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Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting http://rasamalaysia.com/carrot-cake-recipe/
August 24th, 2011 53 Comments

Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake
Carrot Cake pictures (4 of 4)

One of my favorite root vegetables is carrot. I love carrot in my soups, drinks (carrot juice), so it’s no surprise that I love carrot cake, even though the idea of adding carrots to a cake is somewhat bizarre, but carrot cake is a good cake. My contributor Pick Yin at Life is Great is here to share her carrot cake recipe, topped with a rich and decadent maple cream cheese frosting. Just the name alone is mouthwatering enough. Check it out!

Carrot cake…who knew I’d love it?

When I first announced to Vijay that I’d make some soon, he asked “The white one or the black one?” – referring to the Chinese fried radish cake rather than this baked cake frosted with cream cheese. He knew I’m not that girl who’d put a root vegetable and a cake together and I’d sooner turn a bunch of carrots into a pot of soup before considering them in a healthy dessert…

Carrot Cake

However, with more than a handful of friends professing themselves as carrot cake fans and Bee listing it as something she’d like to see featured here, it was imminent that I’d be baking one and eating some. There’s a first time for everything in life, so with not much reference or recommended recipes to fall on, I studied a few recipes and adapted what I thought were the best elements from each to come up with a carrot cake I really didn’t want to share.

The base recipe is from no other than my favorite celebration cake lady. Deb’s cakes had never failed me. I wanted a smooth crumbed cake—no chunky bits of nuts or fruits in my cake, please—one that’s packed with flavor, yet moist and preferably melt in my mouth, along with an exceptional frosting. I was pleased that my adaptation worked out really well. It took some will power on my behalf to refrain from cutting into the cake layers as they cooled. I resorted to snacking on what little crumbs that were falling off the cooling racks instead.

Carrot cake die-hards would each have their own favorites but the best thing about this carrot cake is you can alter it to your preference. Don’t like pineapples? Use some apple sauce instead. George Calombaris’s mother used apricot jam in hers. You won’t really taste any of the fruit but the flavor and texture of the cake would be greatly improved. Don’t have walnuts? Use pecans, macadamias or even cashews.

There isn’t really a recipe set in stone when it comes to a carrot cake. There’s only a favorite. I hope this version of mine would be yours too.

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53 comments... read them below or add one

  1. WhyteVee Aml via Facebook says:

    carrot cake’s my fav~!

  2. Aishah Abdullah via Facebook says:

    Awe I’m gonna try this recipe.

  3. Kushi says:

    Instead of pineapple slices pureed, I use well-drained canned crushed pineapple. The pineapple canned in pineapple juice. I think if you used canned pineapple in syrup, it loses the pineapple taste too much.

  4. pickyin says:

    Kushi: Exactly. I used pineapple canned in its own juices, not the kind in syrup.

  5. Katarina says:

    I love carrot cake! This looks great!

  6. Fern says:

    looks yum! can’t wait to try it!

  7. l c tan says:

    Did you use white carrot or orange carrots.

  8. wowwwww, i mean this is a show stopper if ever i saw one! Carrot cake is one of my all time favourites, this is a lovely recipe and your photos are PERFECT!

  9. tara says:

    what a stunner. and i totally agree on preferring a smoother cake.

  10. I absoulutely love carrot cake with cream chees frosting but the idea of adding a maple cream cheese frosting sounds delicious!

  11. Your photos are lovely! I love a good carrot cake and really like the idea of using maple in the frosting!

  12. absolutely LOVE carrot cake and the photos look amazing! (: Now I’m craving for some and I just woke up! haha

  13. Thank you for all your kind comments. I think Deb’s idea to incorporate maple syrup into the cream cheese frosting was nothing short of genius.

  14. Indu says:

    Looks perfect. Just curious, did you eat the whole thing?

  15. Ah, I remember this one from your Twitter pictures! This looks fabulous and the frosting is impeccable!

  16. Cristina says:

    Wow! I love carrot cake, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one quite so beautiful. Just deliciously gorgeous! ;)

  17. MyM says:

    Tried this today, unfortunately didnt turn out too well. The cake was far too dense/wet and thats after cooking it for an extra 40mins! so not sure what went wrong, should the carrots be squeezed to remove excess liquid?
    Flavour was great though

    • MyM: An extra 40 mins? Did you bake all the batter in one tin? The carrots should be just grated. Did you use all the liquid from the canned pineapple? The prepared pineapple puree should come to no more than 1/4 cup.

      • MyM says:

        I used 3×8″ tins, had slightly more than 1/4 cup of puree but didnt use any juice, was going to check the cake earlier to make sure it hadn’t dried out by not using the juice. Nevermind, maybe I was just unlucky, it happens.

        • There are some people on Smitten Kitchen who found the cake too wet/oily/heavy for their liking. Some reduced the vegetable oil by up to 1/2 cup and found the cake still pretty good.

          Regarding the longer baking time, if this happened before to your other cakes, I reckon checking with an oven thermometer might help to see if the temperature is right. Hope this helps!

    • Petra says:

      I just wanted to ask, if anyone ever tried this cake. Because I’ve tried it an it was horrible and ended up in garbage. I had the same problem as you!

  18. Julia says:

    whoaa the cakes is awesome!!!
    what’s the decoration on top? caramel? It looks fabulous~

  19. Luke says:

    How to make the sugar decorations?

