Wednesday, September 26, 2007

"Best" Carrot Cake

Look, it's good carrot cake. Moist, thanks to the buttermilk glaze. Tender. Flavorful. The frosting is to. die. for. But the cake itself? Meh. I think my issue with it is that its only spice is cinnamon and, in my ideal carrot cake, there's more going on. It kind of reminds me of an oatmeal cookie, which is fine for oatmeal cookies, but I want a little more out of my carrot cake.

Having said that, I brought it to a pot luck and complete strangers came up to me and raved about it. So ... I don't know. It's not my favorite -- and back to the drawing board!

Best Carrot Cake (Southern Living magazine)

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated carrots (about 3 large carrots)
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Buttermilk Glaze (see below)
Cream Cheese Frosting (see below)

Grease and flour a 9x13-inch pan and preheat oven to 350-degrees F.

Stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Beat eggs and sugar, oil, buttermilk and vanilla at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add flour mixture, stirring until blended. Fold in carrots, pineapple, coconut, and pecans.

Pour batter into pan and bake for 30 minutes; cover pan loosely with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning, and bake 13 more minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean.

Drizzle Buttermilk Glaze evenly over cake; cool completely in pan. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting evenly over cake.

Serves 10-12.

Buttermilk Glaze
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Bring first 5 ingredients to a boil in a saucepan over medium to medium-high heat. Boil, stirring often, for 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla.

Cream Cheese Frosting
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
11 oz cream cheese, softened (use 8 oz. and 3 oz. packages of cream cheese)
3 cups sifted powdered sugar (or more, to taste)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth.
Yield 4 cups


Deborah said...

I love carrot cake! It seems like everyone has their idea of what a good carrot cake is, though, kinda like lasagna. It sure looks good, though!

Jennifer said...

That looks DELICIOUS!!! I'll definitely try it!!!!

Shayne said...

I have had this one (even made it once) before and this is by far the Best Carrot Cake! Everyone that I have ever known to have tasted this carrot cake agrees.

breadchick said...

I love carrot cake and next to coconut cake, it is my fav. But I'm in your camp, you need something besides cinnamon. Your's is super lovely.

Peabody said...

Hmm, I am intrigued by the use of the buttermilk glaze.
It looks pretty though and people liked it...always a good thing.

Laura Rebecca said...

The buttermilk glaze is really more of a very liquid caramel. Honestly, I think the recipe's author just wanted to use up a bit more of the buttermilk purchased for the cake batter ;) -- its flavor is reminiscent of the glaze my mom uses for her candied yams.

Deborah Eley De Bono said...

This is great. My aunt, 81, just asked me for my recipe which is very involved. She said she didn't have time. I'll send her this one, it looks easy.

Anonymous said...

I've used this same recipe many times. Only I split it into three round cake pans lined with wax paper. Once they come out of the oven, I do the following:
glaze them with the buttermilk glaze
turn them out of the pans using the wax paper liner
remove the wax paper
glaze the other side of each layer
Once they have completely cooled, I layer them using the cream cheese frosting. What you end up with is a very beautiful carrot cake. I've gotten many, many compliments at dinner parties and when I take one in to work.