Apple Carrot Cake
Source of Recipe
From "New England Open-House Cookbook" by Sarah Leah Chase
"During the years I ran my Que Sera Sarah food shop and catering business on Nantucket, carrot cake was all the rage. The Silver Palate's famous carrot cake was my go-to recipe and once I even fashioned it into a wedding cake when I was hired to cater actress Glenn Close's intimate wedding reception on a chartered private yacht on Nantucket Sound. The marriage didn't last long and carrot cake gradually began to fade from vogue. For several years I simply never thought of making carrot cake until Debbie Hensler, the wife of one of my husband's closest Nantucket buddies, introduced us to her apple and carrot cake. Now, I am especially fond of serving this cake at Easter as a subtle nod to carrot-loving bunnies, real or fictitious."
List of Ingredients
For the cake:
◦ Unsalted butter, for greasing the baking pans
◦ 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
◦ 1 ½ cups vegetable oil
◦ 3 large eggs
◦ 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
◦ 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
◦ 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
◦ 1 teaspoon baking soda
◦ 1 teaspoon baking powder
◦ 1 teaspoon kosher salt
◦ 2 cups shredded peeled carrots (4 medium-size carrots)
◦ 1 cup coarsely diced peeled apple (1 large apple)
◦ 1 cup chopped walnuts
For the cream cheese frosting:
◦ 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, at room temperature
◦ 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
◦ 1 to 2 cups confectioners' sugar
◦ 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Make the cake: Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans, line them with parchment paper circles, and grease the parchment paper as well.
Place the granulated sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat at medium speed until well blended, 1 ½ to 2 minutes. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl and beat at low speed until incorporated. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the carrots, apple, and walnuts until evenly distributed throughout the batter. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans.
Bake the cake layers until the centers spring back when gently pressed with a finger and the edges have begun to pull away from the side of the pans, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer the cake layers in their pans to a wire rack to cool completely, 2 to 3 hours.
Make the frosting: Place the cream cheese and butter in a medium-size mixing bowl and, using a hand-held electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat until smooth. Slowly sift in 1 cup of the confectioners' sugar, beating until smooth. Add enough of the remaining 1 cup of confectioners' sugar to suit your taste. The frosting should not be cloyingly sweet. Beat in the 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
Invert one cake layer (the bottom is now the top) onto a serving plate and spread frosting over the top and side of the bottom layer. Place the second layer on top of the first and use the rest of the frosting to completely cover the cake. Store the cake in the refrigerator, covered in plastic wrap, if you are not serving it within 30 to 45 minutes. It will keep up to 4 days.
Serves 12 to 14