This cake is haunting me. I didn't know what to do about this post. Do I update the cupcake post? Do I have a new post exclusively dedicated to the cake? After much pondering, I decided there was enough new information for a new post. The cake is the same recipe as the cupcakes, but since instructions are different and the frosting is different, I thought it would be easier to just do it this way. And also, this cake is so freaking good, I might just start posting about it daily. Two posts might not be enough. In the next few posts, I will talk about how good this cake is, even days after it's made. I love desserts like that!
The main reason I made a different frosting is simple: When I went to the grocery store, I forgot to buy powdered sugar and didn't have enough at home for powdered sugar frosting. Yeah, deep, right? I've told you guys that I am lazy a billion times and it's serious. Rather than going back to the store, I decided I would just see about a cream cheese frosting recipe that didn't need powdered sugar. I knew it had to exist. I envisioned a 7 minute frosting kind of thing where I'd boil sugar, water and corn syrup and whisk it into some egg whites that had been beaten to a soft/stiff peak and then fold in some cream cheese. Imagine my delight when I searched and found that all I had to do was throw some brown sugar into the mix and call it good. No boiling and peaking necessary.
The cream cheese taste is much more prominent in this frosting than the one with powdered sugar. If you like super sweet frosting, you might want to stick with that but if you'd rather have more of the cream cheese taste shining through, then this one is for you. And if you're like me and out of powdered sugar, then this one is really for you.
I still haven't bought powdered sugar. It's almost a crime not to have that in the house at all times isn't it?
Carrot Cake with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
See this recipe for carrot cake ingredients
1/2 cup butter
2 1/2 8oz pkgs cream cheese (20 oz)
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Prepare cake batter as directed in the cupcake recipe. I left out the raisins and nuts for this cake, but you can add them if you'd like. Pour into greased and floured 9 inch round pans (I used the baking spray that has flour, but you could also grease and then flour). Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes until the middle springs back slightly when touched. (If you're using dark or non-stick pans you might want to reduce the heat to 325. I am going to next time because my edges were a bit darker than I'd like.) Let cool completely.
For frosting: Cut butter and cream cheese into chunks, don't soften*. Add to bowl of mixer and beat with paddle until smooth, switch to whisk and add remaining ingredients, scrape bowl and whisk until smooth and sugar is dissolved.
To assemble: I used my cake leveler to cut the tops of the cakes off to make them level, but it's not necessary Place first layer upside down on plate or stand and add a layer of frosting. Place second layer upside down so the flat side is on the top. **Add a thin layer of frosting all the way around the cake. Cover and refrigerate for an hour. Refrigerate frosting too. After and hour, use remaining frosting to add another layer to the cake and any desired design. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serves 8-12.
You can also make this at a sheet cake. Pour prepared batter into a 9x13 pan and bake for 48-50 minutes or until middle springs back when touched. I would use the same rule for dark/nonstick pans and reduce the oven temp to 325.
If you want to use the regular cream cheese frosting to frost your cake, be sure to double the frosting recipe in THIS POST.
*If you soften your butter and cream cheese then just refrigerate the frosting for an hour or so to firm it up before using.
**Adding the thin layer first and then refrigerating help cut down on the cake crumbs in your final layer of frosting. If you aren't worried about that or don't have the time, you can definitely skip that step and just smooth all the frosting on at once.
Source: Brown sugar cream cheese frosting inspired by THIS recipe.