carrot cake with lemon mascarpone frosting

I love carrot cake, so when I was in the mood to bake something and I noticed a bag of carrots in the crisper I made up my mind.  I used to have a 'go-to' recipe, but I lost it somewhere along the way, so now I'm always looking for a replacement.  Overall this cake was pretty good, I adjusted the recipe below so that it would have a bit more ginger flavour but I loved the cinnamon and I thought the addition of 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder was interesting.  You couldn't taste the cocoa, but I think it added a depth to the flavour.  The cake was nice & moist and I think it had a good amount of carrot in it.  I decided to "fancy it up" a bit with a mascarpone frosting, rather than the traditional cream cheese frosting.  It was nice & light with a good lemony zip.  I could imagine using this frosting recipe for other cakes or cupcakes too.

I brought this cake into Trev's office here in Amsterdam.  Dutch cakes are very different from what we call cake in Canada - generally they're more similar to tarts, so I'm not sure if they're familiar with carrot cake or not.  Trevor brought the pan back empty, so I guess everyone liked it!

Carrot Cake

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1 cup raisins or chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 4 cups coarsely grated carrot
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 350F with the rack in the middle position.  Grease & flour either one 9x13" baking pan or two 8" round pans.

Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, cinnamon, ginger (and optional walnuts or raisins) together in a medium-sized bowl and set aside.  Grate the carrot and mix with the sugar and salt in a large bowl.  Mix the eggs into the carrot mixture one at a time.  Stir the vegetable oil in while mixing and continue mixing until thoroughly combined.  Add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.  Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs.  Allow the cake to fully cool before frosting.

Lemon Mascarpone Frosting

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • grated rind from 2 lemons
  • 1 cup mascarpone at room temperature

Add the sugar, salt, rind and lemon juice to a bowl.  Use an electric mixer to beat on low speed until the sugar has dissolved into the lemon juice.  Add the mascarpone and beat on low speed until it's creamy - don't overbeat it.  Spread the frosting evenly over the cake then enjoy licking the last bits of frosting off the beaters :)

Recipe adapted from Food & Wine