2cupsall-purpose flouror the same amount of cake flour
2cupsgranulated white sugar
2teaspoonsground cinnamon*Saigon cinnamon is most fragrant
1teaspoonground ginger optional
1/2teaspoon baking soda
3cupsshredded carrotsvery finely shredded, lightly packed. *the carrots must be peeled and ends cut
1 teaspoonpure vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Frosting
8ouncescream cheeseplain, room temperature
1/2cupunsalted butter1 stick, room temperature
1teaspoonpure vanilla extract
5-6cupsconfectioner's sugarpowdered sugar, sifted
12-14 small carrotsskins peeled
Spray the 2 (9 inch) round cake pans with Canola cooking spray. Place 2 round pieces of parchment paper fitted to the bottom of the cake pans and spray more cooking spray over the parchment. This helps the cake separate from the cake pan after baking completely intact. Set the prepared pans aside.
Make sure the oven rack is in the center of the oven then preheat your oven for 350 degree F.
In a large mixing bowl, stir the flour, 2 cups granulated white sugar, baking powder, ground cinnamon, ground ginger (optional), Kosher salt, and baking soda.
In another large mixing bowl, add the beaten eggs, 3 cups finely shredded carrot, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 3/4 cup Canola oil. Stir the mixture until completely combined.
Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet mixture, stirring in between each addition, until combined. Add an even amount of batter to each prepared baking pan.
Bake the cake layers in the center rack for 30-35 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a knife or wooden toothpick into the center of the cake and it should come out clean. Cool the cake pans on wire racks for 10 minutes, then remove the cake layers from the cake pans and allow to cool completely on the wire racks. Remove and discard the parchment paper. The cake must be completely cooled before applying the frosting.
When the cake is completely cool, if the cake needs to be leveled you can now level the cake with a bread knife. This allows you to stack the layers evenly when assembling. If the layers are pretty flat, it is not necessary to level the cake layers.
To Make the Cream Cheese Frosting
In a stand mixer (or using a hand held electric mixer), in a large mixing bowl, mix the cream cheese, unsalted butter, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract until combined.
Gradually mix in the sifted confectioner's sugar, sprinkling 1/2 cup at a time until the mixture is smooth. Set aside until ready to frost the cake. If you have some time until frosting the cake, you can refrigerate it but make sure it is room temperature before frosting. It usually takes a 1/2 hour to become room temperature after removing from the refrigerator.
To Assemble the Carrot Cake
Add the first layer to the cake spinner or cake stand. Add frosting to the top of the layer and spread it out so that it hangs over the edge. Add the 2nd layer. Add enough frosting so that it hangs over the edge. Add dollops of frosting to the sides and using a bench scraper, cake comb and/or offset spatula spread the frosting on the sides. If you are looking for a more finished look, frost in 2 parts, spread the 1st layer, refrigerate for 30 minutes, then finish with a 2nd layer. Sprinkle the optional chopped pecans and decorate with optional peeled small carrots.
Carrots – The carrots must be washed, ends cut and completely peeled. Carrot skins are bitter and since this is a sweet recipe, we do not want to throw the whole recipe off. I suggest using a box grater to shred the carrots. Usually, I love using a food processor to shred carrots for recipes but in this case, you need a fine shred to keep the cake from easily being crumbly when assembling and frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting – Make sure to use only confectioner’s sugar and not granulated white sugar or any other type of sugar. This ensured that the frosting is smooth and not gritty, crunchy or granular.
Assembling the Cake - This cake can be frosted all at one or for a more finished look, you can apply the frosting in 2 stages and make sure the frosting is at room temperature before applying any frosting. Make sure to refrigerate (at least 1/2 hour) the cake after the first layer of frosting is applied, so that it can set up and then apply the rest of the frosting. Refrigerate the cake when you are done applying all the frosting for at least a 1/2 hour so that you get perfect slices when cutting the cake. If you can, use an airtight cake carrier so the frosting does not dry out in the refrigerator.
Baking Soda and Baking Powder – make sure you have fresh baking soda and baking powder in this recipes to ensure perfectly risen cake layers.