Carrot Cake

I am going to an Easter Brunch, like an adult. I was originally planning to sleep for as long as possible then eat cereal then go to a bunch of movies then go home and go back to bed.

But a wonderful friend of mine invited me to her house for brunch and I thought, “Come on, go join a situation where you have to shower first and talk to strangers. If it’s awkward this friend is such a good person she will totally understand if I sidle up to her and say ‘I can’t be a normal human right now’ and then leave without saying good-bye to anyone else.”

And then I can watch three movies in a row, go home and eat cereal in bed.

So this week Six and I are making carrot cake for me to take to said Easter Brunch. Six is going to spend Easter with his dad and Older Son is spending Easter with his dad so that is two relationships I have failed at, thank you Christians for making a holiday to remind me of my shortcomings.

But at least there will be cake.

This cake also marks a return to Contessa Garten! I have missed her flavorful and easy to make recipes.

(I just ate this today and it was unbelievably delicious)

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1- 1/3 cups vegetable oil (I used canola oil because that is what I had and it worked fine)
  • 3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1-½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 pound carrots, grated (I used carrots from trader joe’s you can buy in the frozen section that are spiraled. I thawed them before putting them in)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • Ginger Mascarpone Frosting (recipe follows)
  • Crystallized ginger (not in syrup), chopped, for garnish 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease 2 (9 x 2-inch) round cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper, and grease and flour the pans.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar, oil, and eggs on medium-high speed for 2 minutes, until light yellow and thickened. Stir in the vanilla. In another bowl, sift together the 2 cups of flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ones.

In a medium bowl, toss the carrots, raisins, walnuts, and the 1 tablespoon of flour. Stir into the batter with a rubber spatula. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 10 minutes, lower the heat to 350 degrees, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 15 minutes, turn out onto a baking rack, and cool completely.

Place one cake on a flat serving plate, rounded side down. Spread half the frosting on the top (not the sides). Place the second cake on top of the first cake, rounded side up. Frost just the top of the second cake. Sprinkle with the ginger and serve at room temperature.

Ginger Mascarpone Frosting (Frosts one 9-inch Cake)

  • 12 ounces Italian mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ⅛ cup minced crystallized ginger (not in syrup)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the mascarpone, cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, cream, and vanilla together for about 1 minute, until light and fluffy. Add the crystallized ginger and salt and beat for 30 seconds more.

Copyright 2012, Barefoot Contessa Foolproof by Ina Garten, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved

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