Vanilla Bean Carrot Cake

By Callie | March 26, 2021

Carrot cake has always held a special place in my heart and tummy! I have always favored dense cakes that are jam-packed with beautiful textures and flavors. This cake checks all of those boxes! Before you lose your mind, I have chosen to use pecans in the variation because I hate walnuts. Feel free to substitute walnuts if that's more of your jam.
Easter is just around the corner, and every year I call dibs on bringing dessert to the family lunches. If you have never made a cake like this before, please do not be intimidated! Cake rings make this style so easy, I swear! My best piece of advice is to stack and fill the layers INSIDE of the cake ring. After it's filled and stacked, remove the cake ring and frost the cake. But, if you don't have time to mess with all that, just thrown it in a sheet pan and put the frosting directly on top. It tastes the same both ways, and it's not worth stressing over.
I hope you are your family is just as impressed with this cake as mine always is! Have a wonderful holiday!

Vanilla Bean Carrot Cake

12 oz all-purpose flour

12 oz grated carrots

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

¼ tsp allspice

¼ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp salt

1 ⅓ cup sugar

¼ cup brown sugar, packed

3 eggs

6 oz sour cream

6 oz canola oil

1 Tbsp Madagascar Pure Vanilla Extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line one full-sized baking sheet and one half-sized baking sheet with parchment paper, spray the pans with baking spray, and set them aside. 

 

Using a handheld mixer, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt in a large bowl.

 

Add the carrots to a food processor or blender and blitz them to break them into smaller pieces. Add the grated carrots to the bowl with the other dry ingredients and incorporate them fully. 

 

Mix in both of the sugars and then create a well in the dry ingredients. Finally, add in the eggs, sour cream, oil, and Madagascar Pure Vanilla Extract. Beat the mixture until the batter is smooth and no traces of flour remain. 

 

Fill the prepared pan ¾ of the way to the top with batter. Place the pan in the oven and bake until the cake does not shake and reaches an internal temperature of 200 degrees, about 20-25 minutes.

 

Once baked, remove from the oven and set aside until the cake has completely cooled. 

 

Make a batch of our Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting.

 

Using a 6-inch cake ring, cut out four disks of cake (the remaining cake scraps can be made into cake cups using any leftover frosting!) and set them on a sheet of parchment paper. 

 

Take a flat plate or cake board, and put a dollop of frosting in the middle. Set the first cake disk down and press it firmly onto the frosting. Place three generous spoonfuls of frosting on top of the disk and spread until even using an offset spatula. Place the next disk and repeat the process. 

 

After your final disk is in place, again cover the top with icing. At this point, pop the cake into the freezer so that the icing can set enough for you to ice the sides. I recommend leaving it in for at least an hour, but I often will leave it overnight. 

 

Once the icing has been set, remove the cake from the freezer and completely cover the cake’s sides with icing using your offset spatula. Then, take a bench knife, and as you turn the plate, drag the edge around the cake, removing the excess icing. This is called the ‘crumb coat’. It does NOT need to look pretty or perfect. You should be able to see pieces of cake peeking through at this point.

 

If minimal icing is your thing, then you are done! But...If you love frosting, keep going with me!

Pop the cake back in the freezer for half an hour to help the crumb coat set. 

 

Remove from the freezer and again coat the entire cake with a thick layer of icing. Take your bench knife and drag it around the cake several times until the outer surface is smooth. 

 

For a garnish, sprinkle some toasted coconut around the top and bottom and place some chocolate candy eggs in the middle of the ‘nest’! Cut and serve, and leftovers can be refrigerated for up to a week.

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