carrot and pecan cake

This week, we bring you our 59th bake from Claire Saffitz’s Dessert Person. This latest recipe from the Layer Cakes and Fancy Desserts chapter is the much-anticipated Carrot and Pecan Cake. We have now made Claire’s Cream Cheese Frosting for three bakes in a row; this time, it was the extra special Brown Butter variation.

Lauren’s Take

I LOVE CARROT CAKE. Ever since I was a kid and my aunt used to make this carrot cake at family dinners, carrot cake has sparked a sense of joy in me. Honestly, I think it might just be that I love cheese and carrot cake has cream cheese frosting typically but hey… nothing wrong with that. I have been looking forward to making this cake and have had to continuously tell myself that I was not allowed to skip ahead and make it multiple times. So when the time finally came, I made it as soon as I could. Unlike most of these bakes where I have a piece or a slice and then give most of it away, I kept this entire cake for myself AND I HAVE NO REGRETS.

My overall thoughts/realizations:

-I used walnuts instead of pecans, but I don’t think you can go wrong either way. Breaking down some of them into bigger chunks allows for a nice crunch in your cake

-Buy pre-shredded carrots and you will be happy you did

-Carrot cake batter is often a lot wetter than other cake batter. Do not let this worry you

-The mix of spices and fresh ginger in this cake smelt SO GOOD coming out of the oven

-Not only is cream cheese frosting amazing on its own, but BROWN BUTTER CREAM CHEESE FROSTING IS THE GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD. I genuinely could eat a whole case of it on its own, but it pairs so, so well with this carrot cake, and they balance each other out

 

 

 

As you can probably tell, I loved this cake and it lived up to the expectations I had for it. The cake is super moist and fluffy and has just the right balance of spices, but this frosting really is the star of the show. I would say that everyone else I shared it with loved it but….you’ll just have to take my word for it since I didn’t have any other taste testers this week 😉 Make this cake and you will not be sorry (but who is ever sorry after making cake really?). 6 STARS!!!

 

Julia’s Take

While there are a very few, if any, types of cakes I would ever turn away, I have never been the world’s biggest carrot cake fan. That said, I have heard nothing but rave reviews about Claire’s recipe since buying the book, and so I was very excited to give it a try and see what all of the hype was about.

When I say it met and exceeded all expectations, I mean it. This cake has the most perfect balance of flavours: warm spices like cinnamon and clove, the freshness of the grated carrot and lemon zest, the punch of the freshly grated ginger, and the earthy, toastiness of the roasted pecans. It is a VERY wet batter, but sets beautifully after baking and cooling and leaves you with a super moist, delicious cake.

I made my cakes the night before, and was a little nervous about putting them in the fridge because, even after cooling, they were SO soft and delicate. Luckily, all went smoothly. I took the cakes out of the fridge the next morning and got started on my Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting and holyyyyyy cow, this is a game-changer of a recipe. I have a new affinity for brown butter anything thanks to Claire, but putting it in cream cheese frosting is just a whole other level of genius. It almost tastes like toffee, and makes for the absolute dreamiest pairing with the carrot cake. I will never make another cream cheese frosting ever again.

Even taste testers of mine who are not normally carrot cake people couldn’t help but be impressed and fall in love with this cake. Make it immediately. 5 very enthusiastic stars from this baker!

Next week, we are bringing the summer vibes with Claire’s Strawberry Cornmeal Layer Cake. See you then!