Sunday, September 29, 2013

Amber's Spiced Layered Carrot Cake

Oh yes... another carrot cake recipe on the internet.  Oh yes... I adore me some carrot cake.  Really, it is a shame I don't make it more often.  I mean, a delicious dessert that contains such a nutritious vegetable too?! Who wouldn't want that regularly? ;)

Aida and one of her sons, Adrian...
Well, this very Saturday was my dear friend Aida's birthday, and I was determined to make her a yummy cake, as we are going to celebrate with their family tomorrow for lunch.  She picked carrot cake for our upcoming celebration of her life, and I couldn't be more delighted to make it.

However, I had one delay: which recipe to use...  I've have tried several different ones before, mostly recipes that my friends love and use, and I have certainly enjoyed them, but they are not quite exactly what my ideal carrot cake would turn out to be, if I could have it my own particular way, regarding various details and ingredients in the dessert.  So, I researched a while this afternoon, and I still couldn't find exactly what I wanted.

I knew I wanted a round layered cake, because, well, those are just pretty to serve and I like a layer of icing in the middle of the cake, as well as on the top.  Also, I knew I wanted more spices than just cinnamon, a combo of white and dark brown sugar, greek yogurt included, vanilla extract and some salt added, and I wanted a bit of texture from shredded carrots (instead of puréed), which I was able to do quickly and beautifully with one of my Saladmaster machine cones.  I wanted the egg count to be on the higher side, and I also preferred there be a higher percentage of baking powder than baking soda in the recipe. Finally, I wanted a unique icing to enhance this treat full of Fall spices.  I decided to leave out the raisins, pineapple, coconut flakes, or nuts *in* the cake that many people add to carrot cakes, even though I enjoy those things, because we have little people that will be eating the dessert this weekend also, and sometimes too much texture turns them off to cake.  So, rich, but somewhat simple was the idea.

Now for the full disclosure on how I constructed my own recipe...  Here are the three top contenders, all from which I based my own ideal recipe version of carrot cake and icing.  (Thank you Angie of The Cellar Door Stories, Alton Brown on the Food Network, and Robin of The Sugar 'n Spice Gals!!!)

Angie's Carrot Cake
Alton's Carrot Cake
Robin's Carrot Cake

If you find that you like one of these better, then by all means, please make that one to suit your taste buds and tummy the best.  I won't be offended.  (Actually, I will probably never know.)  ;)  I just wanted to share this little jewel that I came up with, because it was exactly what I wanted for now.  If you do make it, I'd love to hear how you enjoyed it!

Have a super blessed Autumn with your loved ones...
Enjoying His Bounty,

Amber's Spiced Layered Carrot Cake


  • 2 cups of organic white flour
  • 1 cup of organic white cane sugar
  • 1 cup of organic dark brown cane sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or Himalayan pink salt
  • 2 teaspoons Rumford baking powder (aluminum free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon organic ground hi-oil cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon organic ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon organic ground nutmeg
  • 3 cups shredded organic carrots (about 6 medium carrots)
  • 4 eggs from pastured chickens
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup (generous) Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (for garnish on icing)


  1. Allow cream cheese, butter, and eggs to sit out at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat (if needed early) oven to 350°.
  3. In large mixing bowl, thoroughly combine flour, white and brown sugars, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg.  
  4. In another bowl, beat 4 eggs together well, and then mix eggs with shredded carrots and coconut oil until well blended.  Add vanilla extract and Greek yogurt; mix again by hand until well blended.
  5. Add wet mixture to dry mixture; thoroughly mix until no more dry mixture is found anywhere.
  6. Grease and flour two round 9-inch cake pans (I used coconut oil and by hand coated the sides and bottoms of pans; then, I added 1-2 tablespoons of flour in each pan, slightly tilted it, and gently knocked the side of the pan with my right palm, while holding pan with left hand, rotating it when needed, in order to evenly disperse and allow flour to coat the coconut oil around the sides and bottom of pan.)
  7. Next, cut out circular pieces of parchment paper to fit pans and add them to the bottoms of pans, on top of the flour coating.
  8. Carefully divide batter evenly between the two pans, pouring it and spreading it as needed.
  9. Bake the two round cakes for 30 minutes at 350°; test by inserting a toothpick in the center of cake to be sure it comes out clean.  (If batter comes out on the toothpick, bake for an additional five minutes.)
  10. Let cakes cool completely.
  11. Place one round cake on platter, and evenly frost with icing recipe below.
  12. Set the second round cake on top of the first cake; secure by inserting three toothpicks, if you prefer.
  13. Frost the rest of the cake, top and sides, with remaining icing.
  14. Garnish top and sides with chopped walnuts or pecans, if you like.

Maple Cream Cheese Icing


  • (1) 8 ounce package cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter, best from grass-fed cows
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract
  • 1/4 cup Grade B maple syrup
  • 5 cups of powdered cane sugar  (Don't have any?  Make your own like this.)


  1. Beat the following together until smooth: softened cream cheese, softened butter, vanilla and maple extract.
  2. Next, add the maple syrup and beat well.
  3. Gradually beat in powdered sugar, one cup at a time.  If icing isn't thick enough, add 1/2 cup to 1 cup more of powdered sugar and blend well to reach preferred sweetness and consistency.
  4. Since the icing must stay cold, store cake in refrigerator.  (I made the cake the night before and let it sit at room temperature, covered in container.  Then I made the icing and stored it in a bowl in the refrigerator.  So, I just applied the icing and nuts right before serving.)

Aida's son, the-very-picky-eater Adrian, not only helped me frost the cake, but he gave it 5 stars!

Here is my funny man enjoying some of it, and he doesn't really care for cake.