I’ve made plenty of carrot cakes in my time but today’s recipe is really different than the usual. The layers are subtly flavored with apple butter and sandwiched with layers of apple butter-cream cheese icing. The cake is drizzled with caramel and then crowned with a mess of pecans. The sweet caramel, crunchy nuts, creamy icing and spiced cake make every bite amazing.
Caramel Pecan Carrot Cake
½ cup butter, softened
2½ cups granulated sugar
¾ cup apple butter
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ cup sour cream
3½ cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
3 cups grated carrots (about 5 medium carrots)
½ cup caramel ice cream topping
1½ cups chopped pecans
Apple Butter-Cream Cheese Icing (recipe follows)
1. Preheat oven to 325℉.
2. Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a circle of parchment paper.
3. Cream together butter and sugar with an electric mixer.
4. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
5. In a small bowl, combine apple butter, vegetable oil and sour cream.
6. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
7. Alternately add the apple butter mixture and the dry ingredients to creamed butter mixture. Mix well.
8. Stir in the grated carrots.
9. Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans.
10. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center of cake comes out clean.
11. Allow the cakes to cool for 30 minutes on a wire rack. Carefully remove the cakes from the pans, peel off the parchment circles and cool completely on wire racks.
12. Spread about 2½ cups of icing on the bottom layer of the cake. Add the middle and top layers, frosting each with about 2½ cups of the icing.
13. Pour caramel ice cream topping around edges of the top layer, allowing it to drizzle down the sides.
14. Sprinkle the chopped pecans over the top of the cake.
Apple Butter-Cream Cheese Icing
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
¾ cup apple butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
16 oz container whipped topping, thawed (or use 6½ cups whipped cream)
1. Beat the cream cheese until smooth.
2. Mix in the confectioners’ sugar.
3. Beat in the apple butter and vanilla.
4. Stir in the whipped topping.
Recipes from The Gunny Sack
Here’s a slice of electro dream-pop to go along with your cake. ‘Easy’ is new from Brighton-based artist Matt Carrington aka White Peaks.