Tuesdays With Dorie – Bill's Big Carrot Cake

by Jessica on April 22, 2008

After a little peer pressure from one Aggiesgirl06, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and join Tuesdays With Dorie!  Needless to say, I’m so happy I did.  Since this was my first TWD experience, I was a little nervous.  In all honesty, I don’t care for carrot cake… I never have (I know, I know – I’m sorry!).  My parents are in love with it, so I knew that this huge cake wouldn’t go to waste.  I did give it a try, though, (eeek!) and I have to say that it’s one of the most moist cakes I’ve ever eaten… and I made it… me!!  The frosting wasn’t that horrible, either!  There may be hope for me yet. 😉

My first Carrot Cake!!

This week’s recipe was chosen by Amanda of slow like honey

Bill’s Big Carrot Cake
Source: Baking – From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Yields 10 servings

For the cake:
2 c all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
¾ tsp salt
3 c grated carrots (about 9 carrots, you can grate them in food processor fitted w/ a shredding a blade or use a box grater)
1 c coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans (I used walnuts)
1 c shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
½ c moist, plump raisins (dark or golden) or dried cranberries
2 c sugar
1 c canola oil
4 large eggs

For the frosting:
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 lb or 3-¾ c confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice or ½ tsp pure lemon extract
½ c shredded coconut (optional)
Finely chopped toasted nuts and/or toasted shredded coconut (optional)

Getting ready:
Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter three 9-x-2-inch round cake pans, flour the insides, and tap out the excess. Put the two pans on one baking sheet and one on another.

To make the cake:
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, stir together the carrots, chopped nuts, coconut, and raisins.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the sugar and oil together on a medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs one by one and continue to beat until the batter is even smoother. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing only until the dry ingredients disappear. Gently mix the chunky ingredients. Divide the batter among the baking pans.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point, until a thin knife inserted into the centers comes out clean. The cakes will have just started to come away from the sides of the pans. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes and unmold them. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.

The cakes can be wrapped airtight and kept at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.

Cakes all in a row...

To make the frosting:
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the frosting is velvety smooth. Beat in the lemon juice or extract.

If you’d like coconut in the filling, scoop about half of the frosting and stir the coconut into this position.

To assemble the cake:
Put one layer top side up on a cardboard cake round or a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper. If you added the coconut to the frosting, use half of the coconut frosting to generously cover the first layer (or generously cover with plain frosting). Use an offset spatula or a spoon to smooth the frosting all the way to the edges of the layer. Top with the second layer, this time placing the cake stop side down, and frost with the remainder of the coconut frosting or plain frosting. Top with the last layer, right side up, and frost the top- and the sides- of the cake. Finish the top with swirls of frosting. If you want to top the cake with toasted nuts or coconut, sprinkle them on now while the frosting is soft.

Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes, just to set the frosting before serving.

So yummy...

This cake can be served as soon as the frosting is set. It can also wait, at room temperature and covered with a cake keeper overnight. The cake is best served in thick slices at room temperature and while it’s good plain, it’s even better with vanilla ice cream or some lemon curd.

The cake will keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. It can also be frozen. Freeze it uncovered, then when it’s firm, wrap airtight and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost, still wrapped, overnight in the refrigerator.

So pretty!!

Don’t forget to check out all of the other amazing entries here. 🙂

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Aggiesgirl (Amy) April 22, 2008 at 10:53 am

OH Wow!! Look at your beautiful pictures!!! I love how you decorated the cake! I especially love the last pic with the pretty blue background and the pretty plate….perfect!!


2 Bumblebutton April 22, 2008 at 11:05 am

So very pretty! And your last photo was the best. Yummy. Cake always looks better with flowers!


3 Di April 22, 2008 at 11:26 am

Welcome to the group! I love your last photo–yellow roses are my favorite, and your cake looks fantastic.


4 kim April 22, 2008 at 1:45 pm

welcome! 🙂 your cake is beautiful, and i love the last photo especially… what a cute plate 🙂


5 mary April 22, 2008 at 2:49 pm

I’d say you started off with a bang! great job and welcome to the group!


6 Mari April 22, 2008 at 3:45 pm

Welcome aboard! Your cake looks so fabulous, well done!


7 Annemarie April 22, 2008 at 4:03 pm

Glad you hopped on board! Your cake looks fab!


8 CB April 22, 2008 at 4:11 pm

Beautiful cake! Love the design with the walnuts. Great job! Welcome to TWD!
Clara @ I♥food4thought


9 Melissa April 22, 2008 at 8:06 pm

Welcome! Looks wonderful!


10 Chez US April 22, 2008 at 8:34 pm

WOW, what a beautiful cake and photo! Love it!


11 Rebecca April 22, 2008 at 10:52 pm

Welcome to TWD! Thank God for family and friends we can pawn these things off on. 😉


12 Shari April 23, 2008 at 8:50 am

I love the pattern of the nuts on top. Great job.


13 LyB April 23, 2008 at 10:43 am

What a beautiful cake, I hope your parents enjoyed it!


14 Gretchen Noelle April 23, 2008 at 5:01 pm

Wonderful job! Lovely design on top and the cake just looks delicious! Hope everyone enjoyed it!


15 steph April 23, 2008 at 5:19 pm

welcome to the group! it looks perfect–i’m sure your parents loved every bite!


16 beth April 23, 2008 at 6:53 pm

from one first timer to another, welcome. your cake looks great and I love the last picture 🙂


17 Erin April 23, 2008 at 7:32 pm

Your cake looks lovely! Welcome to TWD!


18 Donna April 24, 2008 at 1:25 pm

WOW! Great first job! Welcome to TWD!


19 Sihan April 26, 2008 at 10:38 am

fantastic job! welcome to the family too!


20 Mara April 26, 2008 at 7:10 pm

it looks awesome!!! i actually am dying to make carrot cake now.


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