If you've been on my blog long enough you must know by now that I like my desserts. In my perfect world, I would start any meal off with dessert first. Since we live in a world where every calorie is counted and every misplaced curve on the body is scorned upon, I refrain from this practice. I am not one to completely deny myself though. I will often take a sliver of whatever dessert is on offer just so I don't have to have a conversation hours later with that voice inside my head. You know, the one that tells you how good that dessert you passed up had to have been and will keep saying it hours later to the point where you make a quick trip to the store or the fridge just to get "something". You know THAT voice I'm talking about-right? No? Oookay...awkward.
This past Sunday I passed up some carrot cake at a restaurant we'd visited for dinner. I was too stuffed to eat any dessert. I came to regret that decision as THE voice would not let me be. On Monday evening I was mixing things up in the kitchen and came up with this carrot cake recipe I have named "A Slice Of Heaven Carrot Cake". Y'all, it is SOOO good! It is not overly sweet as is characteristic of most carrot cakes, it's just right. It's moist with surprises in each bite owing to the diced apples and raisins I added to the batter. In one word-DEVINE!
YIELD: 8-12 servings
-Hand-held electric or stand mixer.
INGREDIENTS FOR CAKE:
-2 cups sifted all-purpose flour.
-3/4 cup granulated sugar.
-1 teaspoon baking powder.
-1 teaspoon baking soda.
-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
-1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom.
-1/2 teaspoon salt (I use Kosher salt).
-4 large eggs at room temperature.
-1/3 cup sour cream.
-1 cup cooking oil (I used Canola).
-1/4 cup golden raisins.
-5 large carrots (washed, peeled and grated).
-1 peeled and 1/2 inch diced cooking apple e.g Granny Smith, honey crisp or saga apple.
***PRE-HEAT OVEN TO 350 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT.***
***ALSO, PREPARE YOUR BAKING PAN BY SPRAYING WITH BAKING SPRAY. OR YOU CAN APPLY BUTTER INSIDE THE BAKING PAN AND DUST THE INSIDE WITH ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR ***
INSTRUCTIONS FOR MIXING CAKE BATTER:
-In a medium-sized mixing bowl, sift together the flour, pudding mix,baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom and salt.
-in a separate mixing bowl, combine the eggs, granulated sugar, cooking oil and sour cream.
-In small batches, add the flour mixture into the egg mixture and use a whisk to mix until just combined. Do not over mix as this will result in a dense cake.
-Now use your rubber spatula to fold in the carrots first, and then the diced apples and raisins (remember not to over mix).
-Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking pan (I used a bundt pan) and place on the center rack of the oven. Let it bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
-once the cake has finished baking, let it cool completely before you ice it (though it's moist enough to eat without any icing).
INGREDIENTS FOR THE ICING:
-1 stick unsalted butter (8 tablespoons).
-1 8oz. package of room temperature cream cheese.
-2 cups icing (confectioner's) sugar.
-2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract.
-3/4 cups finely chopped pecans (use your cutting board and knife for this).
INSTRUCTIONS FOR MAKING THE ICING:
-In a mixing bowl or a stand mixer bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese together until nice and fluffy.
-Add the confectioners (icing) sugar and vanilla extract and blend using the mixer.
-Now using a rubber spatula, fold in the chopped pecans.
-Using an offset spatula or rubber spatula, spread the icing over the cooled cake.
INGREDIENTS FOR CARROT TOPPING:
-2 grated carrots.
-1 tablespoon unsalted batter.
-1 tablespoon brown sugar.
-1 tablespoon Bourbon.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR TOPPING:
-In a small frying pan, add the butter, brown sugar and grated carrots. Stir continuously for 2 minutes.
-Add the bourbon and stir. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes to cook out the alcohol.
-Let the topping cool down before you top the cake or it will melt the icing.
NOTE: Since the icing is made of cream cheese, you will need to refrigerate the cake (covered in a dome preferably when it is not being eaten).
Now where's the milk? Say aaaa....