Carrot Cake with Fresh Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
(from kylerhea’s recipe box)
Source: The Sweet Melissa Baking Book
- FOR THE CAKE:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 Tbs ground cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 4 large eggs
- 3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 pound carrots, grated medium fine
- 3/4 cup walnut pieces, coarsely chopped
- FOR THE FRESH ORANGE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
- 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
BEFORE YOU START:
Position a rack in the center of your oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour two 8 × 2-inch round cake pans. Line each pan with an 8-inch round of parchment paper.
TO MAKE THE CAKE:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powder.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat the eggs at high speed until light and frothy, about 1 minute. Decrease the speed to medium and add the oil, sugar, and salt, and mix until just combined. Decrease the speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing until just combined.
Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the carrots and walnuts.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. Spin the pans to level the batter. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove to a rack to cool for 20 minutes before turning the layers out onto the rack. Cool completely before filling or frosting.
The baked layers may be stored tightly wrapped at room temperature for 2 days. For longer storage, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refreigerate for up to 5 days, or freeze wrapped in plastic wrap and them aluminum foil for up to 2 weeks. Do not unwrap before thawing.
TO MAKE THE FROSTING:
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachmnet, combine the cream cheese, sugar, and zest. Start on low speed and then increase to medium-high speed and bet until smooth, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the butter and mix on medium speed until just fluffy and smooth, about 45 seconds more. Add the vanilla and mix until just combined. Do not overbeat.
TO COMPLETE THE CAKE:
Use the fresh orange cream cheese frosting as both a filling and frosting.
The cake keeps in a cake saver in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. It tastes great eaten at room temperature or chilled.