Now, I have to make it at least once a month and, that is totally okay with me!
It is a fairly simple recipe and most ingredients you should already have on hand. No carrot cake, in my estimation anyway, is done the right way if it doesn't include a rich and dreamy cream cheese frosting so, I will share the absolute best one for this cake too!
For the Carrot Layer Cake:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup raisins allowed to soak in a bowl of warm water, then drained once softened
1 pound (about 5 medium carrots), peeled and grated (I use my food processor, see photo below)
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 9-inch cake pans, then line with parchment paper.
Whisk the first 7 ingredients together in a medium bowl.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugars together by hand until the sugars are mostly dissolved and the mixture is frothy. Continue to whisk, while slowly drizzling in the oil, until thoroughly combined and emulsified. Whisk in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Stir in the raisins and the carrots.
Give the batter a final stir with a rubber spatula to make sure it is thoroughly combined. Scrape the batter evenly into the prepared pans, smooth the tops, and gently tap the pans on the counter to settle the batter. Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, about 25-30 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking.
Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Run a small knife around the edge of the cakes, then flip them out onto a wire rack. Peel off the parchment paper, flip the cakes right side up, and let cool completely, about 2 hours.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into ubes and softened
1/8 cup (2 tablespoons) sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
Beat the cream cheese, butter, sour cream, vanilla and salt together in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth, 2-4 minutes.
Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low, slowly add the powdered sugar, and beat until smooth, 4-6 minutes. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, 4-6 minutes.
To frost the cake, cover the edges of your cake plate with strips of parchment paper to help keep it clean. Slide the paper out once the frosting job is done.
Place one cake on the plate, making sure it is level. Dollop a portion of frosting in the center of the cake. Spread into an even layer right to the edges. Lay the second layer on top. Dollop more frosting in the center and spread slightly over the edge.
Gather a few tablespoons of frosting on the tip of the spatula, then gently smear it onto the side of the cake. Use gently motions and don't press too hard or you will wind up with crumbs in your frosting. Clean off the spatula as needed and follow the same instructions all around the cake. Gently run the edge of the spatula around the sides to smooth any bumps and to tidy the area where the frosting from the top and sides merge. Gently slide out the parchment paper from under the cake and stand back and admire your beautifully decorated cake.
So pretty and seriously delicious enough to make a cake lover out of Mr. B!
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