A Birthday Carrot Cake

Carrot cake is a classic Easter dessert and also happens to be my fiance’s favorite cake.  The fact that his birthday falls on Easter weekend this year made for the perfect carrot cake storm. My secret ingredient is mandarin oranges, straight out of the can.  My sisters and I loved these little orange fruits when we were growing up and I’m still a fan.   Combined with the carrots, they give the cake a beautiful orange color and flavor.

You do need to refrigerate this cake because of the cream cheese in the icing.

I recommend picking up some Speculoos Cookies from Trader Joe’s so you can conduct some icing taste-tests.  They’re so so good and even better with cream cheese frosting.

If you put the candles (or toothpicks)  in the cake before you cover with saran or aluminum foil it will protect your beautiful icing job.

What to buy:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 cups grated peeled carrots
  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  • 1 small can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
  • 3 eggs

What to do:

  • pre-heat oven to 350
  • butter two 9 inch cake pans
  • in a large bowl whisk: flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, all spices
  • in a medium bowl add carrots, orange peel, mandarins, coconut and pecans and mix well, add  oil, vanilla extract and eggs one at a time mixing in well
  • add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until well mixed
  • pour into buttered cake pans
  • bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes -a toothpick will come out clean when done
  • allow to cool completely in pan for 1-2 hours. before removing to ice with Cream Cheese Icing

Cream Cheese Icing: Combine all until soft and well mixed and spread onto your cake!

  • 2 sticks butter, unsalted, softened
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 small pinch salt

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