Tuesday, January 8, 2013

One Carrot, Two Carrots, Maybe a Pound More

Google Carrot Cakes. You will find one confusing wonderland of "ultimate", "world's best", "go to" recipes. At least white cake recipes are almost all the same. Carrot cake recipes can be so very different, they should all have different names. Pineapple-Carrot, Coconut-Carrot, Buttermilk-Carrot, Spice-Carrot, the list goes on.

Carrot just doesn't begin to describe the cake!

As much as I love Cake Doctor recipes, the carrot cake version just hasn't been my very favorite. It is good. Not an embarrassing cake to serve. But is that how you want to describe a cake? Nope.

So begins the criteria for a really delicious fruity, spice carrot cake.

  • Must include citrus
  • lots of carrots, no skimping on the carrots
  • spice, lots of spice cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg
  • definitely no coconut
Can I just take a minute to address actual shredded coconut in the cake batter? I love coconut cream or coconut milk in the batter. The actual shredded coconut is just to chewy for cake. Too candy like. It is lovely pressed on the frosting and toasted coconut covering the cake is divine! But in the batter, no thanks.

Back to the criteria:
  • brown sugar and spice, oh yes.
  • buttermilk for long lasting moist cake
  • some oil, but not too much.
  • super moist. Always a marker for success!

Almost choose Martha Stewart's recipe but no citrus and loads of butter. Butter in cake is either good or dry. Super moist and citrus are criteria, so Martha isn't in the comparison for now.

Cake Doctor's recipe is a solid go-to recipe. I like the citrus flavor, the cake-mix-turns-out-the-same-every-time-reliability. But the texture was too yellow cake like,  not like a true carrot cake. And not enough spice. Finally that pesky pudding addition. I always cut it back to two tablespoons. Pudding will make your cake so moist, it is irresistible! But it will also make your cake shrink every time. Not pretty. 2T seems to be the balance of added moistness but not so much deflating when your cake cools.

Edgar's Bakery version is very delicious. Positives for this version is the addition of pineapple, the nice carrot cake texture, super moist. Baked up nice as a cake and a cupcake. On the downside, not enough carrot, spice and the oil is on the border of moist and oily. I can't decide. However, rabbit leaps ahead of Cake Doctor. 

Just finished the third recipe and it is definitely a winner! The Ultimate Carrot Cake really does meet all the criteria from above plus it has a nice yellow orange color from the pound of carrots.  The crumb is a nice texture, not a crumbly but denser than a yellow cake. The ginger and nutmeg along with the cinnamon is awesome! I made the Orange Cream Icing too, perfect citrus to balance the cream cheese.

The cupcakes look tempting plain!

No fancy icing for taste testing, just frost the cake and be ready to serve! 

When you call Coyote Trail Cakes to order a carrot cake, this will be the one! Hope you click over to Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewyto see the whole long list of ingredients in this Ultimate Carrot Cake :-)

UPDATE: The reviews are mixed! Anna and I loved the third recipe. However, three of my sisters preferred the Edgar's bakery version. Hmmmm more experimenting may be called for :-) Maybe I will try Marth's recipe after all.