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Monday, June 20, 2011

"Kitchen Sink" Carrot Cake

Kitchen sink carrot cake? That's right; as in "everything but the..." While purists may argue over exactly what, beside carrots, is "allowed" in carrot cake, Baldy is a fan of a carrot cake with lots of add-ins.  So everything is welcome here--nuts, raisins, pineapple, etc.  Add some coconut or ginger too if you'd like.  This recipe halves beautifully to make a square cake as well.  Adapted from King Arthur Flour.

·          4 large eggs
·          1 cup granulated sugar
·          3/4 cup brown sugar
·          2 teaspoons vanilla extract
·          3/4 cup melted butter
·          3/4 cup vegetable oil
·          2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
·          1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
·          1 teaspoon baking soda
·          1 1/2 teaspoons salt
·          2 teaspoons cinnamon
·          1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
·          1/8 teaspoon allspice
·          3 1/2 cups finely grated carrots
·          1 cup diced pecans or walnuts, toasted if desired
·          1 cup golden raisins
·          8 ounce can of crushed pineapple, drained and squeezed dry
·          6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
·          1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened  (note: if you substitute low-fat or fat free here the consistency of the frosting will be a bit more runny).
·          1 teaspoon vanilla extract
·          1/8 teaspoon salt
·          3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
·          2 tablespoons milk, or enough to make frosting spreadable

1)       Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan.
2)       Beat the eggs, sugars, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl till smooth, about 2 minutes at medium-high speed.
3)       Mix the melted butter with the oil. With the beater running, add the oil mixture in a stream, beating till smooth.
4)       In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, leaveners, salt, and spices. Add these dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring to make a smooth batter.
5)       Stir in the carrots, nuts, coconut, and pineapple.
6)       Spoon the batter into the pan, spreading it to the edges.
7)       Bake the cake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the cake is golden brown, and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
8)       Remove the cake from the oven, and cool right in the pan.
9)       When it's completely cool, make the frosting.
10)    Combine the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and salt in a medium-sized bowl, and beat together until light and fluffy.
11)    Add the sugar gradually, beating well.
12)    Add the milk a little at a time, until the frosting is a spreadable consistency.
13)    Spread frosting over the cake. Garnish with minced crystallized ginger, if desired.
14)    Yield: 9" x 13" sheet cake, about 24 servings.

Recipe summary
Hands-on time: 20 mins. to 25 mins.  Baking time:  40 mins. to 50 mins.  Total time: 2 hrs 30 mins. to 2 hrs 45 mins.  Yield:  9" x 13" sheet cake, about 24 servings.

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