This Retro Carrot Cake is packed with spiced goodness and topped with a creamy cloud of *Cream Cheese Swiss Meringue Buttercream.*
(say THAT 3 times fast!).
Out walking the dog, I landed a major garage sale find last weekend. I’m not usually one for garage sales but this one was special. It was the rare garage sale where older neighbors are moving and everything had to go. Amid the linens, cheese knives, smoker and copper pans I found a Cuisinart. Not just any Cuisinart, a vintage Cuisinart!
Because of my vintage Cuisinart, I’ve been feeling in a retro sort of mood lately. When I baked a ‘lil carrrot cake for my Dad’s birthday, I used my Cuisinart and went with a retro photo theme, too.
The holy grail of Cuisinarts – a genuine 1970′s era DLC-7 Super Pro model made in Japan. All the bells and whistles: a white & brown knit cover (seriously!!), 11 blades for dicing ‘n slicing, even a meringue egg whipping attachment. All of it in mint condition. Priced at $75, I bargained her down to $50, then $40 for this awesome piece of history.
This baby is powerful. I couldn’t wait to test her out! For my father’s birthday, I baked a carrot cake which, as you may know, involves a lot of grating of carrots. By hand, it takes 8, maybe 10 minutes of grating [and lots of scraped fingers, in my case]. With this Cuisinart, we’re talking seconds. Yeah, baby!
For the best carrot cake, use fresh, young, organic carrots. My ideal would be locally grown but my CSA isn’t selling any right now. So I purchased the organic carrots at my local supermarket.
The carrot cake is amazing. I make this recipe for my mom, dad AND husband every year for their birthdays. It’s a dense cake that pairs really well with the creamy tang of cream cheese frosting.
One thing I need to say: The frosting I made for the cake this time – Cream Cheese SMB – while light as air it gave me SO much trouble. It took over an hour to get the cream cheese to fully emulsify. Once I get the frosting recipe ironed out, I’ll post it but I didn’t want to recommend it just yet…
For now, just pair this retro carrot cake with your favorite cream cheese icing.
Retro Carrot Cake
Adapted from All Recipes Carrot Cake
Prep Time: 45 minutes | Bake Time: 35-40 minutes | Oven: 350 F
Makes 2, 9″ carrot cake rounds
2 cups White Sugar
2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Salt
4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
2 tsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Ground Cloves
1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 1/2 cups Vegetable Oil
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
3 cups Carrots, Grated
1 cup Walnuts, toasted and chopped (optional)
1 cup Raisins (optional)
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F. To make your life easier, grease and line the baking pan with parchment rounds (otherwise you may have trouble getting the cake out of the pans).
2. Grate 3 cups of fresh carrots. If you have a Cuisinart, use it!
3. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, salt, spices, baking soda, vanilla and oil. Beat the eggs in one at a time. Stir in the carrots, walnuts and raisins.
4. Pour batter into your prepared pans and bake for up to 40 minutes. Check the cake with a toothpick for doneness.
5. Remove pans from oven and cool on a wire rack.
6. Ice my retro carrot cake with your favorite frosting and enjoy!
Too much icing? This is how my family likes it. And remember SMB is not too sweet.
Like I mentioned above, the frosting was temperamental But I think Cream Cheese Swiss Meringue Buttercream has so much potential. It’s tangy, buttery and not too sweet. Do you have a favorite cream cheese frosting recipe? Let me know in the comments!
- Beth the Baker