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World's best carrot-cake recipe

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229 replies to this topic

#1 Fat Guy

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Posted 06 August 2004 - 07:31 AM

I need it. Who's got it?

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#2 Gifted Gourmet

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Posted 06 August 2004 - 07:38 AM

If you need it, then I got it, FG: :wink:

This is my tried and true carrot cake with maple cream cheese icing straight from Epicurious (as usual):
here
Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"


#3 sladeums

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Posted 06 August 2004 - 07:39 AM

I made Elizabeth_11's recipe from recipeGullet for my sister's birthday and it was pretty frickin' great:

click here for Triple layer carrot cake with citrus cream cheese frosting recipe
...I thought I had an appetite for destruction but all I wanted was a club sandwich.

#4 Carolyn Tillie

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Posted 06 August 2004 - 08:24 AM

Marcel Desaulnier's has coconut and pineapple and is hands-down the best I've ever tasted. You don't really end up tasting either a distinct flavor of coconut OR pineapple, but those ingredients add moisture and texture. I was going to provide an Amazon link but their search engine is seriously broken at the moment.

#5 KatieLoeb

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Posted 06 August 2004 - 08:37 AM

Here you go:

Frog Commissary Carrot Cake

There is none better than this. This is the recipe made famous at Phiadelphia's sorely missed Commissary restaurant, one of the places that led the "restaurant renaissance" here back in the 70's and 80's. The Amazon reviews of the Frog Commissary Cookbook say it's worth buying the book just for the carrot cake recipe alone. That might be true, but it's an excellent book all around.

The carrot cake does RULE.

Katie M. Loeb
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#6 phaelon56

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Posted 06 August 2004 - 08:54 AM

Carrots are good for you. That's why I always try to eat at least two pieces and make sure they're generous portions :biggrin:

And at age 48 I don't need reading glasses - I think there may be something to that whole "carrots are good for your eyes" thing.

#7 mckayinutah

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Posted 06 August 2004 - 09:04 AM

Bo Friberg's Carrot sponge from his " Professional Pastry Chef" is the moistest carrot cake I have ever seen. Never need to use simple syrup, and has gotten rave reviews from all who have tasted it ( a cream cheese frosting of your choice makes a great filling )



Jason

#8 Stone

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Posted 06 August 2004 - 09:11 AM

Which of the above recipes is really the best?

#9 Carolyn Tillie

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Posted 06 August 2004 - 09:36 AM

Which of the above recipes is really the best?

Sounds like we need a bake-off!

#10 Ladybug

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Posted 06 August 2004 - 09:48 AM

Where's mktye when we need her?

#11 browniebaker

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Posted 06 August 2004 - 10:17 AM

Whatever recipe you use, instead of the usual vegetable oil, use half vegetable oil and half melted butter. You get the characteristic moistness of carrot cake and the wonderful flavor of butter. Mmmm. I could use a slice of carrot cake now!

#12 middydd

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Posted 06 August 2004 - 11:42 AM

I've tried about twenty recipes for carrot cake in the last two years. My favourite is from Southern Living. The buttermilk glaze between the layers just adds something really special to a great cake.

http://food4.epicuri...8005/1/1/1.html

#13 petite tête de chou

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Posted 06 August 2004 - 12:00 PM

The best recipe would be determined by what you're looking for in your carrot cake. Very moist? Drier, more cake-like? To do nuts/raisins or not? How strong do you like the spicing?
Personally I prefer the cake to be moist (but not overly so, like many zucchini cakes are) and not too sweet. The cream cheese frosting is where I want the sugary sweetness to come in. I've had nuts crushed and scattered on top which is good, since I don't want them in the cake itself. No, no raisins.
That said, Cooks Illustrated's web site has a better than passable recipe.
Shelley: Would you like some pie?
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#14 ruthcooks

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Posted 06 August 2004 - 12:12 PM

I vote for the Carrot Pecan Cake with Fresh Orange Glaze offered by Jean Anderson in "The Grass Roots Cookbook". The cake is baked in a tube pan, split into 3 layers all glazed with a cooked and thickened orange glaze. Perfect for people (like me) who can't abide cream cheese icing.

