Mile End Carrot Cake

with cream cheese frosting

Welcome to yet another Monday. Enjoy it, because after this week, it’s time for Thanksgiving Day preparation, and you know how much fun that can be. I don’t mean to be a huge downer – I really do love Thanksgiving, but with the excitement comes stress, so just remember to take in this last holiday-less week. Kramer and I went to see Argo on Friday; I really liked it. I have always been a sucker for Ben Affleck and I think he did another great job directing. John Goodman and Alan Arkin were fantastic, too. Saturday, we sucked it up and went into Manhattan. I typically avoid the city on the weekends. It’s crowded, the trains run slower, and honestly, there’s no reason to go unless I really need something, like glasses, which was this trip’s main purpose. I luckily found a new pair at the first store we went into, which never, ever happens, so I chalked that one up to a victory for me. We treated ourselves to brunch at DBGB, since we knew shopping in SoHo was going to be miserable, and I think that the food definitely helped us make it through. We had a soft boiled and crispy fried egg over mushrooms and salsify with perfectly chewy bread, lamb sausage with spinach and chickpeas, and a croque madam made with the most buttery and light brioche ever. I also had a pilsner mixed with lemon and juniper soda that we unbelievably good – I have to figure out how to make it at home. After the city, we came home and relaxed on the couch, ordered some sushi for dinner, and went to a friend’s birthday party. We stayed out a bit later than we had anticipated, but I still woke up early enough on Sunday to watch SNL (I have no idea who Bruno Mars is, but he did a good job) then do some cooking and baking. The weather was gorgeous and the sun was shining all weekend, so you can’t ask for more than that.

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This carrot cake is from one of my new favorite cookbooks, The Mile End Cookbook and Mile End Sandwich was two of my favorite spots in New York. Their sandwiches, salads, and desserts are out of this world, so after making their brisket with red wine and prunes, I knew I had to go for this carrot cake next. I think I had only made carrot cake once before, but this one was certainly superior. The cake itself is simple; no raisins, no nuts, just spiced, aromatic cake with plenty of freshly grated carrots, sandwiched between layers of sweet, but not too sweet, cream cheese frosting. The cake holds up well to decoration, and best of all, will keep well in your fridge for almost an entire week. I even recommend freezing a slice to warm up on one of those days where you just need a treat. We served this cake to our friends and everyone had scraped their plates clean, which is the universal sign for “this was good”. I will definitely be heading back into the Mile End book to check out their other cake recipes, because this one was a clear winner.


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Peel and grate your carrots, whisk together your dry ingredients, and make your batter.

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Pour the batter into your cake pans and bake until golden and set, then allow to cool.

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Throw a crumb layer on that sucker and let it chill.

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Decorate and slice!

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Mile End Carrot Cake
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 10-12 large slices
 

My favorite carrot cake made from real carrots with layers of luscious cream cheese frosting.
Ingredients
For the cake:
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1½ cups vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 pound (about 5) large carrots, peeled and grated
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cloves
For the frosting:
  • 16 ounces cream cheese (usually 2 packages), room temperature
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • roughly chopped walnuts, for garnish

Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of your cake pan(s) with a circle of parchment paper, then grease the pans well with cooking spray or butter. You can use 1 12-inch cake pan or 2 8-inch cake pans – I used the 2 pans, obviously.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs and sugars and mix until the sugar has dissolved. Add in the oil very, very slowly, mixing or processing until the oil starts to emulsify a bit. Add in the grated carrots and mix until incorporated.
  3. Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, then add it to the egg and oil mixture until just moistened and evenly combined. Pour the cake batter into your prepared pan(s). Bake, rotating the pans halfway through baking time, until the cake is golden brown and set (when a toothpick is inserted, it should come out clean), about 25-30 minutes. Allow the cake to cool completely on a wire rack before removing it from the pan(s).
  4. Combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar, salt, sour cream, and vanilla extract, in a stand mixer fitted with your whisk attachment (or, alternatively, you can use some serious elbow grease). Beat for a solid 5 minutes or so, until the mixture is light and airy.
  5. To assemble the cake, first, if you are using 2 layers, place the first layer on a cake stand or a plate and put about ⅓ of the frosting on top of the flat side of the cake. Spread it out evenly, then place the 2nd layer on top. Frost the cake with a light layer of frosting – this is the “crumb” layer, so you just want a really thin base to keep the crumbs from showing through the final layer. Place the cake and its crumb layer in the fridge for 10 minutes or so, to firm up, then finish frosting whichever way you like. Decorate with walnuts or whatever else you like and place back in the fridge for 20 minutes before slicing and serving. This cake will keep well in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 5 days.

