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Carrot Cake

How to prepare

Difficulty Level:                       

Yield: 9" Layer Cake/ 12-14 Servings

Ingredients:

Cake: Buttermilk Glaze & Frosting:
2 tbsp. Unsalted Butter, plus more for the pan
2 cups All-Purpose Flour, plus more for the pan
2 tsp. Baking Soda
2 tsp. Cinnamon, ground
1/2 tsp. Salt
4 Large Eggs
2 cups Sugar
3/4 cup Vegetable Oil
3/4 cup Buttermilk
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/3 cup Crushed Pineapple, drained
2 cups Carrots, peeled & coarsely grated
1-1/3 cups Sweetened Coconut, shredded
2 cups Walnuts, finely chopped
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Buttermilk
1 stick Unsalted Butter
1 tbsp. Light Corn Syrup
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tbsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
3 sticks Unsalted Butter, room temperature
12 oz. Cream Cheese, room temperature
3 cups Confectioners Sugar
1-1/2 tsp. Orange Zest, grated
1-1/2 tsp. Fresh Orange Juice
1-1/2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

 

Prepare the Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and generously butter two 9" round cake pans (approx. 1-1/2" deep).
  2. Dust each cake pan with about 1 tbsp. flour.
  3. In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until blended.
  5. Add the sugar, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla and mix well.
  6. Add the pineapple, carrots, coconut, and 1 cup of walnuts and mix well.
  7. Add the flour mixture and fold it into the batter with a rubber spatula.
  8. Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans.
  9. Bake on the center rack of the oven for about 40 minutes or until the sides of the cakes pull away from the sides of the pans. The cake is done when you insert a toothpick in the center of the cake and it comes out clean. 

Buttermilk Glaze:

  1. In a small saucepan, mix together the sugar, buttermilk, butter, corn syrup, and baking soda until well blended.
  2. Set the pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring until heated through and the sugar dissolves.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the vanilla. Set aside and cover to keep warm. 

Preparing Cake Layers:

  1. Remove the cakes from the oven and put them (still in the pans) on wire racks sitting on top of baking sheets.
  2. Using a toothpick, poke about 20 holes in the top crust of each cake layer. Do not go any further than halfway through the cakes.
  3. Whisk the glaze and pour it evenly over the cake layers. Let the cakes cool completely and then cover them (still in the pans) with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 8 hours, until thoroughly chilled. 
Cake Frosting: 
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and set on medium speed, beat the butter and cream cheese for about 2 minutes or until fluffy.
  2. Add the confectioners sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and vanilla. Mix slowly so the sugar doesn't fly out of the bowl.
  3. Gradually increase the speed and beat for about 1 minute or until the frosting is smooth.

Assemble the Cake:

  1. Remove the cake layers from the refrigerator and invert them on a work surface. You might need to run a kitchen knife around the edges to loosen the layers.
  2. Put the first layer on a platter, glazed side down. Put about 1-1/2 cups of frosting (approx. one third of the frosting) on the center of the cake layer. Using a spatula, spread it evenly over the cake. There should be a layer of frosting about 1/2" thick. If the frosting is soft, return the cake to the refrigerator to stiffen it up.
  3. Put the other layer on top of the cake, glazed side down, and frost the top of the cake with about 1-1/2 cups of frosting (approx. one third of the frosting).
  4. With the remainder of the frosting, cover the sides of the cakes with a thin layer.
  5. With the tip of the spatula, press lightly into the top layer of frosting and pull it up to form little spikes. Repeat over the entire top of the cake.
  6. Lightly sprinkle the top of the cake with about 3 tbsp. chopped walnuts.
  7. Press the rest of the walnuts onto the sides of the cake. Make this a thicker layer than the nuts on top of the cake.
  8. Serve at room temperature. 
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