Few things are better than a moist carrot cake swathed in a decadent, lusciously sweet cream cheese and butter frosting. This is one of my absolute favorite autumn seasonal desserts. Whether it’s the combination of carrots and nutmeg, or the warming combination of chocolate and cinnamon laced in vanilla, few desserts manage to ‘taste like the season’ quite like carrot cake.
Why You’ll Love Today’s Carrot Cake
1) Unrepentant Decadence. Today’s carrot cake cuts no corners, and makes no apologies for being a truly ‘decadent’ dessert, from the luscious frosting down to the moist interior. Today’s carrot cake will sate your sweet tooth and leave you feeling satisfied.
2) It keeps beautifully. If you make this on the weekend, you can enjoy it throughout the week. It keeps beautifully, remaining moist and delicious for days.
3) Only Basic Ingredients. Today we’re using no exotic or hard to find ingredients to bring today’s carrot cake together. Everything going into today’s recipe is ‘pantry friendly’ and available at your local grocery store.
4) The Ultimate Seasonal Dessert. As I mentioned above, few desserts taste quite like the autumn season like carrot cake, and few manage to do so with such levels of decadence.
Ingredient Notes and Tips
1) Ground Ginger as Opposed to Fresh. Fresher is better in most cases, but not all – and when it comes to baked goods, ground ginger is generally the way to go, and this is for two big reasons. First and foremost, fresh ginger is notoriously fibrous, and simply does ‘not’ break down under any amount of cooking. Thus, if you use fresh ginger in today’s recipe, you ‘will’ get stuck with ‘strands’ or ‘chunks’ of ginger speckled throughout the cake, and that’s really not at all palatable. Second off, taste. I love fresh ginger, but fresh ginger is quite ‘spicy’ whereas ground ginger is ‘warming’ and ‘pungent’ as opposed to spicy and sharp. This warmness melds beautifully with the overall flavor profile of the cake.
2) Nutmeg. The spice that ‘tastes like Christmas,’ nutmeg is beloved for its ‘warming’ and ever-so-slightly ‘sweet’ taste. However, in larger quantities nutmeg rapidly becomes sour or even astringent tasting, and since it’s quite strong this is one spice where ‘a little goes a long way.’ Useful in everything from baked goods to roasted potatoes, nutmeg also features prominently in various beef and pork spice mixes (in both dry rubs and marinades), as well as in stewed, grilled, and roasted vegetables, as well as in a variety of beverages both warm and cold, alcoholic and non-alcoholic alike, it’s safe to say that nutmeg is a blissfully versatile spice that’s worth learning how to use.
3) Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil? I’ve baked with both, but for around a year now I’ve been leaning towards cooking oil or vegetable oil for ‘most’ of my baking, as well as almost all of my frying. The rule of thumb is this – olive oil gives superior flavor and health benefits, but ‘only’ when cooking at lower temperatures of no more than around 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or when barbecuing over ‘gentle’ flames. Use vegetable oil for pretty much everything else. The reason is that most olive oils have a relatively low ‘smoke point,’ which is the temperature at which the olive oil begins to burn away, giving your food a rancid taste and sapping the oil’s nutrients. Curiously, the lower the quality your olive oil, the ‘higher’ its smoke point. In fact, ‘Light’ olive oil actually has a higher smoke point than vegetable oil, while Extra Virgin Cold Pressed olive oil will start to burn away at merely a ‘low simmer.’
Craving More Decadent Desserts?
1) Pecan Tartlets. More or less mini pecan pies, these tartlets are a crowd pleaser like few others, and pairing perfectly at virtually any occasion, formal or casual.
2) Candied Pecan and Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls. Need a sweet bite for breakfast? These dark chocolate cinnamon rolls have got you covered. Dark chocolate, cinnamon, and flaky dough, what’s not to love?
3) Apple Crisp. A classic apple crisp recipe, this is a dessert that ever at home chef should have in their repertoire.
If You Enjoyed Today’s Recipe…
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