Before this month, I’d only made carrot cake once before, about 10 years ago. I remember it tasted good, but the carrots turned green. Yep, green. One of my friends Googled it (or whatever it was back then. Was there google? Did she Yahoo it?) and found that it was still fine to eat. Apparently too much baking soda, or the baking soda not being dispersed well enough, can cause the carrots to turn green. Everyone in the office still ate it and we were fine (well, we were a little wacky, but that wasn’t the carrot cake).
So of course when I tried again I was a little paranoid of my carrot cake turning green! I’m not sure if it’s because there’s less baking soda in this one, or because I stirred the dry ingredients together really well, but both times I made this, it was nice and orange. Look at that, no green! Phew!
I've learned something during the times that I've made this carrot cake. I can't grate carrots. Well I can, but not without little carrot pieces flying all over my kitchen. No matter how hard I try to be neat about it! Seriously. By the time I'm done it looks like Bugs Bunny's rabbit hole exploded in there.
The first time I made it I used crushed pineapple, as instructed in the recipe. But then there were pineapple chunks in the cake. I love pineapple, I would totally put pineapple on everything. But some people I know don’t like pineapple that much and probably wouldn't want chunks of it in their carrot cake. The pineapple was just in there to make it more moist. So the second time I just used ¼ C of pineapple juice instead. No chunks, and it does stay nice and moist! So you can do either.
Also, strain the carrots pretty well. Let them sit on some paper towels or a cheesecloth, and squeeze them with more paper towels (or another cheesecloth). You want a bit of moisture in there, but you don't want them soggy. Or you'll have a soggy cake!
I love this carrot cake! The recipe I used was called The Best Carrot Cake, and I really only have that one 10 years ago to compare it to, but this one is awesome! And everyone I brought it to loved it, and that was a lot of people since I had 2 big pans of it in the last few weeks! It pairs just perfectly with cream cheese frosting. But then again what doesn't? ;)
Makes a 9"x13" cake
4-1/2 C grated carrots, patted dry
3/4 C brown sugar, packed
1 C + 2 TBS granulated sugar
3/4 C vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
1 TBS vanilla extract
1/4 C pineapple juice (or you can use 3/4 C crushed pineapple)
2-1/4 C all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 TBS cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
- Grate the carrots and pat them dry.
- In a medium bowl, combine the grated carrots and the brown sugar. Set aside for an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9"x13" baking pan.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Gradually beat in the granulated sugar. Then the oil and vanilla.
- Stir in the pineapple juice.
- In a separate small bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Mix these dry ingredients together very well!
- Stir the dry ingredients into the wet egg-sugar mixture.
- Fold in the carrot mixture, and pour into the prepared pan right away. Bake for 28 min, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Let cool on a wire rack.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1/2 C unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 brick (4 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2-1/2 C icing sugar (powdered sugar)
- 1 TBS vanilla extract
- Whip the butter and cream cheese on high speed with an electric mixer for a few minutes.
- Reduce the speed to low and add the icing sugar gradually until it is all incorporated.
- Add the 1 TBS vanilla extract and mix.
- Increase the speed to medium high and whip for a few more minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy.
** store this cake in the fridge