Classic Carrot Cake

Hoppy Easter! What a beautiful weekend in Chicago, I hope it’s as lovely as it is here where you are!

It’s been just over a year since we’ve moved into our home-sweet-home in Chicago… just in time for Easter. Last year during Easter, my dad and his wife came to spend the holiday with us and they’ve come back to join us again this year with their two new puppies! Typically during the Holidays we’re off to visit our families in Michigan, so I’m grateful for new traditions in our own home. We will have a house full of family, friends and fur babies to share Easter dinner and dessert with. This will be the first holiday in our home that we’ll get to get out our beautiful rose gold flatware, pretty plates and serving dishes to use which I’m SO excited about!

This year our Easter menu will consist of pretty, naturally-dyed hardboiled eggs, deviled eggs from our friend Chef Jen at Cooking is Caring, homemade cheddar biscuits, mustard & bourbon-glazed ham for the boys, herbed-turkey breast, garlic-herb roasted potatoes, and garlic-butter roasted carrots. To finish off our dinner, I’ve baked a delicious, homemade classic carrot cake. Carrot cake is one of Aaron’s favorite desserts and I’ve yet to make him one – but Easter felt like the perfect occasion!

I followed the lovely recipe from Food and Wine below –

Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pecans (4 ounces)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and coarsely shredded

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tbs pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Butter two 9-inch cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper.
  3. Spread pecans on a baking sheet and toast for 8 minutes then allow to cool and roughly chop.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine the oil, buttermilk and vanilla.
  6. In a stand mixer, beat together the eggs and sugar at high speed until pale in color – about 5 minutes. Add the liquid ingredients and combine. Slowly beat in the dry ingredients just until combined. Fold in the carrots and pecans until combined.
  7. Divide the batter between the two pans and bake for 50-60 minutes – until golden brown and you can insert a knife in the center of the cakes that come out clean.
  8. Place on cooling racks and allow to completely cool then remove from pans and parchment paper.
  9. Beat the butter and cream cheese at high speed in your stand mixer until light, then beat in the vanilla and confectioners’ sugar at a lower speed until well-combined, then increase the speed until it’s light and fluffy – 3 to 5 minutes.
  10. Use the frosting to assemble your cakes as desired – whether you want to create a naked-cake affect, or coat the entire cake in frosting with the decorating tip or spatula of your choice. If you want to add a playful touch to your decor, reserve some frosting and add orange food coloring to pipe carrots on top of your cake. 🙂
  11. Cover and refrigerate until cool, about 1 hour, then serve!

Enjoy this heavenly cake and your Easter!


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