Wedding Season: Naked Carrot Cake
I remember the exact moment I fell in love with carrot cake.
In fact, while writing this post I came across my first blog post about it in 2010 (wait whhhaat... seriously 6 years ago!?).
It was love at first "bite" at my sister Sarah's wedding in the fall of 2009. To me, everything was so perfect on that day: crisp fall air, vibrant orange and red leaves on the trees, a trolley ride around the park... and this carrot cake. A family friend made a three-tiered cake, thick with cream cheese icing and so moist and flavorful. I was in love.
Long story short - my mom and I have been making that carrot cake pretty much ever since.
It's a keeper of a recipe!
Well, my own wedding came around this spring and there was only one cake Chad and I wanted - a carrot cake. And my mom was the best person to bake it. My kitchen role model and all-around best baker I know.
My mom also made my wedding dress (ummm, best mom award!!). Having my mom make such important items on my big day made it feel so special and a weekend I will never forget. Pieces made with her hands and with a love like no other baker or dress maker could provide.
In one afternoon my mom baked the cakes, wrapped them individually in plastic wrap, then wrapped them in aluminum foil and placed the cakes in the freezer. Then, the week of my wedding, we thawed out and iced the cakes together.
I love the look of rustic, naked cakes which made decorating somewhat effortless (and a lot less stress). And having a few smaller cakes instead of one big cake made storage and baking a bit easier!
My mom doubled the recipe below and made five batches. The recipe which will make one two-tiered or three-tiered cake depending on the size of your baking pans.
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
2 cups white sugar
1 ¼ cup oil (canola oil)
2 cups organic carrots, grated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups cake flour
1 ¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped black walnuts or chopped pecans
½ can (about a cup) well drained crushed pineapple
Beat eggs, add sugar and oil in a mixer. Add carrots and vanilla extract.In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients together (flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt). Gradually add to wet mixture.
Add in nuts and pineapple. Divide into greased 8” baking pans (makes about three 8” or two 9” round pans). I place a round piece of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan, so it helps the cake not stick!
Bake about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Take out and let cool completely. Ice with cream cheese frosting, recipe below.
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 lbs. powdered sugar
Cream butter and cream cheese together and add vanilla.
Add the powdered sugar until you get the desired consistency for spreading. Whip the frosting for a few minutes to make it fluffy. Chill until ready to frost the cake.
The sweets table at my wedding quickly became one of my favorite parts of my wedding day!
To see the recipe for my chocolate chunk cookies that I also made for my wedding click here!