Moist Carrot Cake

I’ve been intending to post this recipe since God-knows-when but have been putting it off for one simple reason: I didn’t have any step-by-step photos to post with it. Hence, my photo of a slice of this delectably moist carrot cake will have to do for now.

This cake is very easy to make and has always gotten me compliments every time I make it. (I even got orders for this cake! But I always have to turn them down because I don’t have the time to do it.) The only hard part is grating the carrots. After you’ve done that, everything else is a breeze.

Moist Carrot Cake

Ingredients:
•    4 eggs
•    1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
•    1 cup white sugar
•    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
•    2 cups all-purpose flour
•    2 teaspoons baking soda
•    2 teaspoons baking powder
•    1/2 teaspoon salt
•    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•    3 cups carrots, grated coarsely
•    1 handful walnuts, chopped coarsely (quantity can be increased, to taste)
•    1 handful of raisins (or to taste – don’t put too much: it will make the cake too sweet)


Ingredients for the frosting:

•    1/2 cup butter, softened
•    8 ounces cream cheese, softened (1 box Philadelphia cream cheese or 1 tube of Tatura cream cheese)
•    2-4 cups confectioners’ sugar (TIP: start with 2 cups sugar; add sugar bit by bit if not sweet enough; 4 cups is too sweet for me; I usually use only 2)
•    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 2 round pans & line sides and bottom of pan with baking paper. (I don’t like the taste of the flour, so I don’t grease & flour my baking tins anymore.)
  2. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, white sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla.
  3. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  4. Stir in carrots.
  5. Fold in walnuts and raisins.
  6. Pour into prepared pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

To Make Frosting:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
  2. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  3. Frost the cooled cake.

IMPORTANT: The key to a moist carrot cake is baking it until just cooked, i.e. when you stick a toothpick in the centre, it comes out clean. I never really time my baking. I just wait for the a strong, yummy aroma to waft out of the oven. That usually signals that the cake’s done. Take a peek inside the oven; if the top of the cake looks set, open the oven and stick a toothpick in the centre. If some batter sticks to the toothpick, that means the cake is not ready yet. Close the oven door and wait for a few minutes. Remember: the longer the cake stays in the oven, the drier it gets.

Oh, and as for softening the butter and the cream cheese, just leave it out at room temperature for half an hour or so. Never put it in the microwave.

Finally, make sure the cake has cooled completely before  you frost it. Otherwise, the cream cheese frosting will melt.

Garnish the top of the cake with almond slivers, if desired.

This recipe is based on Carrot Cake III from allrecipes.com. Here are the tweaks that I’ve made on the recipe over the years:

  1. I halve the sugar from 2 cups to just 1 cup, as I found the original recipe way to sweet for my (and most Malaysians’) taste.
  2. Since pecans cost a small fortune in Malaysia and are quite difficult to find, I substitute it with chopped walnuts.
  3. I add some raisins for added texture and flavour.
  4. I cut down the ground cinnamon from 2 teaspoons to just 1 teaspoon, as the children found the original recipe too overpowering.
  5. I also halve the confectioner’s sugar used for the frosting.
  6. I use 2 baking tins and make it a 2-layer cake, to cut down on the baking time. [NB: Cake slice in the photo only shows a single layer.]

Selamat mencuba! (Good luck!) 🙂

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