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Triple Layer Carrot Cake

Triple Layer Carrot Cake

I've been making carrot cakes for years, it's my Mum's favourite cake and it's one of mine. I say 'one' because nothing can come between me and my chocolate cake. Since I've made so many carrot cakes over the years, I've  experimented with different ingredients and quantities, and in this recipe I believe I've nailed it: a triple layer cake that's not too wet nor dry, filled with chunky walnut pieces and the perfect blend of spices. I think the spices take it to a new level. Often carrot cakes are too bland, with the only spice being cinnamon. This recipe has cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg. A lot of carrot cakes have pineapple in them. It's completely personal preference, but in my opinion the pineapple just doesn't belong there! Of course if you disagree, feel free to add it in! The cake is topped off with a delicious cream cheese icing; an absolute must-have with carrot cake! And I'm sure nobody disagrees with that ;)

Ingredients:

1 & a 1/2 cups of dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 & 1/2 cups vegetable or canola oil
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 & 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup walnut pieces

Cream Cheese frosting:
4 cups confectioners sugar
2 8 ounce packages (450g) of cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 tsp vanilla extract  
2 tablespoons lemon juice (or can substitute lime) 
Zest of 1 lemon (or can substitute lime) 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (162 degrees Celsius). Line 3 9-inch-diameter pans with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, place the sugar and the oil and beat with an electric mixer until combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.
  3. In another large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Mix well.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and using a rubber spatula, fold in until just combined. Then fold in the carrots and walnuts.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean. Cool pans on racks for 15 minutes then remove pans and allow cakes to cool completely. Once cooled completely, place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes (this will make it easier to frost).
  6. Make the frosting: In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until creamy. Mix in the butter and beat until smooth. Sift in the confectioners sugar and beat for 2 minutes. Add vanilla. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Milk can be added if frosting is too thick.
  7. Assemble: Using a long, serrated knife, layer off the tops of the cakes to create a flat surface. Place one cake layer on serving plate or cake stand and evenly spread with frosting. Repeat with next 2 layers. Spread remaining frosting all over the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with chopped walnuts.

*Store frosted cake in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Unfrosted cake remains fresh if covered tightly and stored at room temperature for up to 4 days.

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