Saturday, April 24, 2010

Trying out a new carrot cake for Easter...

Yesterday's post became so unwieldy, that I had to bring it to closure before I blogged about our most excellent Easter dessert, a delicious carrot sheet cake. Now, I do believe I have the best recipe in the whole world for carrot cake (a Junior League recipe with the charming moniker, Fourteen Karat Cake), but I went another way this time just for fun. I sort of combined a cake recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman's site (Sigrid's Carrot Cake) and used a frosting recipe from another blog that I recently discovered called Mel's Kitchen Café. And the results were terrific!

It was certainly easier, as layer cakes are more of a pain to make. Plus, I truly preferred the ratio of cake to frosting in the single-layer, square servings. And speaking of the frosting, I especially enjoyed the lighter, softer version of cream cheese icing, which would be good with so many other desserts. I urge you to try this cake, but whatever you do, keep it refrigerated and eat it COLD! MMMMM!!

Carrot Sheet Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
(Sources: adapted from The Pioneer Woman and Mel's Kitchen Café)

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 stick butter, softened
4 whole eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup pecans, chopped

2/3 cup heavy cream
1 stick butter, softened
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
3 3/4 cups (1 lb.) powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
pinch of salt

Mix together the sugar, oil, butter and eggs in a large bowl until smooth. In another bowl sift together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Add to first mixture and just combine. Then add carrots and pecans and mix well. Pour into a greased and floured half sheet pan (I used a piece of parchment on the bottom of the pan and sprayed it a bit with flour-added cooking spray for good measure) and bake until done, about 25 minutes (you may wish to rotate the pan halfway through). Let cool completely in the pan.

Meanwhile, whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks and set aside. Then cream the butter and cream cheese. Add the sugar, vanilla, and salt and blend until creamy. Fold in the whipped cream. Spread on cooled carrot cake. Refrigerate, preferably overnight for frosting to set up and cake flavors to develop. Yum!

Serves 32--perfect for a big Easter gathering!

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