At first glance, the two recipes are identical. A closer look revealed some differences. The outrageous recipe uses canola oil. The SAS recipe uses mayo. The outrageous recipe uses only cinnamon. The SAS recipe uses cinnamon plus allspice or ginger. The outrageous recipe includes carrots, pineapple, walnuts and coconut. The SAS recipe has no coconut. Although it wasn’t what I was looking for, I was intrigued enough to give it a whirl.
Looking over the baking directions, I was struck by the fact that you must bake the layers on different racks and then turn and reverse them. I understand that this is necessary to ensure that they bake evenly, but I was taught that you should open the oven door as little as possible to keep the temperature even. Uneven temperatures will prevent your cakes from baking properly.
I elected to bake all three layers on the same rack. When I checked them after the recommended 25 minutes, I discovered that the edges were rapidly overbaking and pulled away from the sides of the pans. 15 minutes of cooling in the pans later, I discovered that the layers were very greasy when I removed them from the pans. I’m not sure if it was because I elected to grease the pans instead of spraying them with nonstick cooking spray (banned in my kitchen) or because the recipe uses canola oil instead of my usual mayo.
The taste was too cinnamon-y and I intensely disliked the texture of the coconut in the cake. Add that to the greasiness of the cake and I see no reason to call this recipe “outrageous”. The frosting was really good, though.
Verdict: What were they thinking???
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ cups canola oil
2 ½ cups finely grated carrots (about 6 carrots)
2 (8-oz.) cans crushed pineapple in juice, well-drained
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 cups powdered sugar
1 ½ cups finely chopped walnuts, if desired
Evenly space 2 baking racks in oven. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom and sides of 3 (9x2-inch) round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottoms with parchment paper; spray parchment with nonstick cooking spray.
Sift flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into medium bowl.
In large bowl, beat eggs and sugar at medium speed 1 to 3 minutes or until thickened and slightly lighter in color. Beat in oil at low speed. Stir in flour mixture until blended. Stir in carrots, pineapple, coconut and 1 cup walnuts until blended. Divide batter evenly among pans. Bake 25 minutes; turn and reverse cake pans. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and cake pulls slightly away from sides of pan. Cool in pans on wire rack 15 minutes. Invert onto wire rack; remove parchment. Cool completely.
To make frosting, beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl at medium speed 3 minutes or until blended and smooth. Beat in vanilla. Add powdered sugar; beat at low speed 1 minute or until blended and smooth.
Place 1 cake layer on serving platter or cardboard round; spread with 1 cup frosting. Repeat. Top with remaining cake layer; spread top and sides with thin layer of frosting. Coat sides with another smooth layer of frosting; spread remaining frosting on top. Press 1 ½ cups walnus onto sides of cake. Refrigerate leftovers.
Cake can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated, or 3 weeks ahead and frozen. To freeze, place cake in freezer until frosting is firm; wrap in plastic wrap, then heavy-duty foil. To defrost, place in refrigerator overnight; remove wrapping. Serve at room temperature.
Recycle: canola oil bottle, pineapple cans, vanilla extract bottle
Compost: egg shells, carrot peels