Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Whole Wheat Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Vanilla Bean goodness

Happy Birthday Jesus. This was the birthday cake we had for Jesus this year at Christmas time. It's our favorite cake around here. The original is a King Arthur recipe. I've change it up a bit each time, but rarely remember what and how much of what I've changed, but the method is easy and original recipe is solid.

If you're looking to make this cake into a Cheesecake Cake try my
Carrot Cake Cheesecake Cake with Candied Carrot Curls

Whole Wheat Carrot Cake
Recipe from King Arthur’s Whole Grain Baking cookbook.

3 8-inch round layers, two 9-inch round layers, 16 servings or one 9x13 pan (24 servings) 
Oven 350 
Baking time 
30-35 min for 8 inch layers 
35-40 min 9 inch layers 
45-50 min for sheet cake – which I find works best for us and it’s easy 

4 large eggs 
1 ½ c vegetable oil 
2 teaspoons good vanilla extract 
1 ½ cups granulated sugar (I use way less and a little bit more brown sugar)
½ cup packed light or dark brown sugar 
2 cups whole wheat flour 
2 teaspoons baking soda 
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder 
1 ½ teaspoons salt 
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg - I use freshly grated
2 ½ cups finely grated carrots 
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts 
1 cup shredded or flaked coconut sweetened or not 
18 oz-ish can crushed pineapple drained well

(I add other spices, omit a few things- like the coconut, and nuts due to a nut allergy, sometimes I add some flax seed.) 

Grease and flour cake pans. I also line the bottom of my pans with parchment, if I am making layers. 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat eggs with an electric mixer and drizzle oil in while it is running. 
Add vanilla then sprinkle in the sugars. Beat well. You will have a thick foamy mixture. 
Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and spices together in a separate bowl. 
Add dry ingredients to the wet ones  and mix to make a smooth batter. 
Add carrots and nuts, then the coconut and pineapple. 
Pour into prepared pan(s).
Bake until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Because it’s whole wheat it won’t “spring” when you
press down so it’s not a good idea to test doness that way. 
Cool completely. 

Give Peas A Chance Cream Cheese Frosting

1 pound box of powdered sugar
1 stick of butter
1 (8 ounce) block of cream cheese, softened
1 Vanilla beans/seeds from one split pod or 1 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons milk, if needed

Beat the butter and cream cheese with a mixer until light and fluffy. 
Beat in vanilla.
Add one cup of powdered sugar at a time and beat well.
Keep adding sugar until the frosting is at the consistency you like.

Note about powdered sugar- it does NOT make the frosting thicker, it will make the frosting THINNER. If your frosting is too thick but the sweetness is where you like it add some milk. If your frosting is too thin you may need to beat in more cream cheese.
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