When your little (big) brother turns 20, you know that you guys have officially reached the point of no return. I mean, it felt like just yesterday when we’d fight over whose turn it was to wash the dishes or who got the last scoop of ice cream…wait…maybe that was just yesterday…But, we are all getting older and it’s definitely important that we remember the good (and even bad) times that we’ve shared throughout the years.
To commemorate such an occasion, I decided it’d be great to bake him a carrot cake. There’s just something that I absolutely love about carrot cakes. They are delicious, moist, and are up for your own interpretation. You can add nuts or raisins or anything else that you think would work well with the flavors and it still comes out great!
I used the Super Moist Carrot Cake from Sally’s Baking Addiction because of how yummy and it looked and how simple it was to put together, but made a few of my own adjustments. For the frosting I decided to use David Lebovitz’s recipe, also with a few adjustments, from his latest cookbook My Paris Kitchen that I received from his Tasting Table cookbook release party a few months back. Usually the frosting used for carrot cakes is mostly comprised of cream cheese, but I wanted to use this recipe because I knew the mascarpone would lend a different taste and texture to the cake.
The cake came out wonderfully! The flavors were vibrant and the nuts added the perfect crunch. It was, however, a little drier than I would have liked and I think that next time instead of using coconut oil I’ll go the traditional route with vegetable oil and maybe even add some pineapple as I hear that’s great for added moisture. Overall, I am still a huge carrot cake fan and will continue to experiment with other combinations, and I’m very pleased with how this one turned out.
- 1 cup (200 grams) light brown sugar, packed (or dark brown sugar)
- 3/4 cup (180 ml) vegetable oil (I used melted coconut oil)
- 1/4 cup (60 grams) Greek yogurt (or regular yogurt, plain or vanilla)
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups (260 grams) very finely grated carrots
- 2/3 cup pecan pieces (I used walnuts)
- 2/3 cup raisins
- 16 ounces cream cheese (at room temperature)
- 16 ounces mascarpone (I used 8 ounces)
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Finely grated lemon zest (unsprayed)
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray 9 or 10inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Set out the cream cheese for the frosting so it may soften as you make the cake batter.
- In a large bowl with a handheld or stand mixer on medium speed, combine the brown sugar and oil. Beat in the yogurt until fully combined – about 60 seconds. Mixture will be gritty and thick. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. With a spatula, manually stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined and all flour pockets are gone – do not overmix. Fold in the finely shredded carrots and pecan pieces. Pour into prepared springform pan.
- Bake cake for 32-38 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not overbake, which will dry out cake. Allow cake to cool completely before frosting.
- To make the frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixture fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a bowl, by hand with a flexible spatula), beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth.
- Add the mascarpone, powdered sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest, and beat until combined.