Parfait! Best! Carrot Cake

I’m not certain what the issue is. I’ve had the copy and images for this post ready for over a month, but every time a Friday has come around, I’ve avoided posting it.

And, the thing is, I absolutely LOVE this cake! It is also one of Rich’s favorites, which is a big reason we normally have it around about his birthday.

The recipe, based on Bobby Flay’s carrot cake is really pretty straightforward for a ‘from scratch’ cake, aside from the part where Bobby makes his own Marshmallow Fluff. I did that too. Once.

No, thank you! The nice folk at Fluff make a fine product that I don’t feel the need to try to recreate at home ever again.

I have made a few adjustments to the recipe; adding additional seasonings (trust me, the black pepper works here), and, for this cake, I tried using cake flour for the first time.

And you know what? I think it made an already good cake just that much better!

So. All that said, let’s make us a carrot cake!

INGREDIENTS
Pan Treatment:
•1 tbsp shortening
•1 tbsp canola oil
•1 tbsp flour

Cake:
Wet Ingredients:
•3 large eggs
•1/4 cup melted unsalted butter, cooled
•1/2 cup canola oil
•2 tsp vanilla
•1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
•1 lb carrots, peeled and grated (about 3 cups, lightly packed)
•2 tsp freshly grated ginger

Dry Ingredients:
•2 cups flour
•1-1/2 cup sugar
•1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
•2 tsp baking soda
•1 tsp ground cinnamon
•1/2 tsp ground cloves
•1/2 tsp ground ginger
•1/4 tsp black pepper
•1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
•1 tsp salt

Add Ins (Optional):
•1/3 cup finely diced crystallized ginger
•3/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans

Frosting:
•8 oz cream cheese, softened
•1 stick unsalted butter, softened
•4 cups confectioners’ sugar
•2 cups Fluff
•1 tsp vanilla

First things first, make the cake pan treatment by stirring the flour together with the oil and shortening in a small bowl, then brush this on your cake pan(s). Works a treat, and no unsightly white flour splotches on the cake.

Note: I also lined the bottom of my cake pans with waxed paper.

Heat your oven to 350º.

If using crystallized ginger, pulse in a food processor fitted with the metal blade until finely chopped, then remove.

Add the drained crushed pineapple to the processor and pulse until smooth.

Using a wire whisk, combine the flour with the sugars, baking soda, salt, and spices until nicely mixed.

Beat the eggs in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for about 15 seconds, then add the oil, cooled melted butter, vanilla, carrots, pineapple, and grated fresh ginger and mix until combined.

Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed just until it is all well combined.

Fold in the crystallized ginger and pecans, if you are using them. I skipped the nuts in the cake, but I do love the extra bit of ginger hit adding the crystallized pieces.

Divide the batter between your prepared cake pans and bake for 40 to 55 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out with just a few moist crumbs.

Remove the cakes to a rack to cool completely, then invert the pans and turn out the baked cakes.

Once the cakes have cooled completely, make the frosting.

A note about this frosting: it is extremely ‘loose’ and will slide off and around the cake. Keeping in the fridge will help, but I don’t really care for a cold cake, so just be prepared for a bit of messiness.

Fit the whisk attachment to your mixer, then beat the cream cheese with the butter until light and fluffy.

Add the powdered sugar and mix on low until combined.

Increase the speed and whip until light and fluffy.

Add about 2 cups of Fluff and the vanilla and whip until combined. Refrigerate for 15 minutes if too soft to use as frosting.

Frost your cake. I topped mine with chopped pecans, then stash in the fridge until about an hour before you plan on serving it.

This is a gloriously messy cake, but it is also just so very tasty no one will really mind the mess.

Ermmm, yeh, the top layer will more than likely slide off of the bottom (hazard of the frosting, really) but, it is still good!

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