Yesterday I wanted comfort food. Comfort food to me can change daily. One day it is a bowl of pasta with butter and parmesan, the next day it is vanilla ice cream with hot fudge. And another day it is watermelon or naan bread and hummus. But yesterday it was carrot cake. I freaking love carrot cake. But I think most restaurants don’t have good carrot cake. It is usually a fatty, oily, crumbly mess. Why is that? Can’t they get the consistency right if they are going to charge $7 for a slice?

The timing of the cake is perfect too. Yesterday was my blogs 1 year birthday. Happy birthday Fat Girl. Wow, I have documented a lot of food in 1 year.

Have I mentioned I like to make interesting flavors of homemade ice cream? What about homemade carrot cake cheesecake ice cream? Yep, I tried it. And it is fantastic!

I understand that people who like carrot cake all have their preferences as far as fruit and nuts. Some like pineapple and raisins, others hate it. Some like coconut and pecans or walnuts, others can’t stand it. Me, I like it all. Given the choice, my perfect piece of carrot cake would have raisins and pineapple in the cake, and the nuts in the frosting. When the nuts go in the cake I think they loose their fantastic flavor and texture. But again, carrot cake people have their preferences, and this is just mine. There is no right or wrong way. At least I don’t think there is.

I didn’t have pineapple or raisins, that is the only reason they are not in this recipe. But if I would have had then, I would have added a 1/2 cup of raisins, and 1/2 cup of finely chopped pineapple and omitted 1/3 cup of regular sugar (since the fruit helps sweeten it).

Recipe Adapted from Alton Brown
makes 1, 9 inch layer cake

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
Approximately 3 cups grated carrots (I just used an entire bag of baby carrots and threw them in the food processor with the grater attachment)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
6 ounces yogurt (I used low fat vanilla, but plain and/or non fat would work too)
6 ounces vegetable oil
Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows
1 cup chopped pecans, optional

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray Pam on 2 9-inch round cake pans. Set aside.

Put the grated carrots into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Mix the flours, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt in the bowl and set aside. Add this mixture to the carrots and toss until they are well-coated with the flour.

In another bowl combine the sugar, brown sugar, eggs, yogurt and vegetable oil.

Pour the wet mixture into the carrot mixture and stir until just combined. Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 25 minutes at 350. Reduce the heat to 275 degrees F and bake for another 15 minutes or until the cake it set and a knife inserted comes out clean.

Remove the pan from the oven and allow cake to cool 15 minutes in the pan. After 15 minutes, turn the cake out onto a rack and allow cake to cool completely. Level the tops of the cake so when you stack them you don’t have a lopsided cake.

Frost with cream cheese frosting after cake has cooled completely. And sprinkle with chopped pecans.

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese
1 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar, you may need more or less depending on the consistency you like
1 cup shredded coconut (I used sweetened b/c it is the only thing I had, but unsweetened would be good too)

In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and butter on medium just until blended. With the speed on low, add the powdered sugar and coconut in 4 batches and beat until smooth between each addition.

Yield: approximately 2 cups – the perfect amount to frost your cake :)

I think this is my first attempt at a carrot cake. Maybe not, but the first one in a LONG time then. And man, it is on my list of recipes to make over and over again. Not all of my recipes go onto that list, but this one does, FOR SURE! Next time I might try to lower the fat and do some applesauce instead of all the oil. Maybe.