Other marvelous desserts from this book are:

Banana-Walnut Cake (I omit walnuts from cake and add them to a browned butter icing)
Blue Grass Cheese Pie (my favorite chess pie, has light cream to cut the sweetness)
French Cookies (one-bowl cake-like bar cookies with coffee, raisins and spices, a chocolate icing; great last minute recipe)

The book is from the 70s, has had many reprints but is now out-of-print. Some used copies available on Amazon. Or, if anyone wants any of these recipes, let me know.
Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

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#15 cakewalk

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Posted 06 August 2004 - 12:19 PM

The carrot cakes above look wonderful. But have you tried them without the frostings? I love carrot cake, but I like it best just as a loaf cake, without any frosting. It is a completely different kind of cake than a layered, frosted carrot cake. I've been making the one in Moosewood for years, it's a standard and pretty good loaf cake, but nothing special. And why shouldn't a loaf cake be special? :smile:

The triple layer cake with citrus cream cheese frosting looks truly wonderful, and I might try that without the frosting. But one question: it calls for only 2 cups of flour (and 2 cups of sugar and 4 eggs). Is that a typo? It seems like it should take more flour than that.

#16 mktye

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Posted 06 August 2004 - 12:44 PM

Where's mktye when we need her?

:laugh: Off shopping at Ikea.

Carrot cake is my husband's favorite cake. I always use the recipe from The Silver Palate cookbook. Like the one Carolyn Tillie recommended, it contains coconut and pineapple.

But I agree with petite tête de chou--what criteria does one use to judge carrot cake?

#17 petite tête de chou

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Posted 06 August 2004 - 12:55 PM

Where's mktye when we need her?

:laugh: Off shopping at Ikea.

Carrot cake is my husband's favorite cake. I always use the recipe from The Silver Palate cookbook. Like the one Carolyn Tillie recommended, it contains coconut and pineapple.

But I agree with petite tête de chou--what criteria does one use to judge carrot cake?

Just an aside, carrot cake is my husbands favorite too! I think its more 'homey' and less processed and 'fancified' than most cakes.
Shelley: Would you like some pie?
Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

#18 Swisskaese

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Posted 06 August 2004 - 02:13 PM

The best one I have ever had is my cousin's recipe. I will be happy to send it to you by PM.

I just found a link to the recipe UCLA Carrot Cake

Edited by Swisskaese, 06 August 2004 - 02:24 PM.


#19 lorea

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Posted 06 August 2004 - 05:44 PM

I've tried about twenty recipes for carrot cake in the last two years. My favourite is from Southern Living. The buttermilk glaze between the layers just adds something really special to a great cake.

http://food4.epicuri...8005/1/1/1.html

Interesting topic...I was just PM'ing Sinclair about her favorite carrot cake recipe, and it happened to be the exact same one that was my current favorite (although I was planning on trying it with half butter, like what browniebaker said). I make mine without the nuts and sometimes without the coconut. The coconut adds a lot of flavor to the cake though, so I may try it again with ground coconut.

And the funny thing is, it's the same recipe as this one!

So that's 3 votes for this one... :wub:

#20 sladeums

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Posted 06 August 2004 - 06:12 PM

8<

The triple layer cake with citrus cream cheese frosting looks truly wonderful, and I might try that without the frosting. But one question: it calls for only 2 cups of flour (and 2 cups of sugar and 4 eggs). Is that a typo? It seems like it should take more flour than that.

>8


We (well, mostly my wife - but I found the recipe) used the recipe as written and had no problems.

As I recall, this is a moist cake, not in any way dense or 'loafy'.

I sometimes don't like carrot cakes, because they taste too 'carrot-y' and not very 'cake-y'. There should be a distinction between carrot cake and carrot bread.

This was very nice with all of the citrus brightening up and playing well against the earthy carrot flavor. The optional candied nuts are a must.
...I thought I had an appetite for destruction but all I wanted was a club sandwich.

#21 Susan G

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Posted 06 August 2004 - 09:41 PM

I always use the recipe from The Silver Palate cookbook. Like the one Carolyn Tillie recommended, it contains coconut and pineapple.

This one wins my vote too!
I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

#22 bleachboy

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Posted 06 August 2004 - 10:15 PM

Okay, listen. This is getting way out of hand. Somebody needs to test these recipes, feed them to a judging panel, and post the results. Otherwise I'm going to have like 8 bookmarks just for carrot cake alone!
Don Moore
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#23 Varmint

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Posted 07 August 2004 - 03:48 AM

Here you go:

Frog Commissary Carrot Cake

There is none better than this. This is the recipe made famous at Phiadelphia's sorely missed Commissary restaurant, one of the places that led the "restaurant renaissance" here back in the 70's and 80's. The Amazon reviews of the Frog Commissary Cookbook say it's worth buying the book just for the carrot cake recipe alone. That might be true, but it's an excellent book all around.

