THE BEST EASY CARROT CAKE
- 160 g (5,5 oz) fresh carrots peeled and coarsely chopped
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla paste or vanilla extract
- the zest from 1 small orange
- 110 g (1/2 cup) white sugar
- 100 g (1/2 cup) dark brown sugar
- 180 ml (3/4 cup) vegetable oil flavorless like canola oil, sunflower oil...
- 300 g (2+1/2 cup) all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
- 2 g (1/2 tsp) baking soda
- 5 g (1+1/4 tsp) baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 15 g (1 tbsp) orange juice
- 100 g (1 cup) pecans chopped in large pieces
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 600 g (21 oz) cream cheese chilled
- 270 g (2 cups+2tbsp) powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla paste or vanilla extract
- 500 ml (2 cups) whipping cream chilled
- In a medium-size bowl sift together flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, baking powder. Mix and set aside.
- In a food processor, place chopped carrots and process until finely ground. If you don't have a food processor, grate your fresh carrots with a fine hand grater. You can make the cake with a hand mixer or just with a wisk and a spatula.
- Add eggs, vanilla, orange zest, white sugar, dark sugar and process.
- Add gradually oil and stop mixing until combined.
- Add the flour mix and process few seconds just until combined: don't overmix! If you're using a whisk, remember to fold gently the flour mix into the egg mix with a spatula and don't mix it too much.
- Add pecans, orange juice and mix few seconds just until combined.
- Equally divide the cake batter into 3 slightly grased 18cm-7inch silicone microwave cake pans: I have just one pan and I cook one cake layer at a time.
- Cook every cake layer in microwave 800W for 3 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the top of the cake is soft but dry.If you have a Microwave with higher/lower wattage, you have to reduce/increase the cooking time for few seconds or minutes.If you don't have a Microwave, just bake your cake in preheated oven at 170°C-340°F for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool down your cake over a wire rack. Meanwhile make the frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- In a medium size bowl, place cream cheese, vanilla, powdered sugar and mix with an hand mixer for few seconds until creamy and well combined (you can also mix with a spatula).
- In a very large bowl, place your chilled whipping cream and whip until soft peaks.
- Add cream cheese mix and mix with an hand mixer for about 1-2 minutes until creamy and slightly thick: don't overmix.
Assemble the Cake
- Use the frosting for filling the three cake layers and frosting the cake.
- Decorate the top with a 1M piping tip, chopped pecans, fondant carrot decorations: check my FONDANT RECIPE down below!
- Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes before serving.
Thanks to Microwave, the cake layers turns out very flat. If you usually are stressed by your dome-top cakes, you should try microwave! It cooks from the inside to the outside (instead of traditional oven that bakes from the outside to the inside) and your cakes will turn out flat and light in color.
Remember that baking/cooking time could vary, so be careful and check your cake! It’s ready when the top is dry and a toothpick comes out clean. If you’re using microwave consider that it cooks fast, so check it every 30 seconds.
Don’t worry if you don’t have microwave, you can bake this cake in traditional preheated oven. I usually suggest to turn off the fan option (if your oven has this option) and bake with upper and lower heat. But every oven is different and remember that nobody knows your oven better than you!
I’ve used a food processor for the cake batter: it’s quick and easy, it grinds raw carrots very finely so the cake turns out soft, fluffy and smooth. You can also use a hand grater for carrots and a hand mixer for assemble the batter. Also a whisk and a spatula works well in this recipe because you don’t need to incorporate too much air in the batter: thanks to baking powder and baking soda the cake will rise perfectly!
I made those carrots decoration with homemade fondant.
HOMEMADE FONDANT RECIPE:
- 2,5 g gelatine (leaf or powder)
- 15 g water
- 25 g honey
- 225 g powdered sugar.
- In a small saucepan place water and gelatine powder (if you use gelatine leaf, soak into cold water and squeeze it before add to the water).
- Cook over low heat for very few minutes until gelatine completely dissolves.
- Add honey in the end and remove from the heat.
- Place powdered sugar into a food processor then pour the hot gelatine/water mix and process few seconds until crumbs are formed.
- Knead quickly the crumbs with hands until get a smooth ball. If too dry, add few drops of extra water.
- Use food coloring (and gloves!) to colorate your Fondant and form quickly your decorations.
- Remember that Fondant dry quickly! So work fast and cover it in plastick wrap.
- Store your Fondant decorations for 1 year in a tin box at room temperature.
I made 3 layers 18cm-7inch. Feel free to make 2 layers 20-22cm/8inch. Remember that baking and cooking time could vary, mostly if you change cake size! So check your cake: it’s ready when a toothpick comes out clean.