Monday, May 24, 2010

Carrot Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing

Earlier this month one of the girls at work asked me if I could make her mother a cake... her parents were coming from South Carolina to check out her new digs in the Great State (aka Texas) and it just so happened they would be celebrating Mother's Day a few weeks late and her mother's birthday a few months early.

And what better way to celebrate any occasion than with a swEEt cake :)

So I share with you, Carrot Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing.

Carrot Cake
A collaboration of recipes from 
Oven temp: 350 Bake: 40 min
Makes 2 8-inch round cakes

3/4 cup oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
4 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups AP flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup buttermilk
3 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup walnuts, plus more if using for decoration

In a bowl mix sugars and slowly stream in oil until combined. Add applesauce and vanilla.
Mix in eggs on at a time, mixing after each addition.
In separate bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Combine flour mixture with sugar mixture, alternating with buttermilk- always begin and end with flour!
Fold in shredded carrots (too easy if you use a food processor) and walnuts.
Pour into 2 prepared 8-inch round pans and transfer to oven.
Bake for 40 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.
Transfer to cooling rack. After about 10 minutes remove cakes from pans and continue cooling.

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing
1/2 stick butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Heat cream in microwave until bubbly, pour over white chocolate chips and whisk until smooth- you're basically making a quick ganache. (side note: I heat my white chocolate chips about 45 seconds in the microwave first because white chocolate can be tricky sometimes) Set aside to cool.
Beat butter, cream cheese and vanilla until fluffy and smooth. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Slowly pour in melted chocolate and keep beating until smooth and creamy consistency.

*If the icing seems too soupy, add more powdered sugar. Everyone likes their icing a little different.. if you don't want it as sweet don't add the white chocolate and/or don't ad as much powdered sugar. I on the other hand, like my cream cheese icing almost to just have a hint of cream cheese flavor so I use lots of sugar.

If your cakes have uneven or rounded tops, always make sure to level them off with a sharp bread knife. Place one layer on serving platter (or cake board) and fill with cream cheese icing. Place second layer softly/neatly on top and finish by icing the top and sides of the cake. For a fancy looking, yet super easy decorating technique, press crushed walnuts along sides of cake.

If not eating right away, make sure to refrigerate!

Happy Baking!