March 28, 2021
No one in my family really likes carrot cake. They didn’t even want to try it when it came out of the oven. It did smell delicious. In fact, Eli was a little disappointed when he got home from school and the house definitely smelled like I was baking, but when he found out it was carrot cake, he wasn’t interested. He did ask if there was extra cream cheese frosting. He loves that! But then again the disappointment showed in his eyes when I told him this cake had a cream cheese glaze, not a frosting. I couldn’t win.
Well even though my family wouldn’t eat it, I can tell you that this carrot cake is delicious! This is not a conventional carrot cake; not a double layered cake with thick cream cheese frosting. It’s a single rectangular layer, perfect for an unfussy glaze. My favorite kind of cake.
I love single layer cakes because they can be complex in flavor, while simple enough to make on a whim. I love getting the urge to bake something and being able to bake up a beautiful cake without having to rely on exacting detail. For a celebration cake, I don’t mind that attention to detail, but for an afternoon baking adventure I prefer an uncomplicated project.
Some carrot cakes call for grated carrots. Not this one. This cake uses pureed cooked carrots instead. I made my own pureed carrots, but you can easily use jars of baby food instead of making your own carrot puree. If you do want to make your own carrot puree just peel and cut up the carrots and microwave them for 8-10 minutes, until soft. Then put them in the food processor with a little water. Voila! pureed carrots! This recipe also calls for crushed pineapple, which adds to the flavor while keeping the cake moist.
Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Glaze
For the Cake
2 cups (240 grams) flour
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
1 cup (190 grams) light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup (250 ml) vegetable or canola oil
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups purred cooked carrots - at least 1 1/3 bags of carrots or a few jars of baby food (see introduction above)
3/4 cup canned crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup (150 grams) toasted, chopped walnuts (optional)
For the Glaze
4 ounces (112 grams) of cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup (120 grams) confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 - 4 tablespoons milk or cream
To Make the Cake
Set your oven rack to the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350º F. Spray a 13 x 9 inch pan with baking spray and line with a parchment sling.
In a large bowl of a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg together. Add the sugars. Add the oil, eggs and vanilla and beat well, starting on low, and increasing to medium. Next, remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the carrots, crushed pineapple and, walnuts if you are using them.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 55-60 minutes, until the edges of the cake have pulled away from the sides and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean
Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes, then lift it out using the parchment paper and place it on a metal cooling rack. Let it cool for 1 hour. When completely cool you can remove the parchment paper. If you have a second cooling rack, invert cake on to the second rack, remove paper, then flip cake back over to the first rack.
To Make the Glaze
In a medium bowl mix together the softened cream cheese and the confectioners sugar. Add the vanilla. The mixture will be very thick. Use the milk or cream to thin it out 1 tablespoon at a time. The glaze should be very thick but pourable.
Pour the glaze on the cooled cake. Use an offset spatula to spread the glaze over the top.