Feb 8, 2011

Carrot Cake with Walnut Cream Cheese Frosting.

My friend Dora, who brings me pretty Huichol jewellery from her home country, Mexico, hosted a party at her place. The party also multi-tasked as a baby shower for our friend Elisa. Seeing as there would be enough alcohol for the non pregnant men and women, I figured Elisa's yet to be born baby should have some veggies, even if in cake, so I baked a carrot cake. The base recipe and instructions are from Smitten Kitchen. I have baked this cake a few times, but always found it far too moist and oily, especially since it gets so much moisture from the carrots. Your fingers get stained with oil if you touch the cake, kind of oily. The recipe I am sharing below is the one I used for this cake; I used less oil and sugar and substituted half of the oil with buttermilk. It turned out perfect, still moist and tasty with more sponge to the texture. This cake tastes better if you eat it after one day.  The cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger flavours really come into play making it worth the wait.  
Some people say that carrot cakes are eaten mainly for the frosting. I disagree and was loathe to put frosting on this one, since it tasted so good by itself. But the cake was going for a party and needed some make up on, so I topped it with a cream cheese and walnut frosting.


2 cups/ 250 grams all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger ( I often use fresh chopped ginger!)
2 cups/ 250 grams sugar
1 1/4th cup/ 250 ml (1 1/4 cups) canola oil
4 large eggs
3 cups/ 750 grams or 3 cups grated peeled carrots
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup raisins ( optional)

Preheat oven to 175°C.
  1. Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in medium bowl to blend. 
  2. Whisk sugar and oil in a separate large bowl until well blended. Whisk in eggs 1 at a time. Add buttermilk and blend. Add flour mixture and stir until blended. Stir in carrots (and walnuts, if using them). 
  3. Divide batter and pour into two 9-inch-diameter cake pans. Line bottom of pans with waxed paper. Bake the layers for about 40 minutes each, or until a tester inserted into centre comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans 15 minutes. Take cakes out of the pan and let them cool.
See how fast it disappeared!

Walnut Cream Cheese Frosting
100 grams cream cheese, softened
50 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
100 grams confectioners’ sugar
Handful walnut, roasted and chopped.
Few walnut halves for decoration.

In a stand mixer, beat all the ingredients except walnuts until fluffy. Add walnuts and mix with a spatula. Chill the frosting for 10 to 20 minutes, until it has set up enough to spread smoothly. To assemble a carrot layer cake, frost the top of one cake, place the other cake on top. Frost the sides and top, swirling decoratively. Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes to set up frosting. The chopped walnuts give a lovely, nutty crunch to the sponge.

* My cake ( as seen in the picture) is not a layer cake because I chose to  use them as 2 separate cakes instead of layering them.


  1. it looks so wonderful! long live the springform! (:

  2. Mina, it was very nice, or so everyone said. Thank you for introducing me to my new love, the spring-form.