Classic (Triple Layer) Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Credit: Bon Appetit
I made this for my mom’s birthday. It’s the classic cake that I will never get tired of. I mean, it’s just so good. If you don’t love it, there’s something wrong with you. Sorry.
For the Cake:
~2 cups sugar
~1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
~4 large eggs
~2 cups all-purpose flour
~2 teaspoons baking powder
~2 teaspoons baking soda
~1 teaspoon salt
~1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
~3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
~3 cups finely grated carrots (about 1 pound). Look, it sucks to peel all these carrots, I’ll just throw it out there. But please don’t use the pre-shredded kind. It has no flavor. Trust me, it’s worth the work!
~1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
~1/2 cup raisins (optional)
For the Frosting:
~4 cups powdered sugar
~2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature (if you forget to leave it out 30 minutes before using, you can just pop it in the microwave at 10 second intervals until softened).
~1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
~4 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the cake: Preheat oven to 425 F. Lightly grease three 9-inch diameter cake pans with 1 1/2 inch sides. Line bottoms of pans with parchment paper. Using an electric mixer, (or some elbow grease) beat sugar and oil until combines. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg into sugar and oil mixture. Stir in carrots, chopped pecans (if using) and raisins (if using).
Pour batter into prepared pans, dividing equally. Bake until tester inserted into the center comes out clean and cake starts to pull away from the sides of the pans, about 45 minutes. Cool pans for 15 minutes. Turn cakes out onto racks to cool completely (if you don’t have any like me, just invert the cakes onto plates). The cakes can be prepared 1 day ahead: wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature.
For frosting: using electric mixer, (or some elbow grease) beat all ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth and creamy.
For assembly: Place 1 cake layer on a platter (keep in mind this will be the platter you serve the cake on). Spread 3/4 cup of the frosting over top. Top with another cake layer and spread with 3/4 cup frosting. Top with the last cake layer and spread the remaining frosting in decorative swirls over the sides and top of the cake. The cake can be prepared 2 days ahead: cover with cake dome and refrigerate.
Serve cold or at room temperature (I prefer it cold).