Carrot Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Butter Frosting

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This cake is moist, decadent and yet, amazingly light, without the sort of denseness you might expect of a cake loaded with fruit. 




I think I did do a rather decent job with the frosting and decorating – but I forgot to take pictures of how nice the layers turned out on the inside.  I was as excited as my family and friends were to dig into it and taste it. By the time I realised it, the cake had all been snapped up in under a minute!


The flavours of this cake get better and tastier with time, so I highly recommend baking it at least one, even two, days in advance.


The recipe makes a 7-inch round layered cake.


Ingredients:


2 cups Plain Flour

2 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Salt

3 Eggs

3/4 cup Buttermilk
3/4 cup Vegetable Oil
1 1/4 cup Raw Sugar or Brown Sugar
2 tsp Vanilla Extract

2 cups grated or shredded Carrots
1 cup chopped Walnuts
1 cup Raisins
1/4 cup crushed Pineapple, with juices (canned variety)
1 cup dessicated Coconut

To make Lemon Cream Cheese Butter Frosting:

227 gm (1 cup) unsalted Butter
Two 8-ounce packages of Cream Cheese
1/2 tsp Salt
4 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 tbsp Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed
1 tbsp Lemon Zest, freshly grated
3 1/2 to 5 cups Confectioner’s Sugar (depending on your preference)


To Make the Cake:


1.  Pre-heat oven to 175 deg Celsius. Lightly grease and flour two 7-inch round pans.


2.  In a large bowl, sift together the following: flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon and salt.

3.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the following: eggs, buttermilk, oil, sugar and vanilla extract. Mix well. Then add the flour mixture, and mix until well incorporated.

4.  In another deep bowl, mix the following: grated carrots, chopped walnuts, raisins, crushed pineapple and dessicated coconut.

5.  Using a large wooden spoon, add the carrot mixture to the flour mixture, and fold in well.

6.  Divide batter equally between the two cake pans. Bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.  When done, leave cakes to cool in the pans for 20 minutes before removing. Place onto cooling racks and allow cakes to cool completely before frosting, at least an hour or longer.  Place one layer on a cake turntable or flat dish.  Spread a thin layer of frosting. Place the second layer on top.  Frost the top and sides of the cake and decorate sides with toasted, chopped walnuts. Serve.

If making at least a day in advance, store the cake layers in air-tight containers or freezer bags when completely cooled to room temperature. Keep chilled in the refrigerator until required. Proceed to frost as suggested.

To Make Lemon Cream Cheese Butter Frosting:

Place butter and cream cheese into a mixer bowl.  Using an electric mixer, beat until smooth. Add the salt, vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest. Beat in the sugar, tasting as you go along until you reach the desired level of sweetness. Continue to beat until light and fluffy. Add a teaspoon of milk or cream if the consistency is a little too stiff to spread. Add sugar if the consistency is too thin.



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