This layered carrot cake has been the biggest hit of our Easter dinners for the past few years. Cream cheese icing layered between moist carrot cake... you won't find someone who will not like this! Usually (in our opinion) we do not like any nuts, raisins or anything else that will get in the way of a beautiful cake, but this recipe includes pineapple, and you can not skip out on this. It adds a subtly sweet component and tons of moisture to the cake. We modified the recipe and bake 4 cakes to add extra layers, but the original 3 work beautifully as well!
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The original recipe is from William Sonoma as follows:
For the cake:
3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) canola oil, plus more for greasing 2 1/4 cups (111/2 oz./360 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting 2 tsp. baking soda 2 tsp. kosher salt 5 tsp. ground cinnamon 2 tsp. ground ginger 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg 1/8 tsp. ground cloves 3 large eggs 2 1/4 cups (18 oz./560 g) sugar 3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) buttermilk 2 tsp. vanilla extract 6 oz. (185 g) crushed pineapple, drained 3 cups (15 oz./470 g) grated peeled carrots 3 carrots, with tops attached 1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g) chopped toasted walnuts
For the Frosting:
16 Tbs. (8 oz./250 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature 3 cups (12 oz./375 g) confectioners’ sugar 1/2 tsp. kosher salt 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1 lb. (500 g) cold cream cheese 2 Tbs. heavy cream
To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease three 9-inch (23-cm) round cake pans, line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper, then grease the parchment. Dust with flour, then tap out any excess.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk and vanilla on low speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the flour mixture in 2 additions and beat until combined, about 1 minute. Add the pineapple and grated carrots and beat until just incorporated.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans and spread evenly. Bake until the tops of the cakes are browned and shiny and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let cool for 10 minutes, then invert the cakes onto the racks and let cool completely.
To make the frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Reduce the speed to low, add the confectioners’ sugar and beat until combined, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the salt and vanilla and increase the speed to medium-high. Add the cream cheese about 1 tablespoon at a time until combined and no bits of cream cheese remain, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to high, add the cream and beat until combined, 30 to 45 seconds.
To assemble the cake, place 1 cake layer on a cake stand or serving plate. Spread one-third of the cream cheese frosting evenly over the cake. Repeat with the remaining cake layers, including the top layer. Using an offset spatula, spread a thin layer of frosting on all sides of the cake to create a “naked” cake effect. Carefully peel the carrots, keeping the tops intact. Gently press the carrots onto the top of the cake in varying heights. Scatter the walnuts around the carrots and serve. Serves 16.
Enjoy this stunning cake for Easter or for any occasion!
xx 2 Dirty Aprons