Perhaps there’s a birthday or other special occasion coming up, or maybe you simply need a little inspiration for that giant bag of carrots sitting in your crisper. Either way, we have the recipe for you: Carrot cake with white-chocolate icing. This moist, rich, four-layer cake is covered in a white-chocolate, cream-cheese frosting and is best described as ‘decadent.’ Along with brown sugar, lots of (healthy) shredded carrot, and icing you’ll want to eat with a spoon, our version is also made with heart-healthy walnuts. We will caution you, however, on a couple of things: one, this cake is an indulgence, no question; and, two, you will have a tough time stopping at one piece.
Preheat your oven to 350° and oil two 9-inch round cake pans (line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper). Stir flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt in a large bowl until well mixed. Grate carrots using a box grater or food processor (trust us, the food processor – if you have one – is the way to go!) until you have about 3 ½ cups (approx. 5-6 medium carrots).
In a separate bowl, whisk eggs with the brown sugar, oil, and vanilla, and stir in the grated carrots. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the carrot batter, plus the chopped walnuts (you can also omit these, or add raisins instead). Stir wet and dry mixtures until just combined, and pour into the two pans (divide equally). Smooth the tops and bake in the centre of your oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Run a knife around the edge of each cake and cool (still in pan) on a rack for 10 minutes. Turn cakes onto the rack to cool completely. Tip: Cooled cakes can be wrapped in plastic and will stay fresh at room temp for up to 3 days, or in the freezer (wrapped in foil) for up to a month.
To make the icing, put chopped white chocolate in a bowl and microwave until almost melted (1-2 minutes). Stir the chocolate until smooth and allow it to cool. With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until creamy, then beat in the sifted icing sugar, vanilla, and cooled chocolate. Place the icing in the fridge to allow it to firm up (15-30 minutes) before icing the cake (you can make the icing ahead of time and refrigerate for up to a week).
To make a four-layer cake, slice each cake in half and put one of four layers on your cake plate. Spread icing on the first layer (just shy of a cup – 225 ml), and top with a second cake piece, repeat with icing and then continue until all four layers (and the sides, if you think the more icing, the better) are stacked and iced. And in case you’re a tad short on time, the cake works perfectly well (and tastes just as delicious!) with only two layers. The iced cake will keep in the fridge for 3 days, but we can’t imagine it will last that long!
Try this recipe: Carrot cake with white-chocolate icing
- 2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
- 11/2 tsp (7 mL) baking powder
- 1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
- 1 tsp (5 mL) each cinnamon and allspice or 2 tsp (10 mL) cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
- 5 to 6 medium carrots, peeled
- 4 eggs
- 11/4 cups (300 mL) lightly packed brown sugar
- 1 cup (250 mL) vegetable oil
- 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
- 1 cup (250 mL) coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
- 6 oz (168 g) white chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 2 8- oz (250- g) pkgs cream cheese, cut into cubes, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup (175 mL) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 cups (750 mL) sifted icing sugar
- 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla