Stiff Peaks

An indulgent journey into baking

Maple Cream Cheese Carrot Cake

It’s coincidence really, two Maple Syrup recipes in a row. I’m definitely not on the payroll of our Canadian friends… But anyway, who can resist the combination of Pecans and Maple Syrup, so it seems perfectly natural to combine the two when making a sumptuous moist carrot cake.

Ingredients

Recipe adapted from Add a Pinch: Favorite Carrot Cake Recipe

Carrot Cake

  • 60g unsalted butter, softened
  • 70g coconut oil
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 220g soft brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs + 2 egg yolks
  • 250g plain flour
  • 80ml buttermilk
  • 400g grated carrots
  • 100g pecans (half roughly chopped)
  • 1 1/2tsp vanilla extract
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1/2tsp baking soda
  • 2tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp salt

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 225g full fat cream cheese
  • 225g unsalted butter, softened
  • 500g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1-2 tbsp maple syrup

Equipment

  • 20cm loose bottomed cake tin
  • oven preheated to 170º celsius (fan 160º)

Method

Like most things in life, start of by lining the base of your cake tins and dusting the sides with flour after greasing. Set these side and begin preparing your ingredients. Grating carrots is deceptively time consuming so start here first. Wash and peel your carrots and aim to have between 350g to 400g of finely grated carrots.

With the time consuming chores complete, combine your butter, oil, and both sugars in a freestanding electric mixer or hand whisk and blend together until it forms a light and fluffy paste. Add the vanilla essence to bring the mixture together and then one by one, drop the eggs in until well combined and smooth. For extra richness take two additional yolks and mix them in.

In another bowl take your flour, raising agents, salt and cinnamon, and mix well together. Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet and, on a slow speed, combine together until evenly blended. Pour in the buttermilk and beat together with a spatula by hand, then pour in the rest of the flour and fold together. Finally, add in your carrots and the chopped half of the pecans and gently fold until just combined.

Split the mixture into two and fill each cake tin (I usually do this by weight – knowing the weight of your main mixing bowl is important!), and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes.

Check after 30 minutes with a cocktail stick or skewer to see if the centre of the cake is cooked. Assuming your oven isn’t too temperamental, it shouldn’t take more than 40 minutes.

Allow the cakes to cool in their tin for 5-10 minutes until you can handle them, then turn them out onto a cooling rack until cold.

Prepare your cream cheese frosting by first promising yourself not to eat it all until after it’s on the cake. Take the cream cheese and place it in a freestanding electric mixer or with a hand whisk and whisk it until soft and smooth. Add in the butter and whisk on high speed until well combined. In 3-4 batches add in the icing sugar, making sure to whisk for 10-20 seconds on maximum speed to keep the mixture smooth, and scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Once you have a nice thick consistency, add 1-2 tbsp of good quality Maple Syrup to the mixture. Too much liquid might make the frosting runny, so if you want more maple flavour you should also add some more icing sugar. Place the frosting in the fridge to set more (all that whisking will make it hard to decorate your cake with) before applying to your cake.

Once the frosting is nice and firm (30mins to 1hour), start decorating your cake. Place the first cake right side up (so the flattest part of the cake is touching the board) and spread a generous layer of frosting on top. Place the second cake upside down (so the flattest part of the cake is facing up) and spread more frosting on top. Use the remaining frosting to decorate the sides of the cake if you wish, or just treat yourself to some. Finally decorate with the remaining pecans and serve.

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