Once Spring rolls around and the weather shows promise of a light weight jacket and maybe even some open toe shoes, I start getting excited about dishes that represent Spring. Now maybe it’s the fact that rabbits eat carrots but when I think of my holiday menu, I always include a two-tiered carrot cake. Heavily slathered with good, fluffy cream cheese frosting, I know it will be a hit.
 
I start off with a delicious, raisin and nut studded spice cake filled with carrots and good spice.  Then, I make a cream cheese frosting that tastes good on just about everything.  The tang from the cream cheese and the sweet from the cake is the perfect combination.
 
In order to make it more festive, I place two skewers on top and pipe out some carrots in the four quadrants.  I’m no cake decorator so it helps me ‘stay in the lines’ and give it a professional touch.

If you are so inclined, you can add some shredded coconut on top as well.  I like the combination of carrot and coconut but you can be the judge.  Wishing you all a happy Spring and an even happier slice of carrot cake.
 
 

Spring Carrot Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

2 cups AP Flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup golden raisins

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 teaspoon kosher salt

I cup grapeseed oil

½ cup whole milk

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 large eggs

2 cups sugar

3 cups shredded carrots

 

Lemon Cream Cheese frosting

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp

16 oz cream cheese, room temp

2 teaspoons lemon juice

lemon zest, from one lemon

seeds from 1 vanilla bean

2 cups confectioners sugar

 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter two 9 inch round pans, grease with butter and line with parchment.
 
In a medium bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins, and walnuts.
 
In a large bowl, beat eggs, sugar, milk, lemon, oil, vanilla until combined.  Add carrots.  Slowly add flour mixture until combined.  Divide between the two pans.
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Bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour.  Allow cakes to cool completely.
 
While cakes are baking, mix all ingredients for frosting in a large bowl with an electric beater.
 
Remove cakes from pan and spread ½ cup of frosting on top of one cake.  Place other cake on top and spread frosting on that one as well.
 
Place two wooden skewers crossed on top of the cake.  Tint ¼ cup of the frosting orange and pipe 4 decorative carrots on top in the four quadrants. Tint 1/8 cup frosting green and pipe tops.
 
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anna22

Anna Francese Gass

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Anna is working on a cookbook featuring recipes from around the world. She cooks with immigrants to translate their favorite and best recipes to paper for generations to come. If you have a Nonna who would be interested in cooking with Anna, please reach out via email: annafgass@gmail.com

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