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Classic Carrot Cake & Easy Cream Cheese Frosting

August 29, 2014
by Cornelia Emlen
Serves: 12
Moist, rich and not too sweet this version of an all American classic makes a wonderful dessert.
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour plus a bit more to flour pans
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 1 pound of carrots, grated
  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped plus an additional third cup for decoration
  • 1 cup raisins or currants
  • cream cheese frosting (see recipe)
  • ⅓ cup crystallized ginger for decoration
Farmers To You Ingredients:
Other Fresh and Pantry Ingredients:
  • granulated sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, crystallized ginger
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Trace the bottom of two 9 inch round cake pans on a piece of parchment paper and then cut out the circles. Now grease the pans and place the paper discs on the bottoms. Re-grease. Shake a small amount of flour in one pan and shake it from side to side in order to dust every surface with the flour. Shake any extra flour into the second cake pan and repeat, adding more flour if necessary. Return any excess flour to the bag. Set pans aside.
  2. Beat sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla in an electric mixer at medium speed until thick and well blended (about 2 minutes).
  3. Sift 2 cups of flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt into a large measuring cup or onto a piece of parchment paper. Slowly add sifted dry ingredients to the egg and sugar mixture.
  4. Wash and dry carrots. Using a box grater, grate the carrots and place them in a bowl.
  5. Chop nuts into small bits and add to carrots. Add raisins. Stir these three together until evenly distributed. Add handfuls of this mixture to the batter, one at a time, mixing thoroughly with a rubber spatula.
  6. Divide the batter between the 2 cake pans, leveling the tops with your spatula.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 and then reduce the heat to 350 degrees for an additional 25 minutes or until a clean broom straw or toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Let cool in the pans for approximately 15 minutes. Use a thin knife to run along the sides of each pan if the cake appears to be sticking in any spot. Place a flat serving plate on top of one of your cake pans. Flip over and tap pan, if necessary, until it drops out onto the plate. Remove the parchment paper. Decant the other cake layer onto a baking rack to cool. . Allow cakes to cool thoroughly before frosting.
  9. Spread the top of the bottom layer with cream cheese frosting (see recipe). Place second layer on top and frost its top as well.
  10. Sprinkle chopped nuts and sliced bits of crystallized ginger in a 2 inch strip along edge of top layer (optional). Serve cake at room temperature!


Easy Cream Cheese Frosting  
A quick, versatile frosting. Depending on what type of cake you are frosting, try adding different flavors, like rum or even a bit of coffee with cocoa mixed in. You will definitely want to lick the beater on this one.
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Farmers To You Ingredients:
Other Fresh and Pantry Ingredients:
  • butter, confectionary sugar, vanilla extract
  1. Beat cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add small pieces of softened butter and beat vigorously until thoroughly blended and there are no lumps.
  2. Sift confectionary sugar and add slowly to mixture.
  3. Add vanilla and maple syrup and continue beating until uniform in color and texture. Cool a bit before using.