Does the cream cheese frosting go inside the carrot cake too? That’s usually how carrot cake is assembled. Split the cake into halves, spread frosting on top of the bottom layer, cover it with the top layer and frost the top and sides. But we do it a little differently here at home.
We spread jam or marmalade on the bottom layer. Orange marmalade is especially good. But why jam or marmalade? It adds a lovely fruity aroma and flavor. In the case of marmalade, the tiny strips of peel add texture too.
It’s a personal preference though. No reason why you can’t use frosting between the cake layers. In fact, you don’t even have to split the cake. If it’s not too tall anyway, you can just frost the top and sides and there won’t be any shortage of garnish.
A tip here about the frosting. If you have a cake turner, the smart procedure would be to frost the cake on the turner then use a wide spatula to transfer it to a plate or cake stand. That way, the serving plate would be free from smears.
We do have a cake turner now but this is an old recipe. When I made this cake, I frosted it on a plate. And I was scared of moving it to a clean one so I wanted to keep the plate clean. Here’s a trick I picked up from Ina Garten. Place small pieces of non-stick baking paper underneath the cake before you start frosting. Pull off the small pieces of baking paper to remove all the excess frosting and coconut flakes from the plate so that your carrot cake is nice and neat.
- ¾ cup grated carrots - (don’t squeeze out the juice)
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup crushed pineapple - well drained
- 1 large egg
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup white sugar - + 2 tablespoons
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ cup softened butter
- ½ cup roughly chopped cashew nuts
- ½ cup golden raisins
- ⅓ cup jam or marmalade
- ⅓ cup toasted coconut flakes
For the cream cheese frosting
- 250 grams cream cheese - softened to room temperature
- ⅓ cup butter - softened to room temperature
- 2 to 3 cups sifted confectioner’s (powdered) sugar - depending on how sweet you like your frosting
Bake the carrot cake
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- If not using a non-stick pan, grease, flour and line an 8-inch round cake pan.
- Toss together the grated carrots and brown sugar.
- Stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Beat the butter and white sugar until creamy.
- Add the egg and mix until incorporated.
- Stir in the crushed pineapple, nuts, vanilla seeds and raisins.
- Add the flour mixture and mix until evenly blended.
- Finally, add the carrot-sugar mixture and mix until incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake at 350F for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean.
- Cool the carrot cake in the pan for about 10 minutes then invert and re-invert. Cool completely on a rack.
Frost the carrot cake
- Make the frosting by beating the softened cream cheese and butter together.
- Add the confectioner’s sugar, half a cup at a time, mixing after each addition until smooth.
- Split the cake in half horizontally.
- Lay the bottom half on a plate.
- Spread the jam or marmalade on the bottom half.
- Cover with the top half.
- Spread the cream cheese frosting on the top and sides of the cake.
- Sprinkle the toasted coconut flakes over the frosting.
- Chill the carrot cake for a few hours before cutting and serving.