If you ever stopped to look at the carrot cake mixes at the store, you would quickly realize that carrots are more of an afterthought in the ingredients rather than the main event. Those bits of orange in that cake, yeah, they aren’t carrots. They are carrot flavored pieces of corn syrup. If you are lucky, somewhere down by the bottom of the list, where it says “There is 2% or less of” you might find carrot powder.
I don’t know about you, but when I want carrot cake, I expect there to actually be carrots in it! Which is why I never mess with the mixes and go straight to my tried and true, beloved three layer carrot cake is that is sooooo yummy and so full of tasty goodness.
2 pounds or of carrots, skinned, chopped, boiled until tender, and then mashed
Shredded carrots – about a half pound
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon ginger
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¾ teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Grease pans. Heat oven to 375
In one bowl mix together flour, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
In another bowl beat butter on high for 2 minutes. Lower the speed to medium and gradually add sugar, then beat on high about 5 minutes. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Mix in vanilla.
At low speed add half the flour and mix until mostly mixed. Mix in the carrot puree and the other half flour. Once mixed, fold in the shredded carrot.
Divide among three round pans (we have these nifty ones with bottoms that come out, love em), bake 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes, then turn onto racks to finish cooling.
If you line the bottoms of the pans with some parchment paper, it makes getting them separated from the pan SO much easier.
Cream Cheese Frosting
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temp
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Use a mixer to beat the butter and cream cheese at high speed until light, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla, then the sugar; beat at low speed until mixed in a bit or it will powdered sugar will poof everywhere. Increase the speed to high and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.