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April 22, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie: Bill's Big Carrot Cake (Not So Big Cupcakes)

Tuesdays with Dorie: Bill's Big Carrot Cake (Not So Big Cupcakes)

It's Tuesday! So you know what that means...Tuesdays with Dorie! This week's recipe was Bill’s Big Carrot Cake and was chosen by Amanda of Slow Like Honey!

I decided to make cupcakes instead of one big layer cake because then it's easier to send them to work with Jamison to share and I'm not stuck eating a whole big cake by myself! ;o) I ended up baking them for close to 27 minutes. Next time I'd probably bake them at 350 F for a bit shorter time.

The cupcakes turned out really well, though I did take a few liberties. I decided to add in 1/2 cup more coconut than the recipe called for an I also substituted a can of crushed pineapple for the raisins. With the frosting I went with two tablespoons of my homemade vanilla extract in place of the lemon juice because I felt like the vanilla would compliment the recipe more and I was not disappointed! I used pecans instead of walnuts also since the recipe said you could use either. I like walnuts, but I was in a pecan mood yesterday.

I was very pleased with the recipe overall. The only thing I would change if I made this again is that I would most likely substitute unsweetened apple sauce for the oil to lighten it up a bit. I might also use some brown sugar too to bring out the flavor of the carrots and pineapple and make them pop. I think I would add in a tablespoon of baking powder instead of just 2 teaspoons as the cupcakes didn't rise very much, but taste wise it was a winner and if you're looking for a good carrot cake then look no further...You've found it!

Be sure and stop on over at the Tuesdays with Dorie blog roll and see how the other member's cakes turned out. :o)

Tuesdays with Dorie: Bill's Big Carrot Cake (Not So Big Cupcakes)

What You'll Need for the Cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon salt
3 cups grated carrots (about 9 carrots, you can grate them in food processor fitted w/ a shredding a blade or use a box grater)
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
½ cup moist, plump raisins (dark or golden) or dried cranberries
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola or safflower oil
4 large eggs

What You'll Need for the Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick ( 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 pound or 3 and ¾ cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or ½ teaspoon pure lemon extract
½ cup shredded coconut (optional)
Finely chopped toasted nuts and/or toasted shredded coconut (optional)

Getting ready:

Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter three 9-x-2-inch round cake pans, flour the insides, and tap out the excess. Put the two pans on one baking sheet and one on another.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Bill's Big Carrot Cake Cupcake Version The Inside

To make the cake:

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, stir together the carrots, chopped nuts, coconut, and raisins.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the sugar and oil together on a medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs one by one and continue to beat until the batter is even smoother. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing only until the dry ingredients disappear. Gently mix the chunky ingredients. Divide the batter among the baking pans.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point, until a thin knife inserted into the centers comes out clean. The cakes will have just started to come away from the sides of the pans. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes and unmold them. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.

The cakes can be wrapped airtight and kept at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Bill's Big Carrot Cake (Not So Big Cupcakes): Ready to Share

To make the frosting:

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the frosting is velvety smooth. Beat in the lemon juice or extract.

If you'd like coconut in the filling, scoop about half of the frosting and stir the coconut into this position.

To assemble the cake:

Put one layer top side up on a cardboard cake round or a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper. If you added the coconut to the frosting, use half of the coconut frosting to generously cover the first layer (or generously cover with plain frosting). Use an offset spatula or a spoon to smooth the frosting all the way to the edges of the layer. Top with the second layer, this time placing the cake stop side down, and frost with the remainder of the coconut frosting or plain frosting. Top with the last layer, right side up, and frost the top- and the sides- of the cake. Finish the top with swirls of frosting. If you want to top the cake with toasted nuts or coconut, sprinkle them on now while the frosting is soft.

Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes, just to set the frosting before serving.


Tuesdays with Dorie: Bill's Big Carrot Cake (Not So Big Cupcakes)

This cake can be served as soon as the frosting is set. It can also wait, at room temperature and covered with a cake keeper overnight. The cake is best served in thick slices at room temperature and while it's good plain, it's even better with vanilla ice cream or some lemon curd.


The cake will keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. It can also be frozen. Freeze it uncovered, then when it's firm, wrap airtight and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost, still wrapped, overnight in the refrigerator.

