The Best! Carrot Cake

My husband’s birthday is coming up, and unless there is something new and shiny that catches his eye, this is the cake he asks for every time.

Rich, a bit spicy (I have added allspice to Mr. Flay’s original recipe) and with the cream cheese and Irish butter frosting aided a bit be the addition of Fluff, you really do not need anything else.

I did rather severely cut back on the amount of Fluff from the original, and it is better.

Wet Ingredients:
•3 large eggs
•1/4 cup melted unsalted butter, cooled
•1/2 cup canola oil
•2 tsp vanilla
•1 cup crushed pineapple, well 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:
•1/3 cup finely diced crystallized ginger
•3/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans (optional)

•8 oz cream cheese, softened
•1 stick unsalted butter, softened
•4 cups confectioners’ sugar
•1/2 cup Fluff
•1 tsp vanilla
•1/8 tsp black pepper

Note 1: I used cake flour, but all purpose will work a treat as well.

Note 2: when shopping for the ingredients to make the cake, the store I was in did not have real fluff, so I used this replacement. I am originally from New England though, so it will forever be referred to as “Fluff.”

Heat your oven to 350º and prep two nine inch cake pans; One. One. One. works well, but I traced a wax paper circle of the my pans and place that in the bottom of each.

Whisk the dry cake ingredients together in a bowl until well blended; this is basically the same thing as “sifting.”


Beat the eggs in your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for ten seconds, then add the remaining “wet” ingredients and mix until blended.

Add the spiced flour mixture and continue to mix, again just until blended.

Fold in the nuts and crystallized ginger then transfer the batter into your prepared pans.

Bake for about 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Mr. Flay gave a range of 40 to 55 minutes, so do keep an eye on it. He also noted to add about ten minutes baking time if you decide to use one 13×9 baking pan.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely (like, a good hour) before getting on with it.

Full disclosure: I made my cakes on Saturday and left them, in the pans, in a cold oven overnight before I went to work on the frosting come the morning.

When ready to make the frosting, whip the cream cheese and butter together using the whisk attachment until light and creamy.

Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and black pepper (trust me on this) and beat on low until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Stir i the fluff and beat again until fully incorporated into the frosting.

Helpful hint: fluff is incredibly easy to get out of the jar and into the mixing bowl if you soak your spoon in very hot water first.

Mind. Blown.

Because I cut back on the original two cups of Fluff called for in the original recipe, this batch of frosting came out at just the right consistency. It is not, however, a super thick frosting anyway, so plan on having a cool place to store your cake. My far northeastern Illinois garage in April worked a treat.

Run a knife around the edge of each of the cake pans, then place your cake plate on top of one pan, invert, and tap to pop the cake out of the pan.

Peel off the waxed paper, and you are ready to frost.

Note: I am a pretty crappy froster, so I go for “casual”, just laying a good, thick batch of frosting between the two layers, and then doing the same on top.

Repeat with the top layer, add a generous amount of frosting, (you will have plenty) and, if you like sprinkle with chopped pecans on top.

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