Things ample in wonderfulness: 1. jcrew. That store is so super-de-dupery-de awesome; I think it may be my sister and my mothership. 2. Gilmore Girls. I’m obsessed. My first daughter’s name (because I must have a daughter) will be Lorelei. 3. Early morning walks with my mom. 4. This carrot cake….
Want to know something interesting from someone who considers herself a baker? I’m not a huge cake person. It seems like so many cakes are dried out and not all that interesting in the flavor department. I have been lucky enough to find some exceptions though, with this carrot cake definitely being one of them. Truth be told, I have always loved carrot cake. My mom makes a wonderful carrot cake, but you do NOT go to my mother for recipes. The woman makes up her own recipes all the time without any idea of what she did. This makes it quite challenging to repeat. I’m a measurements kinda gal, so as much as I love my mom, I use other resources for my recipes.
This recipe came from the lovely, no seriously these cakes are gorgeous, book Organic and Chic by Sarah Magid. This cake is ridiculous. Modesty will fly out the window if you make this cake for friends. You along with everyone else who eats this cake will be “mmmmm”-ing and “yummmm nummmy”-ing their little hearts out (reference: Have you seen that Campbell’s commercial where the dude is eating a soup at his desk at work and another guy comes around asking for names to put on the name tags, and then the guy ends up with a name tag of yum nummy because of the soup? Its funny; my sister and I like to quote it).
The cake is super moist but not too, too dense. It is full of flavor. I chose to add ginger to the Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting per the author’s request, and it was a great idea. If you have a food processor, this recipe comes together very easily. Also, don’t be put off by all the organic ingredients; most of the stuff I used was organic (except powdered sugar, that stuff gets super clumpy), but feel free to use what you have. It’ll taste just as great. So go friends! Make this cake!
Both cake and frosting recipes from Organic and Chic by Sarah Magid
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut out parchment paper to fit the bottoms of your 2 8-inch pans. Flour and butter the pans and parchment paper. Set aside.
Soften the dried coconut in a cup of warm water for 15 minutes.
Place the carrots in the food processor and pulse on and off for 1 minute. Add pineapple and pulse until the carrots pieces are very small and the pineapple is pureed.
In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Add the brown sugar and use a whisk to break up any lumps.
Drain the coconut and place it in a medium bowl. Add the oil, vanilla extract, eggs, and carrot pineapple mixture, and whisk to combine.
Add the wet ingredients into the dry, mix with a spatula to incorporate but do not overmix. Pout the batter into the prepared pans.
Bake for 55 minutes, or until the tops are very golden brown and a tester comes out clean from the center of the cake.
Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes then invert them onto a wire rack. Let them cool completely.
Cream Cheese-Lemon zest Frosting
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until combined and airy, about 2 minutes. Mix in the lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, and grated ginger.
Sift the powdered sugar. With the mixer on a low speed, slowly incorporate the powdered sugar into the frosting.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. If the frosting is too soft, allow it to chill for 15 minutes in the refrigerator.
Place one of the completely cooled layer upside down on a cake round. If there is a noticeable dome on top of either layer, use a serrated knife to gently cut the top off so they are level.
Start with 1/4 cup of frosting on top of the first layer and spread it so it’s even.
Place second layer on top of the frosting. Start frosting the cake from the top and then move down to the sides. Decorate at will.