Posted by Dianne at April 22, 2008 6:55 AM

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I added crushed pineapple to mine as well. It sure made for a delicious cake! Your cupcakes are so cute!

Posted by: Marie at April 22, 2008 9:11 AM

They look perfect! I overfilled mine, and they just looked baaad. But yours look like the perfect little cupcakes! Great joB!

Posted by: laurie at April 22, 2008 9:15 AM

Your additions sound just great, and your cupcakes look terrific--not like mine with the big great hole in the middle!

Posted by: Bumblebutton at April 22, 2008 9:50 AM

Your cupcakes look very edible! Don't worry, my cupcakes didn't rise much either, but they tasted lovely.

Posted by: mari at April 22, 2008 10:40 AM

I almost made carrot cakes for earth day! Perfect choice. This recipe looks great. I love the addition of coconut, raisins and pecans. Nice job!

Posted by: Karen at April 22, 2008 11:17 AM

I'm with you on not wanting to have a whole big cake around the house. =) Your cupcakes look great!

Posted by: Di at April 22, 2008 11:49 AM

cupcakes looking mighty fine! darn.. made me regret doing mine as a whole cake!

Posted by: Sihan at April 22, 2008 11:59 AM

cupcakes looking mighty fine! darn.. made me regret doing mine as a whole cake!

Posted by: Sihan at April 22, 2008 12:00 PM

Delicious! I love your swirly frosting :)

Posted by: rebekka at April 22, 2008 12:18 PM

I've never had carrot cake with pineapple before, I might have to try that next time. Your cupcakes are so cute and look delicious!

Posted by: LyB at April 22, 2008 12:32 PM

Lovely cupcakes! I agree with the non-rising. Actually a couple of mine sank! Ah well. Nothing some frosting can't hide right? hehe.
Clara @ I♥food4thought

Posted by: CB at April 22, 2008 12:57 PM

Yum - those look delicious!

Posted by: Jayne at April 22, 2008 3:12 PM

Nice job! Your cupcakes look delish!

Posted by: Annemarie at April 22, 2008 4:03 PM

Great cup cakes! I like the idea of pineapple. Its very similar to an Emeril recipe I made a couple of weeks back Goes well with macadamia nuts! :)

Posted by: chris at April 22, 2008 4:41 PM

Ooh--I love the cupcakes. They turned out lovely!

Posted by: KN at April 22, 2008 5:05 PM

I saw a recipe a few years back that had pineapple in the carrot cake and I thought it would be interesting to use that since I didn't want to add the raisins.

My cupcakes did sink a little in the middle though, but that's what the icing is for! ;oP

Posted by: Dianne at April 22, 2008 7:42 PM

I love the adding of pineapple! I bet it was delicious in the carrot cake! Great job!

Posted by: Heather at April 22, 2008 7:52 PM

Good idea to sub pineapple for the raisins. I just left them out.

Posted by: Melissa at April 22, 2008 8:14 PM

great idea with the pineapple....wish I had thought of it b/c I don't like raisins at all! your cupcakes look wonderful!

Posted by: mary at April 22, 2008 8:56 PM

Your cupcakes look lovely! I bet pineapple would be good- almost like Hummingbird Cake.

Posted by: Erin at April 22, 2008 9:47 PM

I love the peaks in your frosting!

Posted by: Shari at April 23, 2008 9:06 AM

Thanks everyone!

Hummingbird Cake. I've never heard of that. Now I'm intrigued...

Posted by: Dianne at April 23, 2008 9:19 AM

Oooh... I love your modifications. Especially the pineapple. Yum!

Posted by: Dolores at April 23, 2008 6:45 PM

The pineapple was really a nice touch. I think next time I might try macadamia nuts or cashews along with the pineapple.

Posted by: Dianne at April 23, 2008 10:08 PM

You did a wonderful job! Cupcakes are so much more manageable than a big cake.

Posted by: Tartelette at April 24, 2008 2:39 PM

I agree! I like to send treats to work with Jamison sometimes too so it makes it a lot easier to do that. :o)

Posted by: Dianne at April 24, 2008 3:39 PM

It looks like the army is coming to town! Great Job!

Posted by: Donna at April 25, 2008 2:03 AM


Posted by: Dianne at April 25, 2008 1:23 PM

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