Baking is not my strongest suit but now that I’m learning how to follow recipes by actually completely following them and measuring every bit, I’ve gotten a lot better. Isn’t that amazing, following directions sometimes really pays off. This carrot cake has been something I’ve wanted to try for a long time and so I went to Paula Deen for support.
Grandma Hiers’ Carrot Cake
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen
Prep Time: 20 min Inactive Prep Time: —
Cook Time: 40 min Level: Easy Serves: 8 servings
- Butter, for pans
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
- 3 cups grated carrots
- 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, optional
- 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 stick salted butter, room temperature
- 1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) round pans; Line bottom of the pans with parchment paper. [I actually used Bakers Joy spray instead of butter and flour, it worked great, also forgot to use parchment paper and it was fine without it luckily!]
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
Add eggs and vegetable oil. Using a hand mixer, blend until combined. Add carrots and pecans, if using. [I actually bought whole carrots and used a peeler that really grabs a lot of carrot, and then I took all the peels and put them into a food processor and just chopped them really quick for a couple seconds. This took much longer than I would have liked but I think it worked really well in the recipe – use about 4 or 5 medium sized carrots]
Pour into pans. Bake for approximately 40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes.
Remove from pans, place on waxed paper and allow to cool completely before frosting. [I let them cool for a good 30 minutes]
For the frosting:
Add all ingredients, except nuts, into a medium bowl and beat until fluffy using a hand mixer. Stir in the nuts. Spread frosting on top of each cake layer. Stack the cakes on a serving plate and serve. [I didn’t stir in the nuts, instead I chose to throw them onto the side of the cake just because I liked the way it looks better. This makes a lot more frosting than you think it would, so remember when you are laying them to use a generous amount in between layers. Your taste buds will thank you.]
This process took me much longer than the said 20 minutes prep and 40 minutes baking. Total time, this took me 1.5 -2 hours because I really wanted to let the cake cool completely before frosting at all and it turns out that I need a better frosting method. I’m so slow at it, so I really must be doing something wrong. Maybe I should take a cake baking course somewhere just for the frosting tips.
This frosting is butter and cream cheese based so do not forget that it needs to be put into the refrigerator! I had never thought about it before, but keeping it cool also keeps it nice and stable.
This cake is super dense so one small piece is quite filling but worth every awesome bite especially when most of the ingredients are organic : )