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Recipe Thursday-Carrot Layer Cake

Posted on May 22nd, 2014 | Posted in Dessert, Recipes

Carrot Cake (1 of 1)

It is always nice to have an occasion to make a deliciously decadent cake! Well, this past Easter I made dessert for my family gathering. This America’s Test Kitchen recipe incorporates pecans onto the outside of the cake, for a less bitter substitute to walnuts, the use of pureed prunes kept the cake very moist and of course a cream cheese buttermilk frosting was necessary to finish off this four tiered cake. We all made room for this dessert.

Yield 14-16 Servings
1 3/4 cups (8.75oz) all-purpose flour (991889, 25#)
2 teaspoons baking powder (NOT1030, 10#)
1 teaspoon baking soda (NOT1031, 10#)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (CQC065, QT)
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (CQN061, QT)
1/2 teaspoon salt (991862, 50#)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (CQC072, QT)
1 1/4 cups (8.75oz) light brown sugar (NSU2150, 50#)
3/4 cup vegetable oil (992065, GAL, Town & Country)
3 large eggs (EGG011, 15DOZ, E.K.Martin)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (NFC1055, GAL)
2 2/3 cups shredded carrots (4 carrots) (00180, 50#)
2/3 cup prunes, pureed (993980, 5#, Azar) 

1 cup (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened (880030, 1#)
3 cups (12oz) confectioners’ sugar (NSU2450, 50#)
1/3 cup buttermilk powder (991908, 50#)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (NFC1055, GAL)
1/4 teaspoon salt (991862, 50#)
12 ounces cream cheese, chilled and cut into 12 equal pieces (776002, 3#, Smithfield)
2 cups (8oz) pecan pieces, toasted (NNU1020, 30#)

For the Cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 18 x 13-inch rimmed baking sheet, line with parchment paper, and grease parchment. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cloves together in large bowl.

Whisk sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla together until mixtrue is smooth. Stir in carrots and prunes. Add flour mixture and fold with rubber spatula until mixture is just combined.

Transfer batter to prepared baking sheet and smooth surface with spatula. Bake until center of cake is firm to touch, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes. Invert cake onto cookie sheet (do not remove parchment) and then reinvert onto wire rack. Cool cake completely, about 30 minutes.

For the Frosting: Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter, sugar, buttermilk powder, vanilla and salt on low speed until smooth, abut 2 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed. Increase speed to medium-low; add cream cheese, 1 piece at a time; and mix until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Transfer cooled cake to cutting board, parchment side down. Using sharp chef’s knife, cut cake and parchment in half crosswise and then lengthwise to make 4 equal rectangles, about 6 by 8 inches each.

Place 6 by 8-inch cardboard rectangle on cake turntable or plate. Place 1 cake rectangle, parchment side up, on cardboard and carefully remove parchment. Using offset spatula, spread 2/3 cup frosting evenly over cake layer. Repeat with two more layers of cake, frosting each layer with 2/3 cup frosting and pressing gently on each layer to level. Place last rectangle of cake on top and frost top of cake with 1 cup frosting. Use remaining frosting to coat sides of cake.

Hold cake with one hand and gently press chopped pecans onto sides with other hand. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.

Cake may be refrigerated for up to 24 hours before serving.

Recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

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