Carrot cake is one of my favorite desserts; however, more often than not, when I order my favorite treat I am faced with a dry bland carrot cake. It’s always such a bummer to have your high hopes squashed. Look no further for a perfectly moist carrot cake recipe that combines carrots with sweet granny smith apples and tops it all off with a not too sweet goat cheese frosting. My mouth is watering as I type… I love the fact that sweet and savory is perfectly balanced in this recipe, plus the added crunch from the nut topping, YUM! What are some of your favorite desserts? Any favorites that never seem to be right when you order them from a restaurant or bakery instead of making it yourself?
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups packed coarsely grated carrots (about 3 medium)
1 1/2 cups packed coarsely grated tart apples, such as Granny Smith (about 2 medium)
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans, plus more for garnish
10 ounce fresh, mild chèvre (goat cheese), room temperature
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease three 9-in. round cake pans and set aside. In a large bowl, combine flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, spices, cocoa, pepper, and salt. Whisk to combine, then stir in oil and eggs. Stir in carrots, apples, and 1 cup walnuts.
Divide batter among pans and bake until cakes pull away from pan sides and a cake tester inserted in each center comes out clean, 25 minutes. Transfer cakes to cooling racks and let cool 10 minutes. Turn out onto racks and let cool completely.
Beat goat cheese, cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Gradually add powdered sugar and mix until combined.
Once cakes are cool, arrange first layer on a large plate or platter. Spread some frosting over it, then top with second layer. Frost second layer and top with the third. Generously frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. Chill cake at least 1 hour. Before serving, press nuts lightly into sides of cake.