The end result is both delicious and impressive – three towering layers of moist, spicy carrot cake with plump golden raisins, all enclosed in swirls of tangy, maply frosting. The only downside is that you’ll be tempted to eat it all on your own, which is probably not a very good idea!
While layer cakes might seem a little intimidating, they’re actually much easier than you’d think. This one in particular is a great one for beginners – the sturdy layers of cake stack beautifully, and I’ve added a decorative garnish of chopped honey roasted peanuts that do wonders for disguising even the most imperfect of frosting jobs.
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Yield: 16 servings
For the Carrot Cake
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup golden raisins
For the Mighty Maple Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
2 packages (8 ounce/250 grams each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup Mighty Maple peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup Peanut Butter & Co. Honey Roasted Peanuts, roughly chopped
Make the Cake
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter and flour three 9-inch round cake pans lined with parchment.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and nutmeg.
3. In a second large mixing bowl, mix together brown sugar, canola oil, white sugar, vanilla extract and eggs until smooth. Stir in carrots and raisins. Fold in the dry ingredients, mixing just until barely combined.
4. Divide the batter between the prepared pans, smoothing out the top into an even layer. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until cakes are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean. Set the pans on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes, then remove from the pan and peel away the parchment. Let cool completely on the wire rack.
Prepare the Frosting
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip together cream cheese and peanut butter until smooth.
2. Add vanilla and powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, and continue beating until smooth. Add cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the icing reaches a spreadable consistency.
Frost and Decorate
1. Using a serrated knife, trim away any roundness from the top of two of the cakes to create perfectly flat discs. (The third can be left as is.)
2. Place the first trimmed cake layer cut-side up on a serving platter, and spread with 3/4 cup frosting. Top with the second trimmed cake layer, and spread with another 3/4 cup frosting. Gently place the final cake layer on top. Spread the remaining frosting over sides and top of cake in decorative swirls, and finish with a garnish of chopped peanuts.
3. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving to allow the frosting to firm up.
PEANUT BUTTER GIVEAWAY
What other baked good would you frost with this Mighty Maple Peanut Butter Cream Cheese frosting?
Leave a comment below with your answer to enter for a chance at winning a jar of Mighty Maple, the peanut butter used in this recipe.
– The giveaway is open to USA residents only and will run until Monday, April 15, 2013 at 11:59 PM EST.
– One entry per person.
– Winner(s) will be generated via a random number generator and notified via the contact email provided on the comment form.
– Winner(s) will have until 04/18/13 to claim their prize or we will choose another winner.
– Winner will win one 16oz jar of Mighty Maple. Product will be shipped by Peanut Butter & Co.
– No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Must be 18 years of age to enter. See Official Giveaway Rules.