This is a picture of the carrot cake I made for Jo's birthday. It is the third carrot cake I have made for a co-worker, and I fear that I'm going to continue only making it since it is so delicious and people keep requesting it. For this one though, I decided to whip out my cake decorating tips and try them out (I've been avoiding it since I had a disastrous experience when I was younger), but it was so easy. I think I will try to decorate all of my cakes now.
The below recipe is one modified from Epicurious. I don't like nuts and raisins in my carrot cake so I don't put them in, but feel free to, if you must. The cake is really simple to make. The only thing that takes a long time for me is grating the carrots, but I'm hoping to get a food processor from my parents for my birthday and then I won't get grazed knuckles anymore. Next time I'm going to try to substitute apple sauce for all of the oil (the original recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups oil), but reviewers suggested the apple sauce since the cake seemed too oily otherwise. The cake is still really moist with the 1/2 cup of applesauce. I'm hoping eliminating the oil entirely won't make the cake taste too apple-y.
Triple-Layer Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup apple sauce
4 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 cups finely grated peeled carrots (about 1 1/3 pound)
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
For cake: Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly grease three 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper. Lightly grease parchment paper. Using electric mixer, beat sugar, vegetable oil and apple sauce in bowl until combined. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg into sugar and oil mixture. Stir in carrots.
Pour batter into prepared pans, dividing equally. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean and cakes begin to pull away from sides of pans, about 30-45 minutes. Cool in pans on racks 15 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks and cool completely.
Place 1 cake layer on platter. Spread with 3/4 cup frosting. Top with another cake layer. Spread with 3/4 cup frosting. Top with remaining cake layer. Using icing spatula, spread remaining frosting in decorative swirls over sides and top of cake.
Store covered at room temperature.