Two Saturdays ago, my colleagues and I were at Ikea having lunch and sharing a delicious slice of carrot cake. One of them asked me if I had tried baking carrot cake before, and when I said “only cupcakes,” she asked me to make some again so that they could taste my version.
I remember that Hubby said the cupcakes I made before was good, but I was a bit skeptical (because I didn't think so) so I checked the internet for another recipe that had more better reviews. There were so many versions, until I finally came across this one from Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy that seemed easy to make, but was guaranteed to be the “best carrot cake recipe ever.”
So on Friday morning, I pulled out the recipe, made some adjustments in the ingredients, and ended up with a one-layer cake, a dozen regular-sized cupcakes, and 31 mini-cupcakes (not all shown in the picture below, though).
Ingredients for the Cake:
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup canola oil
½ cup buttermilk
2/3 cups brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained
3 carrots, grated using the smallest holes
1 cup pecan chips
¾ cup raisins
Ingredients for the Cream Cheese Frosting:
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon orange essence
3 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
1) Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt and nutmeg in a bowl and whisk all together. Set aside.
2) In another (larger) bowl, mix the eggs, granulated sugar, oil, buttermilk, brown sugar, vanilla, and pineapple.
3) Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well.
4) Stir in the carrots, pecans, and raisins until evenly distributed throughout the batter.
5) Prepare a 9-inch cake pan by lightly coating with oil and lining with parchment paper. For cupcakes, simply line cupcake pans with liners.
6) Pour the batter into the pans and bake in a 350ºF preheated oven. Cake pans to be cooked for approximately 35 minutes, cupcakes for 20 minutes, and mini-cupcakes for 12 minutes. Or until a toothpick comes out clean.
7) While the cake is in the oven, prepare the frosting by mixing the cream cheese and butter in a bowl and beat until smooth.
8) Add vanilla and orange essence.
9) Finally add sugar and beat until the taste and consistency is according to what you want. You may need to use less or more sugar, so it’s advisable to just add it a cup or half-cup at a time.
10) When the cake and/or cupcakes are done, take them out of the oven and allow to cool for around 30 minutes.
11) Remove the cake from the pan and peel off the parchment paper.
12) Since I only made 1 layer, I cut the middle in half, Mama spread some frosting in the middle, put the upper half on top, and spread some more frosting around the cake.
13) My nephew helped in decorating the cupcakes and mini-cupcakes. He simply used an icing decorating tool and frosted away.
So how was it? Well, Gabe managed to eat 4 cupcakes and 12 mini-cupcakes that same day, my sister ate 3 cupcakes practically one after the other, and everyone else at home had at least 2 cupcakes or mini-cupcakes. And when Hubby brought the cake to a CFC meeting that afternoon, I saw these in our group Whatsapp messaging:
Believe me, they taste much more better than they look in the pictures. I was too excited and simply forgot to use the DSLR, using the camera on my smartphone instead, which explains the unappetizing photo. Augh! I'll try to change it next time I make another carrot cake.
But seriously, this is truly the Ultimate Carrot Cake recipe. Ever.