Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Buttercream

Carrot Cake, High Altitude Carrot Cake, Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe, Cream Cheese Buttercream Recipe, High Altitude Cake Recipes, Naked CakeIn my series of classic cakes that I'm working through this spring, I obviously had to include a carrot cake.  Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is the cake I often requested for my birthday when I was a kid, and to this day, it's one of my favorites.

I suppose you could say that I'm a carrot cake purist.  I add a little applesauce to mine, but I've never felt like pineapple, raisins, nuts or coconut belong in a carrot cake.  I don't mind a few toasted pecans or a handful of coconut sprinkled over the frosting, but not in the cake itself.  Warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger enhance the flavor of the carrots, and the buttermilk, applesauce and brown sugar make the cake so moist and delicious.

Many food historians believe that carrot cake originated from carrot puddings, eaten by Europeans in the Middle Ages, when carrots were an inexpensive alternative to refined sugar for use in sweetening a dessert.  In the 1800s, a Gâteau de Carottes was included in a cookbook of recipes served to Louis XVI, which was later translated into English in cookbooks published in London.  And today, carrot cake continues to be one of the most popular birthday cake flavors in Switzerland.





Carrot Cake, High Altitude Carrot Cake, Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe, Cream Cheese Buttercream Recipe, High Altitude Cake Recipes, Naked Cake

Carrot Cake, High Altitude Carrot Cake, Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe, Cream Cheese Buttercream Recipe, High Altitude Cake Recipes, Naked Cake

Carrot Cake, High Altitude Carrot Cake, Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe, Cream Cheese Buttercream Recipe, High Altitude Cake Recipes, Naked Cake




What is a carrot cake without the cream cheese frosting?  The two go together like milk and cookies, and I can't imagine eating a carrot cake without that sweet and tangy frosting.  To make a cream cheese frosting that can hold its shape and still be used for cake decorating, the key is to use half butter and half cream cheese.  I also add a bit more powdered sugar to my cream cheese buttercream than I use in my perfect American buttercream recipe.

The cream cheese buttercream is beautifully smooth and creamy, sweet and with a slight tang, and is just the perfect complement to this classic cake.





Carrot Cake, High Altitude Carrot Cake, Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe, Cream Cheese Buttercream Recipe, High Altitude Cake Recipes, Naked Cake

Carrot Cake, High Altitude Carrot Cake, Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe, Cream Cheese Buttercream Recipe, High Altitude Cake Recipes, Naked Cake

Carrot Cake, High Altitude Carrot Cake, Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe, Cream Cheese Buttercream Recipe, High Altitude Cake Recipes, Naked Cake

Carrot Cake, High Altitude Carrot Cake, Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe, Cream Cheese Buttercream Recipe, High Altitude Cake Recipes, Naked Cake

Carrot Cake, High Altitude Carrot Cake, Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe, Cream Cheese Buttercream Recipe, High Altitude Cake Recipes, Naked Cake




Carrot Cake
printable


Cake.
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, browned
  • 2 cups finely grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 1/4 cups cake flour or all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Buttercream.
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon meringue powder (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Cake.
Preheat the oven to 350.  Spray three 8-inch cake pans with non-stick spray.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium low heat.  Continue cooking, swirling occasionally, until nutty brown solids form on the bottom of the pan.  Scrape the butter and the browned bits into a large mixing bowl and let cool for a few minutes, then whisk in the grated carrots, applesauce, granulated sugar, brown sugar, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.  Add the dry to the wet, stirring just until combined.  Divide the batter between the pans.  Bake for about 25-28 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Set the pans on wire racks and cool completely, covered with a clean kitchen towel.

Buttercream.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter for 1 minute until smooth.  With the mixer on low, add the powdered sugar and the meringue powder, mixing until combined.  Add the salt and vanilla; on medium high, whip for several minutes until light and fluffy - add a little more powdered sugar if the buttercream is too soft.

Stack and fill the cooled cakes, then frost all over with a thin crumb coat of buttercream.  Chill for 30 minutes, then frost with a final layer of buttercream.  For the naked cake pictured here, pipe the buttercream onto each layer using a large open star tip.  Any leftover buttercream can be frozen for another cake.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen

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