April 10, 2014

Homemade Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting || A House Favorite

Homemade Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting 

Huge fan of carrot cake, I'm actually surprised how many people like carrot cake, but you never really see it served places...weird.
The man loves carrot cake, so part of begin the wonderful wife that I am (hehe) I was on a mission to find the best. 

Homemade Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, The Graffitied Gardenia blog
Homemade Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting 

Tried a few then of course ended up at America's Test Kitchen, this was the winner for our taste buds. No stuff inside, just simple carrot cake, with a mound of cream cheese frosting and walnuts! I've tried it with two stacked 9 inch round cake pans, and cupcakes, but like the 9x13 pan best. If you do a stacked cake make sure to double the cream cheese frosting recipe or you'll be sad. 

My Notes: If you have a food processor it will save you SO MUCH time. I made this recipe two times before having one, boo! Took forever. Saved money and waited for a 20% off coupon to Bed, Bath and Beyond then I was a proud owner of my very own food processor!

In the recipe you slowly add vegetable oil to part of the ingredients using the food processor to mix it, hopefully your food processor has this awesome addition. See that little teeny tiny hole? That's made for this! You just fill up the tube in the top part with the liquid you're needing to add and it creates a small steady stream in. BRILLIANT! If you don't have the hole you just need to stand there and be patient. 

This is also great if you need to emulsify oil into something to make...maybe a vinaigrette dressing. If you add it to quickly the things you want to blend, won't.

Kitchen Nerd: Emulsion  ~ wikipedia
An emulsion is a mixture of two or more liquids that are normally immiscible (nonmixable or unblendable). Emulsions are part of a more general class of two-phase systems of matter called colloids. Although the terms colloid and emulsion are sometimes used interchangeably, emulsion should be used when both the dispersed and the continuous phase are liquids. In an emulsion, one liquid (the dispersed phase) is dispersed in the other (the continuous phase). Examples of emulsions include vinaigrettes, milk, mayonnaise.

As always my kitchen and/or product LOVES for this recipe:
A few of my favorite things...The Graffitied Gardenia blog
A few of my favorite things...

Powdered Sugar - C&H, I use only C&H for all my sugars. I've tried others and stuff doesn't taste or melt right. For powdered sugar I think C&H tastes better, I've tried two other brands and they tasted chalky.

Vanilla - Penzeys Single Strength Vanilla it's a lovely rich flavor, I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to ingredients I like. Pricy at $13.99 for a 4oz bottle, but worth every penny! The bottles are really cute dark glass too, so when I finish a bottle I wash it and use as a little flower vases around the house or for gifts. I also keep a couple with the lids so if I need to take a small amount of liquid somewhere. Like say....you brought garlic bread to a pot luck but wanted to bring Olive Oil and Balsamic for dipping, cute right! It also comes with a soaking vanilla bean inside, at least the 4oz does, depending on how much I'm baking I'd say one lasts me 3-4 months.

Vanilla if you live in Colorado or by a Savory Spice Shop - Savory Spice Shop Tahitian Vanilla or you can order online, delicious! This is my old favorite, but living in Wisconsin now, I want to support local as much as possible.

Cinnamon - Penzeys Vietnamese Extra Fancy Cinnamon, oh man...if you like cinnamon this stuff is outrageous! It's the best purest cinnamon flavor, just smelling it makes you happy. It is strong, so maybe use a little less than you're used to. Thank you Katy for sharing this favorite with me!

Flour - King Arthur All-Purpose Unbleached Flour

Zester (use nutmeg, lemon/lime/orange zest) - Microplane Premium Zester, lots of fun color options. If you don't have one, then you get one, the first time you use it for fresh nutmeg AMAZING!
Smile ear to ear!

Nutmeg - Fresh

I hope you make this simple delightful carrot cake and like it as much as we do!

Upcycled Penzeys vanilla Bottle for a flower vase, The Graffitied Gardenia blog
Upcycled Penzeys Vanilla Bottle || Flower Vase 

{you are beautiful and wonderfully made}

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