Grownup carrot cake


For the cake:
1 1/4 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 2" pieces
1 T butter or olive oil
4 cups all purpose flour
4 cups sugar
4 t baking soda
2 T cinnamon
2 t ground ginger
1/2 t cloves
2T vanilla or vanilla paste
3 T bourbon
6 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups good quality extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple, cut into 1/4" pieces (or canned pineapple)
1 7-ounce package shredded sweetened coconut (about 2 2/3 cups)
For the frosting:
6 T unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 6 pieces
1 8 ounce package cream cheese, room temperature, cut into 8 pieces
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 T vanilla or vanilla paste


For the cake:
Arrange oven racks in the middle of the oven so they can accommodate three 9" cake pans. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Put carrots in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook until fork-tender, about 12 - 15 minutes. Drain the carrots and allow to cool. When cool, puree in a food processor or blender. Set aside.
While carrots are cooking, line three 9" cake pans with parchment paper. Butter or lightly oil both sides of the parchment so that the parchment adheres to the cake pans.
In a large bowl, sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and cloves together. Add the vanilla, bourbon, eggs and olive oil and mix to combine with an electric mixer. Add the carrots, fresh pineapple and coconut and stir by hand to combine. Pour the mixture evenly into three cake pans.
Bake the cake layers for about 1 hour. Cakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set on cooling racks.
For the frosting:
In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese together with an electric mixer. Sift the powdered sugar into the bowl, add the lemon and vanilla and continue mixing until frosting is smooth.
When ready to frost, remove the parchment paper from each layer. Frost between layers and on top of the cake. This frosting is very rich, so I prefer not to frost the sides of the cake.


This recipe was inspired by Berta's carrot cake, published in The New Basics cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins back in the 80's. I start with Berta’s recipe, and amp it up for an adult palate. I use fresh pineapple, olive oil, coconut, lots of spices and a big shot of bourbon. The end result is a super moist, spicy, not-too-sweet cake, frosted with my favorite cream cheese and butter frosting. This is a huge 3-layer cake that serves 16 or more and is perfect for a big Easter dinner.


Serves 16


Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - 11:22pm



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