My mom often made carrot cakes when I was growing up. Like me, she never really liked using recipes so every carrot cake she made was somewhat different from the other—more ingredients, different spices, etc. Without a recipe to follow but with a flavor-texture combination in mind, I’ve been making carrot cakes in several different ways and think I’ve finally found the one! This fluffy cake has a wonderful fragrance infused by cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger; its texture is enhanced by currants and crunchy, toasted walnuts. The frosting is creamy and velvety!
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup canola oil
- 2 ½ cups finely shredded, peeled carrots
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely minced
- 1 cup chopped roasted walnuts (plus 12 large pieces for garnish)
- ½ cup currants (plus 1 tablespoon for garnish)
- 16-oz cream cheese (2 packages), at room temperature
- ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick) , at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 ½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
Preheat oven to 350°F and position rack in the center of the oven. Butter and flour two 9”-diameter cake pans. Line the bottom of both pans with wax paper.
In a medium bowl whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg until well combined.
Using standing mixer (or an electric mixer), beat eggs and sugar at medium-high speed for 5-6 minutes, until mixture is thick and pale. Reduce speed to low and add oil in a stream, slowly. Add flour mixture in 3 different batches, beat until blended. Add carrots and ginger, beat until all ingredients have incorporated. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in walnuts and currants with a wooden spoon. Divide batter between pans.
Bake cakes for about 40 minutes (or until wooden stick comes out clean when inserted in the center). Cool cakes in pans on rack 15 minutes. Turn out onto racks and peel off wax paper; cool cakes completely.
Whip the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed for 3-4 minutes. Add the lemon zest and lemon juice and mix until well combined.
Reduce speed to low and slowly pour powdered sugar into the frosting. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl; mix until fully incorporated. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes before spreading on cake.
√ Place 1 cake layer on platter or pedestal, flat side up. Spread a cup of icing over. Top with second cake layer, flat side down. Spread remaining icing over top and sides of cake. Top with walnuts and currants to garnish. Refrigerate cake 1 hour or up to 1 day. Serve at room temperature. ENJOY! : )