Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Buttermilk Carrot Cake

Every January, the Steering Committee of the Middlesex County Master Gardeners sponsors a get-together for all of the Master Gardeners. They call it a "Reunion" because one of the purposes is for members to get together with their former classmates. It's also a great time to meet members of other classes and for the new class to get to know those who have gone before. Hey, it's January. There's not a whole lot else to do!

Everyone is asked to bring a dish or dessert for the buffet. I always volunteer to bake. I already had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to make, but it was still gratifying to be requested to make "those cookies". It took a while to decide which brownies recipe to bake but in the interests of keeping it fairly simple, I went with the Melt in Your Mouth Brownies and the Frosty Snowballs ("those cookies"). This was an excellent chance to try out a new carrot cake recipe. Who doesn't like carrot cake?

This recipe was appealing because it called for buttermilk, coconut, a glaze and could be made into a sheet cake, very handy for a crowd. The first problem I ran into was the cream cheese. You will note that the recipe calls for two 3 ounce packages of cream cheese. Apparently no one bakes any more because despite visiting every grocery store in town, I couldn't find cream cheese in 3 ounce packages. I ended up buying one 8 ounce package and whacking off a guesstimated 2 ounces.

My next problem was the baking time. I left it in for the minimum 40 minutes, but it came out a little overbaked. Not bad, just browner around the edges than I like it and the bottom appeared to be burned or nearly burned. I think 30 to 35 minutes would be more appropriate.

I'm not entirely certain what the purpose of the glaze is in this recipe. It was definitely glaze-y in the pan but soaked into the cake when I poured it on. The frosting, on the other hand, was heavenly. Much, much better than the cream cheese frosting I make with my "regular" carrot cake recipe. The cake part of this recipe is pretty blah considering all of the ingredients that go into it, but the frosting is definitely a keeper!

Verdict: Not bad, but I don't think I'll be making it again.

Buttermilk Carrot Cake
(Source: BHG.com)


2 cups all-pupose flour

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

4 medium carrots, shredded (2 cups)

¼ cup buttermilk or sour milk

¼ cup cooking oil

1 8-¼ ounce can crushed pineapple, drained

1 cup chopped walnuts

3 eggs

½ cup coconut

1 teaspoon vanilla


½ cup sugar

¼ cup buttermilk or sour milk

¼ cup margarine or butter

2 teaspoons light-colored corn syrup

½ teaspoon vanilla


2 3-ounce packages cream cheese

½ cup margarine or butter, softened

2 teaspoons vanilla

4-1/2 to 4-3/4 cups sifted powdered sugar

½ cup chopped walnuts

Grease and lightly flour two 9x1-1/2-inch round baking pans (or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan); set aside. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, 2 cups sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Add shredded carrot, ¼ cup buttermilk or sour milk, cooking oil, pineapple, nuts, eggs, coconut, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir until combined. Spread batter in prepared pans.

Bake in a 350ยบ F oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until cakes spring back when touched lightly.

Meanwhile, prepare glaze: In a medium saucepan combine ½ cup sugar, the remaining ¼ cup buttermilk or sour milk, ¼ cup margarine or butter, and corn styrup. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cook and stir for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in ½ teaspoon vanilla. Pour evenly over tops of cakes. Cool cakes in pans on wire racks for 15 minutes. Remove layer cakes from pans and place on wire racks (do not remove cake from 13x9x2-inch pan). Cool completely.

In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese, ½ cup margarine or butter, and 2 teaspoons vanilla with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add sifted powdered sugar, beating to spreading consistency. Stir in walnuts. Forst cake. Store in the refrigerator. Makes 16 servings.

Make-Ahead Tip: Cover and chill frosted cake up to 48 hours.

Recycle: vanilla bottle, cooking oil bottle, pineapple can, corn syrup bottle

Compost: eggshells, carrot peelings

No comments: