You could say I live for party planning. I try to host get-togethers in my tiny NYC apartment as often as I can. I’ll spend days obsessing over the perfect playlist and hours in the kitchen concocting mini appetizers and bite sized desserts. I have this wild ambition of someday baking my own wedding cake. When the time comes, I imagine I will probably be too frazzled and nerve wracked about messing up that very special cake to follow through with the fantasy, but if I had the courage, it would be a more elaborate version of this Carrot Cake. It is, in short, the perfect cake.
It might sound strange, but this cake is actually better on day two. I recommend baking the cake the day before you plan to serve it and refrigerating overnight (this will also make it easier to frost). The next day, whip up the cream cheese frosting, ice the cake, and serve to your guests, who will immediately bow down to your baking mastery.
Three Tier Carrot Cake
Adapted from thekitchn.com
Serves 12-15 (depending on the size of your slices)
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 ½ teaspoon ground ginger
6 eggs at room temperature
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup sour cream
1 cup canola oil
1 ½ cup granulated sugar
6 cups grated carrots
1 batch Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the vanilla. Whisk the sour cream into the eggs and vanilla mixture. Set both aside.
In a large bowl, beat the oil and sugar together in a mixer (by hand works fine too). Next, beat 1/3 of the flour into the oil and sugar mixture. Then add 1/3 of the egg mixture. Continue adding the flour and egg mixtures in thirds and stop mixing once all the ingredients have been combined. Gently stir the carrots into the batter until they are evenly distributed.
Divide the batter equally into three 8-inch cake pans (or, if you only have one cake pan, cook each tier individually and refill the cake pan after each tier has baked and been removed to cool). Cook each layer for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cream Cheese Frosting
½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
2 8-ounce package cream cheese at room temperature
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups confectioner’s sugar
Pinch of salt
Beat together the butter and cream cheese. Slowly beat in the vanilla, confectioner’s sugar, and salt. Increase to high speed once the frosting starts to come together in lumps. Beat until creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. You’ll have a bit more frosting than you’ll need for the cake (which if you’re wondering, is absolutely a good reason to have several spoonfuls to yourself as an afternoon snack).