Mmmmm...... Carrot Cake.......
I'm so excited about this cake. It was soooooo good. Everyone, including my picky mother, who loves store bought box mixes and Sam's Club blueberry muffins, LOVED it!!!
I was torn on which recipe I wanted to use. I saw this one on another blog and I was totally going to use this one but then I saw that she had tons of cake batter and in all honesty, I didn't think I could handle that much cake!!!!
So I went on a recipe search. As I have mentioned before, if I am going to use a recipe on a website, it better have reviews! And it better have lots and lots of reviews! Well this one definitely did! (See reviews). Well, I weeded thru most of the pages of reviews and I decided this was definitely the one to use. The only change I made was to cut out some butter. I cut out only a 1/2 stick, but I think next time I might cut out a whole stick. I saw that a lot of people were having trouble getting it out of the pans and even more trouble putting the layers together b/c they were falling apart. I thought that all the butter might have done that, so I cut a little.
Also, I used raw pecans, so what I did before folding them in was get out the frying pan, put a little butter in it to melt and coat the bottom, then toassed the pecans in there w/ some cinnamon sugar. I know there is cinnamon in the batter, but I really like cinnamon. :)
The recipe also says to use 3- 9 inch cake pans, but I only used two. I think that if I had used 3 pans, these layers would have been super thin and I would have needed more frosting. Which isn't a bad thing, but I didn't want to risk having leftover frosting and eating it....
So I put the batter together and popped the two pans in the oven.....
Looks like chicken tortilla soup to me....
While those were baking, I started on the cream cheese frosting! This time I went and bought cream cheese from the store and bought extra for the cheesecake I was making in a few days....
I found a recipe that I had printed of a long time ago in my pile o' recipes and used that, but the technique I learned from one of my fav blogs to read, How to Eat a Cupcake.
I have always softened my cream cheese first, but tried it this way and I honestly think it helped a lot!
The recipe I used was:
2 8ox pkgs of cream cheese
1 stick of butter
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
I used an electric mixer and when I put the cream cheese and butter in the bowl, I cut them in cubes. I thought it would make it easier to mix, but honestly, I'm not sure it made a difference at all. But I mixed the cream cheese, butter and vanilla (cream cheese cold, butter room temp) until it was just blended. I slowly added the powdered sugar and mixed until just smooth. Since it was still pretty cold, I figured that was why it was a bit stiff, so I waited until it warmed a bit before I decided whether to mix it a bit more. After it reached a temp closer to room temp, it softened up enough to make it spreadable. Doesn't there look like there is so little in there?
But I think I have found my recipe. I might use less butter next time b/c I like the cream cheesy taste so much and I think the butter muted it a bit, but it is definitely smooth and yummy.
So I took the cakes out at the 25 min mark. When I pulled out the toothpick there were still some crumbles stuck to it, so it was definitely time. Unfortunately, the edges were a bit crunchy, but I cut those off. I let them sit a while before taking them out of the pans.... I was scared they would fall apart like some of the reviews said they did, but they held up amazingly. And I got one yummy cake.
This picture was what it looked like when I cut into it still somewhat warm. The cake firmed up ALOT when it was in the refrigerator overnight (see picture below).
Not as moist looking, but it was still very very soft and tender. Yummmm...