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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Carrot Cake Bundt

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Two days ago it was carrots in salad and today it's carrots in cake. Gotta love turning vegetables into dessert! I made this bundt cake because Easter's just around the corner and this would be a gorgeous addition to your meal. I also made this bundt cake because I love carrot cake and don't think I've ever made it myself. Most importantly, however, I made this bundt cake in celebration of Joy the Baker.

You see, this recipe comes from Joy's new cookbook (which you absolutely positively should purchase, asap!). I've been reading Joy's blog for a few years now, and one of the first things my sister-in-law Erin and I bonded over was our love for Joy. Needless to say, we were giddy with excitement when we heard the news that Joy would be stopping in St. Louis to sign books! We rounded up Kara and Laura, two other Joy fans, and made our way to Left Bank Books.
Would Joy be as funny as she was on her blog? As kind? As forthright? Yes, yes, and yes. Joy was everything she portrays on the blog and more. By the end of the evening, I was ready to beg her to stay in St. Louis and be my friend. I've met a few bloggers who come across very differently in real life than on their blogs and I'm happy to say Joy was absolutely delightful!
...and this carrot cake? Also delightful! She calls it 'everything but the kitchen sink carrot cake' in her cookbook, and rightly so. With walnuts, coconut, pineapple, and raisins, the carrots are hardly the main character in this cake! Even though it wasn't as 'carroty' as your standard carrot cake, I had one friend tell me it was the best carrot cake she'd ever had! I loved the mesh of flavors and the distinct texture that the coconut and walnuts added. The cream cheese frosting on top is, unsurprisingly, not to be missed.
Read Joy. Buy her book. Make her desserts. (Have I made my girl crush obvious enough yet?!)

One Year Ago: Edamame Succotash
Two Years Ago: Chinese Chicken Salad

Carrot Cake Bundt
from Joy the Baker Cookbook

-3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-2 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp salt
-2 tsp ground cinnamon
-3 large eggs + 1 egg yolk
-1 cup granulated sugar
-1 cup plus 2 tbsp packed brown sugar
-1 3/4 cups vegetable oil
-1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
-2 tsp pure vanilla extract
-2 1/4 cups grated carrots
-1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
-1/4 cup raisins
-1/4 cup chopped walnuts

for the frosting- (I made a half batch for the bundt cake, but you'll need a full if you're frosting a 2 layer cake!)
-8 oz cream cheese, softened
-1 stick unsalted butter, softened
-pinch of salt
-2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
-2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350F, making sure that the rack is in the center of the oven. Grease and flour a 10 or 12 cup Bundt pan (can also be made in two 9-inch pans). Set aside.
2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, yolk, and sugars. Blend with a whisk until well incorporated and slightly thickened. Add the oil, carefully mixing in. Mix in the crushed pineapple and vanilla until incorporated.
4. Add the pineapple mixture, all at once, to the flour mixture. Fold together with a spatula and when almost incorporated, add the carrots, coconut, raisins, and nuts. Mix until evenly blended. Add batter to prepared pan and bake for 45-55 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow cake to cool for 15 minutes in the pan before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
5. Once cool, prepare the frosting. Beat cream cheese for one minute with an electric mixer until soft. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add butter, beating an additional minute until combined. With mixer on low, add the salt, powdered sugar, and vanilla, beating until almost incorporated. Scrape down the sides again before beating until mixture is soft. Spread onto cake (store cake in fridge if not serving immediately).