Saturday, November 29, 2014

Fall Spiced Carrot Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Frosting

Every year my family spends thanksgiving together. However this year not all of us made it home, but for good reasons; in the last two years, two of my sisters and myself got married, welcoming three new members (husbands), and we also welcomed two new additions to the family-baby Myku and Reeva! We're getting so big in size that traveling is becoming harder, especially when some of us are across the country. Not being with them made me realize how thankful I am for them. 
All 10-inches of this carrot cake are delicious. Hitting every flavor note and texture- spicy cinnamon, fresh vanilla bean, sweetness from the carrots, nuttiness and chewiness from the pecans, and a hint of saltiness- made this a winner cake.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 cup toasted pecans
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla bean (pure vanilla extract)
4 large eggs 
2 cups sugar
1 lb. carrots, peeled and coarsely shredded
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
Frosting Ingredients
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened 
16 oz cream cheese, softened 
2 tablespoons vanilla bean (pure vanilla extract)
1 tsp. cinnamon, or pumpkin spice
2 cups confectioners' sugar 
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 325°. Line the bottom of a one- 10 inch spring form pan with parchment paper. Butter pan, and flour sides. In a bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a small bowl, whisk the oil, buttermilk and vanilla. In a standing mixer or with a handheld mixer, beat the eggs and sugar on high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Slowly beat in the wet ingredients. Beat in the dry ingredients just until combined. Stir in the carrots, pecans, and chocolate chips. Pour the batter in the pan and bake for 1 hour until golden and nicely risen. Let the cake cool for 30 minutes before removing from mold. Remove cake from the mold and let it completely cool before frosting. 
Frosting Directions
In a large mixer, on high speed beat the butter and cream cheese until pale and creamy, about 7 minutes. Beat in the vanilla, cinnamon, lemon juice, and confectioners' sugar on a low speed. Beat frosting on a high speed until fluffy, about 4 minutes.
Bon App├ętit! 

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