Carrot Cake Two Ways

carrot cake, carrot cake recipes

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The hubby brought me a surprise from the garden the other day – another big bunch of carrots! Given that all of the freezers were pretty much full and I had a lot of carrots put by already I decided that I would save the small ones to use for dinners and shred the rest. I’ve been craving carrot cake since the last time I did the carrots so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to make some carrot cake recipes.

What Kind of Cake?

carrot cakes baked, carrot cake recipes

I went looking through my cookbooks in search of a recipe and found that they fall into two categories; the classic cake with cream cheese frosting and a tea or loaf cake. Since I had so many carrots I figured why not make one (or two) of each? The recipe ingredients are somewhat similar but also very different. I played with the traditional cake recipe ( out of my Bon Appetit cookbook) and added a healthy amount of fresh ginger and used dried cranberries instead of raisins and if you ask me it led to a really lovely cake. The tea cake recipe came from my favorite breads cookbook – Secrets of a Jewish Baker.

carrot cake, carrot cake recipes

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Carrot Cake, Two Ways

Ginger Carrot Cake

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2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups canola oil
4 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1 TBS finely grated fresh ginger root
3 cups grated carrot
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup dried cranberries

Frosting
1 8 oz package cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1 TBS pure vanilla extract

More nuts and dried cranberries for decoration

Make the cake:
Preheat oven to 325°
Lightly grease two 9″ cake pans, line with parchment or wax paper, grease the paper and set aside
In a stand mixer with the paddle attached mix the sugar and canola oil until well combined.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one.
Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into the bowl.
Add the cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger root.
Mix until just combined.

carrot cake, carrot cake recipes
Remove the bowl from the mixer and add the dried cranberries, carrot and nuts and stir until combined.
Divide the batter between the two prepared pans and bake in the preheated oven for 40 – 45 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from the pans.
Cool completely.

Make the Frosting:
Add the butter and cream cheese to a stand mixer with the paddle attached. Mix until smooth.
Add the powdered sugar cup by cup until combined.
Add the vanilla and mix until blended

carrot cake, carrot cake recipes

Put one layer of the cake on a plate, spread half of the frosting on the layer. It’s OK if it spills over the side. Top with the second layer and add the rest of the frosting. Spread to the edge. Sprinkle additional nuts and cranberries on the top if desired.

carrot cake, carrot cake recipes

Carrot Tea Cake

4 TBS unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup water
1 cup grated carrot
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup dried cranberries
Confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven to 350°
Butter and flour a 9 cup bundt pan.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attached cream together the butter and the sugar.
Add the eggs, molasses, carrot and water. Mix until combined.
Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.
Remove from the stand and stir in the nuts and cranberries.
Pour into the prepared bundt pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for about an hour until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and remove from the pan. Cool Completely.
Dust with powdered sugar if you’d like before serving.

Which Was Better?

To be honest, I liked them both! Each one had it’s unique taste – the ginger added a lovely taste to the traditional cake and the molasses made the tea cake taste like Fall. One of the bundt cakes didn’t unmold well so we sadly (not) had to eat that one first. The second one came out beautifully and I’ve put that one in the freezer to pull out at a later date when I want a tasty tea cake.

 

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