I decided tonight to try Alton Brown’s Carrot Cake recipe again. I tried it once before but I turned it into cupcakes. When I took the cupcakes out of the oven, they were entirely too greasy. I didn’t like the oily taste they had. So this time, I thought I would use applesauce instead. I have used applesauce a bunch of times as a replacement for oil to make boxed cake mixes a bit less fattening and it works out perfectly. This time however, it did not work out at all. The cake came out completely dense (more dense than a bread) and it was basically inedible. The frosting was fantastically delicious as usual but I think I am going to call this recipe a failure. I might try it again when I have a food processor but honestly, I don’t think that will make a difference. The only things I didn’t do exactly as the recipe said were replacing the oil and using my stand mixer instead of the food processor. When I made the cream cheese frosting, I whipped a bit of air into it so that I would have a bit more.
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2005
* Unsalted butter, for the pan
* 12 ounces, approximately 2 1/2 cups, all-purpose flour, plus extra for pan
* 12 ounces grated carrots, medium grate, approximately 6 medium
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 10 ounces sugar, approximately 1 1/3 cups
* 2 ounces dark brown sugar, approximately 1/4 cup firmly packed
* 3 large eggs
* 6 ounces plain yogurt
* 6 ounces vegetable oil (I substituted 6oz. of applesauce)
* Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter and flour a 9-inch round and 3-inch deep cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
Put the carrots into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process for 5 seconds. Add this mixture to the carrots and toss until they are well-coated with the flour.
In the bowl of the food processor combine the sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and yogurt.
With the processor still running drizzle in the vegetable oil. Pour this mixture into the carrot mixture and stir until just combined. Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 45 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees F and bake for another 20 minutes or until the cake reaches 205 to 210 degrees F in the center.
Remove the pan from the oven and allow cake to cool 15 minutes in the pan. After 15 minutes, turn the cake out onto a rack and allow cake to cool completely. Frost with cream cheese frosting after cake has cooled completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese
2 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
9 ounces powdered sugar, sifted, approximately 2 cups
In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and butter on medium just until blended. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. With the speed on low, add the powdered sugar in 4 batches and beat until smooth between each addition.
Place the frosting in the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes before using. I made it as soon as I put the cake into the oven so it was in the fridge for most of the baking time plus the cooling time of the cakes.
Yield: approximately 2 cups