Daily Recipe :: Carrot Cake with Tangy Orange Frosting
We feel like celebrating. It’s almost Mother’s Day (make sure you call your mom!) and we have fantastic events planned this weekend. It looks like this rainy weather might stick around for awhile, so it’s the perfect evening to make a cake. Carrots are still going strong in central Texas, and not only are they perfect for snacking they also make a mean baked good.
This recipe goes one step beyond simple carrot cake with the addition of orange frosting. While a good carrot cake should be able to stand on its own, it’s always nice when you pair it with the perfect frosting. We still have some local citrus, which will be out of season soon, so grab it while you can.
We enjoyed that the author made it slightly healthier by adding goat cheese to the frosting, which is easier to digest than cow’s milk and adds a bit more tang. She also added less sugar and used olive oil instead of butter, which makes for a cake that you feel a little less guilty about eating, right?
Who are we kidding, guilt and delicious (real) food shouldn’t go together.
Carrot Cake with Tangy Orange Frosting
From: The Kitchn
- 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 2/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tsp orange zest
- 2 tsp pure vanilla
- 3 cups grated carrots
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
For the frosting:
- 6 ounces cream cheese
- 6 ounces goat cheese
- 2 tsp freshly grated orange zest
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups confectioners sugar
- Whole walnuts, to garnish
Preheat the oven to 375°F and place a rack in the center of the oven.
Grease two 8-inch cake pans and line both with a round of parchment paper.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Using an electric mixer on medium-low, combine the olive oil, buttermilk, sugars, eggs, orange zest and vanilla. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. With a spoon, fold in the grated carrots and walnuts.
Divide the batter equally between the two pans. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow them to cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then carefully invert them out of the pans, peel off the parchment, and set them right side up to cool completely on the rack.
While the cakes are cooling, prepare the frosting. With an electric mixer on medium-low, combine the cream cheese, goat cheese, orange zest and vanilla. Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar until the frosting reaches desired consistency.
To frost the cake, first spread a small dab of icing on the cake plate. Cut narrow strips of parchment or paper and place them in a grid on the cake plate, leaving the center open. They should be close enough together that the cake layer sits on top of the paper with no part of the diameter exposed directly to the plate.
Using a serrated bread knife, carefully carve off the domed top of one of the layers as evenly as possible. Center this first layer on the plate. Using an offset spatula, apply a “crumb coat”: a thin layer of frosting meant to keep the crumbs down. (Refrigerate the layer at this point if the crumbs are coming up.)
Stir the frosting and place about 1/3 of it over the bottom cake layer. Spread the frosting with the spatula until even and smooth. Make sure that the frosting is thicker around the edges.
Place the second layer on top and apply a crumb coat. Refrigerate. Place about half of the remaining frosting around the sides of the cake, working the frosting around the edges. Spread the remaining frosting across the top of the cake, dipping the spatula in warm water and wiping it off between strokes to keep it warm and clean for a smoother finish.
Remove the strips one at a time, pulling it out in a straight line, parallel to the floor. Garnish the cake with walnuts, herbs, flowers and/or birthday candles.