Holiday Carrot Cake

The winner of yesterday’s Rachel Ray “Bubble & Brown” 4.25 qt. stoneware oval casserole in orange is Tiffany who said: “mmmmmmm anything with peanut butter is what I would choose!”ย  Hope your dish gets a lot of great use Tiffany!

Today is the last day of my blogoversay week.ย  ๐Ÿ™ย  It has been a fun week!ย  I had a great party week with all of you.ย  I am ending it with one of my favorite desserts, Carrot Cake!ย  Now, I know right now is not what is considered the “holiday’s”ย  and the cake is called Holiday Carrot Cake, but this cake is great for anytime of year.ย  It would be great for Mother’s Day. I had this cake at my in-laws at Christmas and had to have the recipe. It came from the Nov. 29, 2009 issue of Family Circle.

The cake is delicious and the frosting is to die for!ย  The original recipe calls for dried cranberries, but my in-laws used raisins.ย  This is what I also did.ย  I am usually not a big fan of raisins, but I love it in this cake.ย  The cake is suppose to be four layers, but I was too afraid the cake was going to fall apart when I made mine so I only did two layers.ย  Part of my issue may have been due to the fact that instead ofย  doing two nine inch rounds I used my Demarle large round mold (which is 9.5 inches) and did the whole cake in that and just cooked it longer.ย  It probably would have helped to refrigerate or freeze the cake a bit before trying to cut it into layers.

If I make it again with 2 layers, I will put a frosting layer in the middle and then frost the entire cake with the remaining frosting.ย  My top frosting layer was a little to thick in my opinion and would have worked better if it was more evenly distributed.

For my final blogoversary giveaway I have a lovely sterling silver necklace with a natural blue topaz (approximately 2.5 carats ) courtesy of Ashley’s Jewelry.ย  To enter, go to Ashley’s Jewlery and look around.ย  Then come back here and leave a comment on what item you like from their site.ย  You have until Sunday April 25 at 10 pm (MST) to enter.ย  Just so you know, the necklace looks better in real life.ย  I take pictures of food, so I am not so great at jewelry.

Holiday Carrot Cake

  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 medium-size carrots, peeled and shredded (about 2 cups)
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries (I used raisins)
  • Frosting:
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • cranberries and walnuts, for garnish (I just used walnuts)

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two 9 x 2-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Line bottoms with waxed paper. Coat paper with spray.

2. Cake: In medium-size bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt. In large bowl, beat sugars, oil, eggs and vanilla on medium speed until blended. On low, beat in flour mixture until smooth. Stir in carrots, nuts and cranberries. Divide batter between pans, spreading evenly.

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 42 to 44 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes. Turn out and cool completely.

4. Frosting: In large bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until creamy. Gradually beat in confectioners sugar until smooth.

5. With serrated knife, cut each cake horizontally in half. Place one layer on cake plate and spread with 1 cup frosting. Repeat two more times with layers and frosting. Place remaining layer, cut-side down, on top and spread with remaining frosting. Garnish with berries and nuts. Makes 16 servings.

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