In celebration of our first anniversary, I asked The Hero what kind of cake he wanted (besides chocolate) and he said carrot cake. Mentally I groaned because I thought about all of the stuff I’ve had in carrot cake: raisins, nuts, coconut, pineapples… and I gagged. I just couldn’t see myself eating fruit cake with icing, so I did some research.
I turned to my trusty Cook’s Illustrated cookbook and decided to see what the Test Kitchen cooks had to offer. I found a simple recipe with the option to add raisins and nuts. Genius. AND it wouldn’t take forever to make. The only thing I needed was a food processor. Double bonus.
Of course, this recipe wouldn’t be one of mine without an everything, but. Everything, but nutmeg and sour cream, so I used allspice and yogurt instead. And I didn’t have any powdered sugar, so I made my own by pulverizing granulated sugar in the food processor for about 10 minutes. Still delicious. If you like nuts, toast 1½ cups and add it with the raisins and carrots.
slight modification from Cook’s Illustrated
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour (12½ ounces)
- 1¼ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon vanilla salt
- 1 lb carrots, washed (about 3 cups)
- 1 cup raisins
- 1½ cups granulated sugar (10½ ounces)
- ½ cup light brown sugar, packed (3½ ounces)
- 4 large eggs
- 1½ cups canola oil
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese, softened but still cool
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but still cool
- 1 tablespoon yogurt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1¼ cupsconfectioners’ sugar (4½ ounces)
For the frosting:
When cake is cool, mix the cream cheese, butter, yogurt, and vanilla in a medium bowl until combined. Add confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth.
Run a knife around the edge of the cakes to loosen from the pans. Invert one cake onto a wire rack, peel off parchment, then invert again onto a serving platter. Spread half of the frosting evenly over the surface of the first cake. Add the second layer and spread remaining frosting on top. Cut and serve. Cover leftovers and refrigerate for up to 3 days.