. Fold in the raisins and walnuts and divide the batter across both pans.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their pans for 10 minutes and invert onto a wire rack and cool completely.
For the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter until very light and fluffy. About 1 minute. Add the vanilla and salt and beat for another minute. Add 3 1/2 cups of icing sugar and beat in gently until combined. Increase speed and continue to beat for 2 minutes. Add another 1/2 cup of icing sugar if needed.
Place on of the cooled cakes on a cake plate and top with 3/4 cup frosting. Top with the second cake and begin frosting the top and sides of the cake. Chill for at least 30 minutes before cutting to allow for the frosting to set.
For the medallions, combine the water and sugar in skillet over medium heat. Place the carrots in a single layer into the skillet. Once the liquid is mostly absorbed and the sugar becomes a thick syrup, add a few more tablespoons of sugar tossing to coat. Place the coins onto a parchment lined tray separating them so they do not overlap.
Sprinkle more sugar onto the medallions right before decorating the cake.