  20. Julia: Thank you! Yes, it was some toffee hazelnuts which was a little too dark.

    Luke: To make the toffee hazelnuts:

    Roast some hazelnuts or macadamia – I used the oven, you can also do it with a frying pan. Let cool to room temperature. Poke the base of each nut with a toothpick.

    Melt some sugar in a heavy-based saucepan – I used castor sugar. Without stirring over medium low to medium heat, move the pan around from time to time to even out the caramel. Once a nice golden brown color is achieved, remove from heat and let cool till the caramel thickens enough to coat the nuts. (Don’t let the color be as dark as mine, I overdid it.)

    Dip the prepared nuts into the caramel to coat evenly. Lift upwards 90 degrees to drip and create the ‘spike’. Cut of the cooled sugar strand with a pair of kitchen scissors and leave to rest on a plate/tray lined with parchment paper. Once caramel is fully set, remove the toothpick and set the nuts upright.

  21. Aimti says:

    This is gorgeous! Really love your blog that you would invite guest to do a write up on some specialties. :) more baking recipes? ;)

  22. SparklingRachel says:

    I love carrot cake! OMG… I love the photos, too! I wish I can make something like that…

  23. Tini says:

    The cake looks so pretty and delicious. I am going to make this cake for my husband 40th birthday! Could I ask you where do you get the cake stand?

    Thanks in advance!

    Tini

  24. tguerrero says:

    Hi! I wanted to make this as a 2 layer 9″ cake, but slice the layers in half to make 4 thin layers. Will I need to double the maple frosting recipe for 4 thin layers? Or is the quantity of frosting in a single recipe enough? If you could please give me some advice on this ASAP. Many thanks!

  25. Nina says:

    What a gorgeous looking cake..loved it. First time to your blog…you have a great site:) Following you:)

  26. Carolyn says:

    This turned out to be the best carrot cake I’ve ever had!

  27. JulieD says:

    This cake is absolutely beautiful, Bee! I need this in my life…I am one of those who loves carrot cake without raisins…alright making this soon! :)

  28. Jessica says:

    This cake looks beautiful!! What is on the top for decorations? Did you make that too? If so could you tell me how you did it? Thank you!!

  29. Kmotc says:

    1. I made your carrot cake recipe last night and it was amazing.
    2. For a shortcut, just use a rectangular 13″ pan (saves cutting the round layer cakes and icing them) you also don’t have to freeze the cake before icing it.
    3. DELICIOUS! The most amazing carrot cake ever.
    4. I think hand grating the carrots was key to the moist amazing in the mouth feel of this recipe–so take the time-shave them end on–instead of side-ways–that way you don’t scrape your fingers.
    5. I did not have the fresh ginger, only the dry, but it still worked.
    6. I used fresh pineapple –pureed in the mixer attachment of my handmixer.
    7. The icing is very rich, if you have sugar issues you might want to give that a miss, because the carrot cake without tastes like a delicious sweet carrot bread-cake and could easily work on its own-and could save you some time–though then it would not be the traditional carrot cake.
    8. Somebody please tell me what those amazing looking decorations are on the first page for this recipe–the nuts are pistachio, but what are those dripped looking globes sticking up–that’s so decorative and I want to do a fancy one like that some day.

    excellent recipe
    You rock!
    best,
    Karen

    • Jessica and Kmotc:

      To make the toffee hazelnuts:
      Roast some hazelnuts or macadamia – I used the oven, you can also do it with a frying pan. Let cool to room temperature. Poke the base of each nut with a toothpick.
      Melt some sugar in a heavy-based saucepan – I used castor sugar. Without stirring over medium low to medium heat, move the pan around from time to time to even out the caramel. Once a nice golden brown color is achieved, remove from heat and let cool till the caramel thickens enough to coat the nuts. (Don’t let the color be as dark as mine, I overdid it.)
      Dip the prepared nuts into the caramel to coat evenly. Lift upwards 90 degrees to drip and create the ‘spike’. Cut of the cooled sugar strand with a pair of kitchen scissors and leave to rest on a plate/tray lined with parchment paper. Once caramel is fully set, remove the toothpick and set the nuts upright.

  30. sue says:

    My daughter & I made this recipe this evening for her 7th grade social studies class. They need to make an asian cuisine…. so I googled & your website came up. This is fabulous carrot cake! We made about 50 mini cupcakes with one recipe… awesome & amazing! I can’t wait to try more of your recipes! Thank you!

  31. Do says:

    it looks amazing. I want to make it really bad. But I am allergic to fruits.. is there something i can replace the pineapple with, or can i leave it out of the cake? It looks beautiful!

  32. Paola says:

    I’ll try it very soon and I’ll tell you if this cake meets the italian taste.

  33. Michelle says:

    Can’t wait to bake this beautiful cake! How many days in advance (without frosting) could I bake this? Or does it freeze well?
    Thanks!

  34. Angie says:

    Would never make any part of this again! Tastes good, but the cake is WAY too moist and crumbly, and crazy dense. The icing is soup, even after adding an extra 3 cups of icing sugar it runs right off the cake, even after chilling for 30 mins, which I have never done with cream cheese frosting in the past. I am a very experienced baker and never have issues with other recipes I try, so wishing I hadn’t tried this one at all!

    • Angie – I am not sure what happened because we adapted this recipe from Smitten Kitchen and didn’t have any issues. I apologized that you didn’t have a successful carrot cake. :(

  35. jamie says:

    Your cake recipe sounds great and look forward to trying! Carrot cake is my favorite? Where did you find the gorgeous wood cake stand and wood plates?

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