Monday, April 25, 2011

Carrot Cake

So I probably should have posted this BEFORE Easter, but hey, a carrot cake this good should be made more than once a year!  In fact, if you are a carrot cake fan, like I am, YOU MUST TRY THIS CAKE!!!  Did you hear that, I'm not kidding, please you have no clue what you are missing... TRY THIS CAKE SOON!

I LOVE carrot cake.  But you will almost never see me order it, because I'm almost ALWAYS disappointed in the outcome.  Even I have screwed up a carrot cake or two.  Oh I'll never forget the notorious two tiered carrot cake disaster that still gives me nightmares!  I'll never live that one down.  I swore I would never make another carrot cake again.  Oh but that's a story for another day, this as a happy story, this is a story about the last carrot cake recipe you will ever need.  This is the cake that your family will beg you to make.  And know, I pass it on to you!

PS... Do not, I repeat, DO NOT skip the GLAZE.  It is the MOST important part of this cake.  You may think it will be fine without it.  But you will be wrong.  And come on, do want a cake that is just "fine" or do you want a cake that is absolutely divine?  Enjoy!

Carrot Cake w/ Buttermilk Glaze & Cinnamon-Cream Cheese Frosting

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
1 ½ cup sugar
3 large eggs
¾ cup buttermilk
¾ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups coarsely grated carrots
1 ½ cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 8-oz can crushed pineapple in juice
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan with vegetable oil; dust w/ flour. Whisk first 4 ingredients into a medium bowl. Set aside. Beat sugar, eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla in large bowl until smooth. Beat in dry ingredients. Fold in carrots, pineapple w/ juice, and pecans. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake cake for 30 minutes. Tent loosely with foil. Continue to bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 10 - 15 minutes longer. Remove from oven. Using bamboo skewer (or whatever), poke deep holes all over cake.

1 cup sugar
 ½ cup buttermilk
½ cup unsalted butter
1 Tbs light corn syrup
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

Bring all ingredients but vanilla to boil in large saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil until glaze is a deep amber color, whisking often, 4-5 minutes. Mixture will froth up and double in size before returning back to syrup like state. Remove from heat; add vanilla.
Spoon hot glaze evenly over warm cake. Cool cake completely in pan.

*Note: When boiling the glaze watch it carefully! It will boil over if you walk away and it will make a mess all over your stove! It’s not easy to clean, I learned this the hard way!

1½ 8-oz packages cream cheese
½ cup unsalted butter, room temp.
1 1-lb box powdered sugar
2 Tbs brown sugar
1 ½ tsp vanilla
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon; beat until well blended. Spread frosting over cooled cake in pan. Cake can be made one day in advance, just cover and chill.

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