Are you wondering what to do with all of those carrots you are harvesting? Me neither. But it sounded like a good lead line for this recipe. Remember “Laurie and Amy’s Amazing Chocolate Cake” ? Truly, the best dense chocolate cake in the world. According to me. Well, Laurie also makes this off-the-chart delicious carrot cake. It is hands down the best carrot cake. In the world. Trust me. I know carrot cake. Have I ever told you how much I love cake. Well yes, I think I have, back in that 200 line rambling post about Laurie’s Amazing Chocolate Cake. I’m not sure if this is another cake recipe Laurie originally gleaned off of her friend Amy, who is a talented cook, seamstress, decorator, baker etc. (these of course are only all of her worldly qualities). Laurie has made this about a hundred times and perfected the recipe. The only wedding reception in the history of mankind where all of the cake was eaten, was a wedding I catered, and Laurie made this famous cake. True story. We ran out of cake. No leftovers for the bride’s family to try to pawn off on every person who comes over for a visit in the week following the wedding. Nothing. All gone. Every last crumb. So here it is. Her secret to a moist, but not too greasy carrot cake is buttermilk and lots of…CARROTS. Brilliant. Look at most carrot cake recipes and you’ll find a huge amount of oil, and not so much carrot. The other thing that makes this recipe stand out is the grinding of the nuts and raisins together. This makes a HUGE cake, so unless you want one really large cake, split the batter into two 9 inch pans and two 8 inch pans. Freeze the smaller layers for a rainy day. Start grating.
Laurie’s Amazing Carrot Cake
3 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 Tablespoons salt
4 teaspoons soda
4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons cloves, ground
6 cups grated carrots
2 cups chopped pecans
4 1/2 cups flour
2 cups raisins and / or 2 cups chopped fresh cranberries
2- 10 inch Spring form pans,
two- 9 inch round cake pans and two- 8 inch round cake pans.
Beat the eggs, oil and buttermilk together in a large bowl. Grind the pecans and raisins in a food processor with a metal blade. Pulse until chopped into very small pieces. Add all of the dry ingredients, including the nuts and raisins to the wet ingredients. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Pour into greased and floured pans, lined with parchment or wax paper. Only fill pans 3/4 full. Bake at 325 degrees for about 1 hour if using 10 inch Spring form pans, about 45 minutes for round pans. Test with toothpick to see if done before removing from oven. After removing from oven, wrap each layer individually with saran wrap and place in freezer while still warm. Remove after cake is cooled and frozen, and apply one layer of frosting. Layer the cake on a platter. Return to freezer. Let cake refreeze until frosting is firm. Remove and frost outer sides and top of cake again. At this point you can either place back in freezer until ready to use, or let sit out to thaw. If making the cake in advance, cover when frosting is hardened and store in freezer. On day of serving, remove cake from freezer at least three hours before serving. You may decorate with lemon leaves around base of cake.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 cube butter, not margarine
8 oz. cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla (I used 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice instead)
about 6 cups powdered sugar
cream or milk to thin, about 3 tablespoons
Cream the butter and cream cheese. Add flavoring, salt and about 3 cups of powdered sugar. Mix well. Add rest of powdered sugar and milk or cream to desired consistency. Frost as directed. If you are making 4 layers, I 1/2 this recipe again so you will have enough to frost all four cakes. If making either 2 -10 inch spring form cakes, or just frosting 2- 9 inch cakes, and keeping the smaller 8 inch cakes in the freezer for later use, one batch of frosting is enough.
-Freezing the cakes while still warm helps lock in the moisture and keeps the crumbs from getting in the frosting.
-Turn the cake so the flattest side is up when frosting and putting cakes together.
-This cake stays moist and fresh for at least a week in the refrigerator.