With Father’s Day right around the corner, I was at a loss for what to prepare or gift to my wonderful husband. Sure, he’s not *my* Dad (and if my Dad lived near me, you can bet I’d make him something equally fabulous!), but he’s the world’s best Father to our Honey Bear and soon-to-be addition and he deserves a very special treat.
When thinking of sweets or treats, there’s only one thing that comes to his mind. For him, it is the pinacle of all cakes and the only cake he’ll never turn down: The Carrot Cake. And so, I was determined to make him the best darn cake I could find and when you’re pinning your hopes on one cake, make it this one. It’s rich and a bit time consuming, but it’s visually stunning and from sampling bits of cake and bits of icing, I have high hopes this is the carrot cake that’ll top them all:
Classic Carrot Cake with Marmalade Cream Cheese Icing
Darlene King for Harrowsmith Country Life, August 2006 (if you haven’t already subscriped to this amazing magazine, please do so. You’ll love it, I promise. It’s worth it for King’s recipes alone.)
For the Cake:
2 cups peeled and grated carrots
3/4 cup crushed pineapple, well drained
1 cup raisins, washed and dried
1 tbsp grated orange zest
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
3/4 cup finely shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup toasted, chopped walnuts
4 large eggs
1 cup honey (I used maple syrup)
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup canola oil
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp all spice
For the Icing:
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature (I used reduced fat for the same reason I order a Diet Pepsi when ordering the Giant Jumbo Popcorn Trough when I’m at the movies…)
2 tbsp butter, room temperature
1/4 cup orange marmalade
2 tsp grated orange zest
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups icing sugar
1 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Lightly oil two 8-inch cake pans
3. Placed the grated carrots, pineapple, raisins, orange zest, coconut and walnuts in a large bowl and stir together.
4. In a second large bowl, place the eggs, honey and brown sugar and beat with an electric mixer until light. Add the oil and continue to beat until well mixed.
5. In a third bowl, mix the baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Stir well.
6. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour your egg/sugar mixture and stir until just combined. Then add the carrot mixture and stir until incorporated. Don’t overmix.
7. Divide the batter evenly into two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool.
8. To prepare the icing, with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter and marmalade until combined. Add the orange zest and vanilla. Gradually add the icing sugar until the icing is smooth and spreadable. Ice the cake once the cake is cooled and decorate with walnut pieces.