Three Layer Carrot Cake

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A moist carrot cake is challenge to make, since the gluten in all-purpose flour can cause the cake’s texture to become tough and the shredded carrots can cause the cake to become too dense.  I challenged myself to bake the ultimate carrot cake and turned it into an occasion to celebrate another month of marriage with my husband.  We like to celebrate an anniversary every month and this time he specifically requested a carrot cake.
3 layer carrot cake

Grocery list

For the filling
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
Pinch salt
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 butter
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the cake
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cake & pastry flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
Pinch salt
4 eggs
4 cups finely shredded carrots
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

For the frosting
3/4 cup butter, softened
2 packages (3 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups confectioners’ sugar

Make the filling:  In a large non-stick saucepan, combine sugar, flour and salt.  Stir in whipping cream and add butter.  Turn to medium heat and cook, stirring often, until the butter is melted.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low.  Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.  Stir in vanilla and nuts (if using).  Remove from heat and let cool.

Make the cake:  Preheat the oven to 350oF.  Grease 3 9-inch round baking pans, line with parchment paper, then grease and lightly flour.

In a large mixing bowl, beat oil and sugar until well blended.  In a separate bowl, add the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well combined.  Add the dry ingredient mixture and eggs (one at a time) alternately to the oil and sugar mixture, beating until just combined.  Remember that excessive beating will result in a tough cake.  Stir in the carrots, raisins, and nuts (if using).

Pour into prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.  Cool in the pans for 15 minutes before flipping out onto wire racks to cool completely.

Prepare frosting:  In a small bowl, beat the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla until light and fluffy.  Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth.

To assemble, place one cake layer on a 10-inch cake round or serving plate.  If desired, level the top of the cake with a long serrated knife.  Spread half of the filling evenly over top.  Level the top of the second cake layer with a long serrated knife and place on top of the first layer.  Spread evenly with the remaining filling.  Level the last cake layer with a long serrated knife and place on top of the cake.  Spread the frosting on the sides and the top of the cake.

3 layer carrot cake

3 layer carrot cake


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