Ok, ok - I know that's a bold statement but REALLY, I MEAN IT.
I've been looking for the perfect carrot cake recipe for so long.
I've tried my mum's recipe, Sean's mum's recipe, my friend Phil's mum's recipe and guess what? My versions never taste as good as theirs.
Last month, I was asked to photograph a few cakes, at the Hammonds Plains home of Seahorse Sweets owner Jody Waugh, for the current winter issue of East Coast Living Magazine. I arrived on a Saturday morning to find Jody about to start baking a carrot cake while her business partner-husband Keith sat in the dining room meticulously hand-painting teeny tiny Minnie Mouse decorations for a gorgeous, bright pink, little girl's birthday cake.
After our shoot, Jody looked at East Coast Living's editor, Suzanne Rent, and I and asked, 'Would either of you like a piece of carrot cake?'. Suzanne and I glanced at each other in a 'what kind of question is that?!?' kind of way and both offered a resounding 'YES PLEASE!'.
And that is the exact moment that the best carrot cake I have ever had entered my mouth for the first time.
Light - fluffy - moist (no oil!) - spicy - lots of frosting that's not too sweet.
When the winter issue of East Coast Living arrived in my mailbox I was thrilled to see Jody's recipe for carrot cake inside. I knew exactly when I was going to make it.
Sunday December 8 - Sean's birthday.
You see, carrot cake is Sean's FAVOURITE and he always has one, in one form or another, on his birthday.
I knew Jody's cake would be the one this year.
And guess what? He LOVED it. And so did I.
I am serious when I say this is the BEST CARROT CAKE RECIPE EVER!!!
I contacted Jody and asked if I could post her recipe and she said yes and so I am pleased to share with you:
Seahorse Sweets' Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting aka The Best Carrot Cake Ever
1 C butter, melted
2 C sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 C flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cardamom
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 C crushed pineapple (include some juice)
2 C grated carrots
- preheat oven to 350º - grease three 8-inch round cake tins with butter and line with parchment
- beat eggs, melted butter, sugar and vanilla until fluffy
- sift flour, cinnamon, cardamom, baking soda and salt - add to wet ingredients and mix until just incorporated
- fold crushed pineapple and grated carrot into batter (I also added 250g of chopped walnuts)
- divide batter between three cake tins and bake 25 minutes - check center with a toothpick - if still sticky, continue to bake checking every couple of minutes
- cool in tins
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
2 C unsalted butter, room temp (I used salted and still added the 1 tsp of salt and it was fine)
2 blocks cream cheese, room temp
1 tsp clear vanilla (I used regular brown vanilla)
1 tsp salt
8 C icing sugar (aka powdered sugar - aka confectioner's sugar), sifted
- beat butter, cream cheese, vanilla and salt until light and fluffy
- add icing sugar to butter mixture (if using a stand mixer add all at one - if using a hand mixer, add one cup at a time
Please note - this recipe make a three layer 8-inch round cake and a ton of frosting. If you like less frosting, I would consider halving the cream cheese recipe
A huge gigantic super duper thank you to Jody and Keith at Seahorse Sweets for letting me share 'the best carrot cake recipe ever' with you!!!