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Best Ever Carrot Cake

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I usually hate calling recipes “the best ever” or “perfect”, but in this case it’s true – this is, really, the only carrot cake recipe you’ll ever need. It’s uber-light, soft and not too sweet. It’s got layers of flavour without being too busy – no need for raisins or coconut or nuts. You can make it with things you already have in your pantry or fridge. In other words, it’s a very low-maintenance cake that tastes very high-maintenance.

I’ve been using this recipe for ages. I don’t think I have it written down anywhere. The reason I made it today is in honour of my beautiful niece and god-daughter, who lives in British Columbia, Canada (pretty much halfway around the world) and is turning ONE tomorrow.

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I wish I would be there to give her a big birthday hug and hand her her birthday gift in person. I wish she and Maeve could spend the afternoon playing together and getting into mischief. But, unfortunately, my brothers and I have all chosen to live in very-far-apart places! In any case, we will have a mini-celebration here in Ireland and give her lots of hugs the next time we see her.

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When we were all home in Cape Breton last August, I made this cake for my niece and nephew’s double christening. It went down a treat. Then, my sister-in-law asked for the recipe so she could make it for my niece’s birthday celebration. I actually had to think about it as, like I said, I don’t really have it written down anywhere. I gave her this recipe and then made it myself, just to make sure I got the measurements right. Now I’m sharing it with you, you lucky people.

This cake can be doubled and served as a big slab cake with traditional cream cheese frosting for a gathering or celebration, but’s its equally enjoyable in bundt form for a simple Sunday dessert. I topped mine with a whipped mascarpone and honey glaze before burning, not one, but TWO trays of walnuts. They were going to be crumbled over top.

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The joys of country living mean I can’t just run to the shop for more walnuts, but I will tell you that the cake is lovely as is. I hope the cake my niece eats tonight is just as tasty (her mom is a pretty excellent cook, so I’m sure it will be).

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Happy birthday, beautiful Charlotte!

Best Ever Carrot Cake

Ingredients:

3 eggs, room temperature

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 cups AP flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp mixed spice (nutmeg, allspice, cloves)

2 cups grated carrot

1 can crushed pineapple

For the Glaze:

1 cup mascarpone cheese

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise & seeded

3-4 Tbsp good quality honey

splash of fresh cream or orange juice

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (180 degrees Celsius, no fan). Grease and flour a bundt or rectangular cake pan. Set aside.
  • In your stand mixer (whisk attachment) or with a hand mixer, whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla together until pale in colour and doubled in volume.
  • While whisking, slowly drizzle in the vegetable oil to make a thick emulsion.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Add all at once to wet and mix until just blended.
  • Fold in the carrot and crushed pineapple. Scrape batter into prepared pan.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  • Cool 15 minutes in the pan, then carefully remove to cool completely on wire rack.
  • Make the glaze: in your stand mixer (paddle attachment) or with your hand mixer, beat the vanilla seeds and mascarpone cheese until light and fluffy. Drizzle in honey, continuing to mix.
  • Add the cream or orange juice. Mix until all is well combined. You want a thick but pour-able glaze.
  • When the cake is cooled, pour the glaze over top. Serve immediately or the next day – it gets better with age. Keep covered and chilled.

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20 Comments Post a comment
  1. Love carrot cake. it looks incredible.

    November 16, 2014
  2. Marta #

    craving a carrot cake now! πŸ™‚ looks yummm!

    November 16, 2014
    • Thanks Marta! Would love to send you some… I ate wayyy to much…

      November 16, 2014
  3. carrot cake is one of my favourites! this I will surely try when I have time ! even though mine will never look this good πŸ˜€

    November 17, 2014
  4. I love carrot cakes….looks yumm

    November 17, 2014
  5. It is epic

    November 18, 2014
  6. love love love carrot cake, so much so that we had it for our wedding cake. Yours looks yum and the mascarpone glaze…amazing!

    November 20, 2014
  7. Amanda #

    Looks Devine, will have to give it a try!

    November 24, 2014
  8. Eva #

    Question about the can of crushed pineapple. Do you include the juice or not? I haven’t seen cans of crushed pineapple and was just going to blitz the chunks in a food processor. Looking forward to trying it.

    November 24, 2014
    • Definitely include the juice! Before adding the pineapple and carrot you might think the batter is wayyy too thick. The pineapple will smooth the whole thing out. Thanks for your comment!

      November 26, 2014
  9. hopecorgi0084 #

    Ah that melting icing on an orange cake looks like a dream! I just want to gobble it all up! πŸ™‚

    November 28, 2014
  10. I Love reading your Blogβ€πŸ‘

    November 29, 2014
  11. OMG if I could only stick my finger in that frosting! Heaven!

    December 2, 2014
  12. Looks so nice and I love your photos. πŸ™‚

    December 12, 2014
  13. lovely picture and seems very delicious!

    Martine xoxo

    December 12, 2014
  14. Looks yummy! Just a question, what does AP flour (I mean AP) stand for please? πŸ™‚

    January 27, 2015

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