The carrot cake does RULE.

Steven, I second Katie's nomination of the Frog Commissary carrot cake. I've made it at least a dozen times, and always -- ALWAYS, I SAID -- folks tell me it's the single best carrot cake. Trust us on this one.
Dean McCord
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#24 BrentKulman

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Posted 07 August 2004 - 11:36 AM

This thread sent me searching for my old copy of The Commissary carrot cake recipe, which I obtained while living in Philadelphia in the late 1970s. I compared the two recipes, which were very close, and noted only a few discrepancies, primarily in the pecan cream filling.

My recipe calls for 2 C sugar, 6 T flour, 1 t salt, 2 C heavy cream, 1/2 lb. unsalted butter, I 1/2 C pecans and 1 T vanilla. The preparation instructions are otherwise the same.

For the cake, my recipe calls for 2 C less 2 T flour and confirms the notation at the bottom of the linked page that the amount of baking soda is 1 t.

For what it's worth, I always felt that my recipe's pecan cream filling was sweeter than the restaurant's version, so the published recipe may in fact be better as well as more authentic. I'm posting what I have for those who may prefer a sweeter filling.

In any event, I have never had a better carrot cake than The Commissary's and it was a sad day for Philadelphia when that restaurant closed (although I was long gone from the city by that time).

Edited by Brent Kulman, 07 August 2004 - 11:38 AM.


#25 Jay Francis

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Posted 07 August 2004 - 02:52 PM

Years ago, Cuisinart had a monthly magazine of recipes. In one of them was a terrific, easy food processor carrot cake recipe. If anyone out there has saved their Cuisinart magazines, could they post this recipe for this person. It was the best I ever remember, although a bit on the oily side.

#26 Bond Girl

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Posted 08 August 2004 - 03:29 PM

Now I know why I don't make carrot cakes more often. It took me two #$^&*@ hour to hand grate the carrots.

Katie and Varmint, you guys are right. The frog commissionary carrot cake os out of this world. And, I don't feel one bit of guilt eating it since I technically worked off the calories in advance by grating those damn carrots.
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#27 Wendy DeBord

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Posted 08 August 2004 - 03:44 PM

The perfect carrot cake recipe............you'll never find one that everyone agrees on, not on this subject.

Actually I think so much of our preferences comes from previous experience. What I seek in a great carrot cake recipe probably ties back to some memory of a piece I once had. I can't be open minded from there. Sure I've tried alot of carrot cake recipes inluding newier versions with fresh ginger or cakes that just happen to contain carrots........but none of them seem right-they don't match that old memory. I gotta give these other carrot cakes a different name......they just aren't traditional enough for me....even though I like them.

My defination of a traditional carrot cake must include: carrots, chopped nuts, pineapple, coconut and cinnamon. You can play around with using butter or not, buttermilk or not. etc....but it's gotta have those 5 main flavors for my defination. Then lastly it's gotta have cream cheese frosting............anything else and every midwesterner would rebel! It's ying and yang would be out of balance.


Oh and this does count as 1 serving of vegetable on the food chart........

#28 cbarre02

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Posted 08 August 2004 - 03:50 PM

Grated carrots that have started to ferment... you know how they get the foam. That makes the most flavorfal carrot cake i've ever had. It actually tastes like... carrots
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#29 Stone

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Posted 08 August 2004 - 07:17 PM

I decided to make GG's recipe tonight. Pretty good for the second type of cake I've ever tried. (The first being cheesecake.)

Here are the cakes coming out of the oven:

Posted Image

More bubbles than I expected, and I think they're a tad over done.

Here's the finished frosted cake:

Posted Image

I didn't chill the icing enough, so it dripped a bit.

Here's a big piece o' cake;

Posted Image

I was surprised at how good it is. The cake isn't very sweet, which offered a good contrast to the icing. It needed the ginger flavor to come out more, but I had a bitch of a time grating the ginger. I was using the grating side of my cheese grater, and ended up filling up all the holes on the grater with ginger mash and getting a puddle of ginger water underneath.

But I'm pretty happy with the cake. Now I'll throw it out so I don't eat it all. :biggrin:

Edited by Stone, 08 August 2004 - 07:19 PM.


#30 Wendy DeBord

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Posted 08 August 2004 - 07:46 PM

It actually tastes like... carrots

Huh, you want it to taste like carrots, well then that version counts for a whole days servings a veg.'s.





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