September 20, 2022

Ultimate Carrot Cake ~ #TheCakeSliceBakers

This Ultimate Carrot Cake has the perfect amount spice, carrot, and fruit and the 
Cream Cheese Frosting has a secret ingredient - the combination is absolutely delicious.



The Cake Slice Bakers are in their ninth month of baking through Zoë Bakes Cakes by Zoē François. This is one of my favorite books that we have baked through, full of amazing cake recipes ranging from elaborate cakes with intricate decorations to simply delicious quick breads. And for those who may not have heard of Zoē François, she is an amazing baker and bestselling author, blogger, and has a series called Zoë Bakes on the Magnolia Network. So far every recipe I have tried has been a winner and there really is a cake for everyone in this book.




The Cake Slice Bakers are a group of dedicated bakers who all love cake. Each year we choose a new cake-centric cookbook and bake our way through it. Every month we are given 3 choices and on the 20th day of each month we reveal what we have chosen on our blogs. This month's choices were Ultimate Carrot Cake, Chocolate Hazelnut Torte, and Rustic Grape and Almond Paste Cake. My family loves carrot cakes, so I choose that one to bake but made it into cupcakes.




This cake really is as stated - the ultimate recipe for carrot cake.  Whether you bake the original recipe with all the bells and whistles or more simple cupcakes like I did, the flavor is going to be amazing. I made a half recipe of the cake and it made 16 frosted cupcakes (I did have some leftover cream cheese frosting). I love spice in my cakes so I did add a little allspice and cardamom too.




Ultimate Carrot Cake
Printer Friendly Recipe

Ingredients
Candied Carrot Peels ~
  • Peels from 2 pounds organic carrots washed, making sure you get a nice thick peel, if they are too thin, they will fall apart while you candy them.
  • 200g (1 cup) sugar
  • 240ml (1 cup) water
  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom water or ½ teaspoon orange extract
  • Pinch kosher salt

Cake ~
  • 450g (4 cups) loosely packed finely grated carrots
  • 280g (2⅓ cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 250g (1¼ cups) granulated sugar
  • 200g (1 cup) lightly packed brown sugar
  • 300ml (1¼ cups) mild-flavored oil such as vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Finely grated zest of ½ large orange
  • 150g (1¾ cups) sweetened shredded coconut plus 150g (1¾ cups) additional for decorating the outside (if desired)
  • 160g (1 cup) chopped dried fruit such as apricots, raisins, cherries

Cream Cheese Frosting ~
  • 680g (1½ lb) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 330g (1½ cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon extract, optional
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 600g (5 cups) powdered sugar
  • 30ml (2 tablespoons) Lyle’s Golden Syrup (CSR brand if you can find it)

Preparation
Candied Carrot Peels ~
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°F / 95°C. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat.
  2. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together the simple syrup, orange blossom water, and salt and warm to a gentle simmer. Add the carrot peels and cook just until the peels are turning translucent.
  3. Strain the peels in a fine-mesh sieve and then lay them out on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake until the carrot peels start to curl up, anywhere from 30-60 minutes, depending on their thickness.
  5. Turn the oven temperature to 100°F / 40°C and bake until completely dry; this can take several hours.
  6. Transfer to an airtight container and store in a cool, dry place for up to 48 hours.
Cake ~
  1. Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F).
  2. Generously grease two 20 x 7.5cm (8x3-inch) cake pans, then line them with greased parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg until well combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together both sugars, oil, eggs, vanilla, orange zest, 150g (1¾ cups) of the coconut, dried fruit, and carrots.
  5. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until uniformly combined.
  6. Divide the batter into the two prepared pans and spread evenly using an offset spatula. 
  7. Gently tap the pans on the counter several times to release excess air bubbles.
  8. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes.
  9. Let cakes cool completely before removing from the pans.
  10. Remove the parchment paper and place one cake layer on a serving plate.
Cream Cheese Frosting ~
  1. In a large bowl blend the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, lemon extract, lemon juice, confectioners' sugar and Lyle's Golden Syrup, until smooth.
  2. Put one of the layers of cake on a 8-Inch Cake Circle and then top it with 1 cup of the cream cheese icing.
  3. Cover the cake with a thin crumb coat. 
  4. Finish with a smooth coating of the cream cheese icing. 
  5. If using, arrange candied carrot peels around the cake or press additional shredded coconut to the sides of the cake.



Each month The Cake Slice Bakers are offered a selection of cakes from the current book we are baking through. This year it is Zoë Bakes Cakes by Zoē François. We each choose one cake to bake, and then on the 20th - never before - we all post about our cake on our blogs. There are a few rules that we follow, but the most important ones are to have fun and enjoy baking & eating cakes!

Follow our Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pages where you can find all of our cakes, as well as inspiration for many other cakes. You can also click on the links below to take you to each of our cakes. If you have a blog and are interested in joining The Cake Slice Bakers and baking along with us, please send an email to thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com for more details.

The Cake Slice Bakers also have a new Facebook group called The Cake Slice Bakers and Friends. This group is perfect for those who do not have a blog but want to join in the fun and bake through this book.





It is a new year and a new book - Zoë Bakes Cakes - and our choices for September 2022 were ~



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