Sunday, August 24, 2014

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Bake using  Watkins Products

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This is my favorite Carrot Cake recipe. The cake is yummy and moist and the nuts add crunch to every bite. The cream cheese frosting is the perfect compliment to the cinnamon-spiced cake.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

1 cup (100 grams) pecans or walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
3/4 pound (340 grams) raw carrots (about 2 1/2 cups finely grated)
1/2 cup of crushed pineapple, well drained
2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons Watkins Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Watkins Gourmet Cinnamon
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated white sugar
1 cup (240 ml) canola oil
2 teaspoons Watkins Original Double Strength Vanilla Extract

This cake can be baked in a 9 x 13 x 2 inch (23 x 23 x 5 cm) pan. Just increase the baking time to 30-40 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter or spray two 9 x 2 inch (23 x 5 cm) round or square cake pans and dust with flour or line the bottoms of the pans with a circle of parchment paper.

Toast pecans or walnuts for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and then chop coarsely.

Peel and finely grate the carrots. Set aside.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon. Set aside.

In bowl of electric mixer (or with hand mixer), beat the eggs until frothy (about 1 minute). Gradually add the sugar and beat until the batter is thick and light colored (about 3-4 minutes). Slowly add the oil and beat in the vanilla extract.

Add the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated. With a large rubber spatula fold in the grated carrots, pineapple, and chopped nuts. Evenly divide the batter between the two prepared pans and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. After about 10 minutes invert the cakes onto the wire rack, remove the pans and parchment paper, and then cool completely before frosting.

To assemble, place one cake layer, top side down, onto your serving plate. Spread with about one third of the frosting. Gently place the other cake, top of cake facing up, onto the frosting, and spread the rest of the frosting over the top and sides of the cake.

If desired, press toasted and finely chopped nuts on the sides or the top of the cake. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers. Serves 10-12.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 cup (57 grams) butter, room temperature
8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 – 2 tablespoons milk or cream
1 teaspoon (4 grams) Watkins Original Double Strength Vanilla Extract or Watkins Pure Vanilla Extract

In a mixing bowl beat the cream cheese and butter, on low speed, until very smooth with no lumps. Gradually add the sifted powdered sugar and beat, on low speed, until fully incorporated and smooth. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk as needed for spreading consistency. Beat in the vanilla extract. Frosting should be very thick. If you are making a round or square layer cake and like lots of frosting, add another 8 ounces of cream cheese.