Carrot Cake with Cranberries

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Since I love carrot cake, I couldn’t resist trying Dorie Greenspan’s recipe.  I like this one just as much as the carrot cake with pineapple – which one you choose might depend on how much motivation you feel to grate carrots (2 cups in the other recipe versus 3 in this one).  I do find this one to be a little fluffier though; the other one is denser and more moist.

Carrot Cake with Cranberries
From Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

Yield: One 9″ round 2- or 3-layer cake

Cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened both work)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 1/4 – 2 cups sugar, depending on how sweet you like desserts
  • 1 cup canola or safflower oil
  • 4 eggs

 

Cream cheese frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 – 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, depending on how sweet you like your frosting
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

 

Make cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF.  Grease and flour two or three 9″ round cake pans, depending on how many layers you want your cake to have (or how many cake pans you have).
  2. With a mixer, beat sugar and oil together on medium speed until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Add eggs and beat on medium speed until batter is even smoother.
  4. Beat in baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  5. On low speed, beat in flour just until it is incorporated.
  6. Stir in grated carrot, walnuts or pecans, coconut, and cranberries.
  7. Pour batter into baking pans.
  8. Bake cakes for 40-50 minutes.  A knife inserted near the centers will come out clean.
  9. Cool cakes for 5 minutes and remove cakes from pans.  Cool to room temperature on wire racks.  At this point, they can be stored overnight in an airtight container at room temperature, or wrapped tightly and frozen for up to 2 months.

 

Make frosting:

  1. With a mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  2. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar.  Beat until mixture is smooth.
  3. Beat in lemon juice.

 

Assemble cake:

  1. Put one layer right side up on a serving plate.  Spread frosting generously on it.
  2. Smooth frosting to the edges of the layer with a spatula or spoon.
  3. Add second layer upside down and spread with more frosting.
  4. If you have a third layer, add it right side up and frost the top.  If you have any frosting left, you can frost the sides as well.
  5. Refrigerate cake for 30 minutes to set frosting.

 

Storage notes:

Room temperature: The cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.

Freezer: The cake can be frozen uncovered and then, after it is firm, wrapped tightly and stored in the freezer for up to 2 months.  When you want to eat it, defrost it (still wrapped) overnight in the refrigerator.

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