I can't believe I've never baked a carrot cake in my life! It's no secret that I love all things cream cheese frosting so I'm surprised it has taken me this long to make a carrot cake!
This is not a normal carrot cake - this recipe care of Sweetapolita (one of the many baking blogs I follow) (recipe found here) is a zingy orange and ginger carrot cake! It combines orange zest and little crystallised ginger bits throughout the cake in addition to of course carrot and ginger.
Frosting this cake took me just as long as it did to make it! I spent absolutely forever trying to come up with something creative to pipe. It's known that I never make enough of frosting which always leaves me making up a second batch and this time was no different (why don't I ever learn??). I think its because I try limit my consumption of all that sugary goodness so I figure that if I don't make enough, I can't eat all that much. It doesn't work! Like I said, I end up just having to make a second batch. So making a second batch of cream cheese frosting meant that I had an abundance to use, so much so, that I could afford to be decorative with my piping. I've always wanted to make ruffles, and I started to do a ruffle trim at the bottom of the cake, except that it kind of looked weird, so I stopped, scraped it off, and then decided to use my Wilton 2D. This created a different kind of ruffle effect, but again, it looked kind of weird, so I scraped it off. And with little girl way overdue for her nap and pulling at my trousers, I decided to just keep it simple, so I cleaned up the icing mess. In a way, there's something kind of pretty about having a plain icing cake, no frills, no ruffles, just plain simple icing. It's like smoothing concrete (not that I've ever had to smooth concrete, but I imagine it would be kind of similar)! Anyway, after I finished up smoothing the icing, I was completely shocked at the different kind of mess that little girl had managed to conjure up when I wasn't paying attention to her... ALL my baking utensils were strewn on the kitchen floor leaving a trail of measuring cups, spatulas, bowls into the living room!
This is such a wonderfully moist and fluffy carrot cake. I'm a little disappointed that the carrot taste wasn't very strong, I mean, it is a carrot cake after all so I wanted to be sucker punched by it! Admittedly, I went overboard with the orange zest, although it couldn't be helped, I love orange! When I mixed the grated carrot throughout the batter, the mixture became predominantly carrot with a little bit of batter so I thought the carrot taste would be overpowering, but it was negligible! I was also surprised that I didn't really taste the ginger, and then it occurred to me, I omitted the ground ginger in the batter...D'oh! So without the ginger (although it does have crystallised ginger pieces throughout), and the subtle carrot taste, it's more fitting to describe this cake as an orange cake! It doesn't bother me, as any excuse to have cream cheese frosting!
Despite the flaws, this cake is really yummy! So much so that C suggested that he would try sell it at the cafe, except that it never made it that far as he ended up devouring the whole cake!!