Recipe found in “Baking Favorites” – Williams Sonoma
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. Or is it Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing? It wasn’t until I was writing this post that I even contemplated that there might be a difference between frosting and icing. So, off to Google…and here’s what I found out. Icing is thinner than frosting and typically made with icing sugar and some liquid (like milk). So, this is Cream Cheese Frosting since it’s much thicker thanks to the cream cheese and butter.
Now that’s solved, on to the cake!
The recipe is actually divided into two different pages. This page is for the cake itself. You have to go to the back for the cream cheese frosting recipe. I didn’t find that to be an issue since you make the frosting separately so it’s not like I had to flip back and forth.
Making the Carrot Cake
I like to prep my ingredients first before I start baking. I find it makes it easier to continue baking without having to stop and get things ready, like the carrots and pineapple. But most importantly, I make sure I have everything I need for the recipe before I start. The last thing you want is to start making a cake and find out you are missing something important!
This recipe is like most with a standard “sift all your dry ingredients into a separate bowl and set off to the side”. Keeping with my goal of using the Ankarsrum more, I added the wet ingredients (sugar included) to the mixer and it did a beautiful job of mixing everything together.
Ahhh..the ease of which dry ingredients can be added with that large open top.
Finally add the carrots and pineapple and mix just until combined.
The recipe calls for 3, 9 inch cakes to be made. I only have two pans and I wanted to make sure I added the same amount to each pan so that the cakes would be equal. I decided to weigh the empty mixing bowl at the start and then again after everything was ready to go. I took the difference and divided by 3.
Once the first two cakes were baked, I waited a bit for the pans to cool down and cleaned and buttered and floured one pan for the last cake.
I left the cakes to cool for a couple of hours. Never try to apply frosting to even a slightly warm cake. It’s not going to go well.
Cream Cheese Frosting
If I’m honest, I don’t really like cream cheese frosting. There, I said it. I find it too sweet. I know it’s the standard for carrot cake as well as cinnamon buns, but I usually just scrape it off. I’m not sure if there is a way to make it less sweet. Maybe less icing sugar? I don’t know the science behind the ratios of cream cheese, butter and icing sugar. Maybe there isn’t one. If you know, can you tell me if it would work to use less icing sugar?
Back to the Ankarsrum. This time I used the clear plastic bowl and the cookie beaters to whip the butter. It did a great job. It was quick and very smooth.
I added the cream cheese in chunks while the mixer was running.
Assembly of the Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
I like to make cakes. I don’t know why I don’t make them more often. My favorite part of making cakes is the assembly. Adding the cake and frosting together and trying my best to make them look recipe book/Instagram worthy.
A little trick I learned somewhere to help with this part is to add a small blob of icing to the cake tray to hold your cake in place while you are spreading frosting around. It stops your cake from sliding.
Assemble your layers with frosting between each one. The recipe book says to use one-third of the cream cheese frosting between each layer of cake and on the top. What I do is divide the frosting in the bowl so that I can try to get an even amount.
Glaringly obvious…I did not do the “naked cake” effect. I don’t like it. I don’t even know if it’s a trend anymore. This recipe book is from 2020 when I know naked cakes were a thing. I’ve never been one to stick with trends anyway.
I liked this cake. My family (who like cream cheese frosting) liked this cake. It was moist and dense and had great flavour. It stayed moist for several days after.
The recipe was easy to follow and provided weight and volume options for your ingredients. It didn’t require any real fancy equipment and was pretty quick to make. The three tiers make it look fancy. I would be proud to serve this at a dinner party.
You can find my review of this recipe book here. I really do like this book and highly recommend adding it to your collection.
Where else can I find this recipe
If you are interested in the recipe and don’t own this recipe book, I found it on the internet here.