 

25 Responses

  1. The cake looks amazing! I love carrot cake and this one looks like such a keeper! And thanks for the cookbook rec, too!

  2. Niki says:

    It looks delicious!
    “bravo” from Greece:)

  3. Joanne says:

    Your cakes ARE fantastic!

  4. Lindsey says:

    that cake is spot on perfection girl, and looks frosting finger licking good! there’s nothing better and more fall-like than moist carrot-cinnamon cake and savory cream cheese frosting. I wish I had the skills and patience to put on half as good of a baked goods presentation as you!

  5. I have up until now been a cookie/bar/muffin kind of girl, but I can just FEEL my cake-baking debut coming soon. This cake is such a nice incentive! Love the fact that it has no fruit or nuts :)

  6. My fiance loves carrot cake – I’m bookmarking this recipe for his next birthday!

  7. One of my family’s fav Fall cake! Love the walnuts topping!

  8. Sylvie says:

    I can almost taste that delicious carrot cake, it looks so good! Is there any better way then walnuts and carrots to wind into Thanksgiving season?

  9. Pauline says:

    Such a great recipe. I love layered cakes and carrot cake is always a good option :D

  10. Deb says:

    Carrot Cake is a favorite and I’m always searching for recipes that are not over populated with pineapple, coconut, nuts and who knows what else. At that point it becomes a bit too dense for a layer cake. You have my attention with this recipe, carrots and lots of them, smothered in cream cheese frosting, a fabulous recipe!

  11. Elizabeth says:

    Carrot cake is one of my absolute favorites! This looks amazing.

  12. I love carrot cake! Freezing baked goods is the best because then you get to relive it all over again in a month or two. I’m dying to see Argo, always wanted to try DBGB too. Watching SNL as I write this. Bruno Mars is a super talented singer, but I’m a top 40s girl, so it’s not surprising I love him.

  13. Jess says:

    I love carrot cake! This is amazing!!

  14. Kelly Senyei says:

    Your recipe is the final boost I need to dive into making a carrot cake! It’s one of my all-time favorites, but somehow, chocolate always seems to win out over classic carrot. Can’t wait to try your version!

  15. I’ve been meaning to watch Argo! It’s not my type of movie but for some reason, it’s on my bucket list of movies. As for Bruno Mars, he did such an amazing job with all the various voices, especially Justin Bieber.

    And this cake? YES YES YES! I think I’ll have to make this for Thanksgiving!

  16. Sarah M. says:

    Just discovered Mile End at the Smorgasburg in Brooklyn this past weekend… best pastrami sandwich EVER and with a sour pickle and homemade rye! I will definitely be trying this recipe. Cheers!

  17. Lynna says:

    I can SMELL what this cake would taste like! It looks delicious and moist.

    I totally forgot about that movie. Gotta see it.

  18. JG says:

    Has anyone tried to make the cake with 3/4 cup apple sauce and 3/4 cup oil? Did the cake turn out successfully and yummy?

  19. [...]   Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting Because why not? Find the recipe here: http://crepesofwrath.net/2012/10/22/mile-end-carrot-cake/  [...]

  20. Cheryl says:

    This is in the oven right now!

  21. Sasha says:

    Made the recipe as cupcakes (took about 20 minutes a batch at 350) and got 2 dozen. They were a huge hit- super light and moist with killer frosting.

  22. Heather says:

    Could this cake stand up to putting fondant on it?

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