Let me start with a question: how come it’s a tradition to make carrot cake around (for) Easter when this popular root vegetable is going right out of season in spring? (Yes, carrots have a season too: late summer and fall, although they are available from storage year round)
Anyway. I think we’d all agree that every season is a good season to make something as delicious as a rich and moist carrot cake, late winter being no exception.
Everyone likes this decadent dessert a bit different spices, nuts, raisins or pineapple-wise and that’s fine. Make it the way you like it! I happen to be a (wal)nuts and for-the-love-of-all-that’s-holy-please-no-raisins kinda girl. And I use apples, sans pine. Different strokes for different folks!
As for the other single most important bit, the frosting – and this is guaranteed to make frowned foreheads across the pond – your cream cheese+butter+sugar combo is something I just can’t come to like. No offence, but I find it too sweet and thick.
To coat my cake, I substitute mascarpone for cream cheese. Let’s stop here for a sec: if you are wondering how cream cheese and mascarpone are different, in short cream cheese is tangier and mascarpone is milder. Mascarpone is made from cream coagulated with just acid, richer and creamier with a higher fat content. Cream cheese is made from milk with lactic bacteria, more acidic and with a lower fat content. I love both but in this recipe, I happen to like mascarpone better.
I also swap butter for whipped cream. A generous slathering of this airier, frothy filling suits my taste better but then again, it’s just a personal preference.
As is the way you arrange the cake. To give a fancier look for this otherwise simple dessert, I prefer layers and frosting, generous on top and thinner on the sides. I know the uniqueness of naked cakes has worn off a bit, but I’m still making them in 2018 and #notsorry.
Carrot Cake with Mascarpone Filling
Moist and deliciously spicy carrot cake filled with airy mascarpone whipped cream.
For the cake:
350 g carrots
1 medium apple
100 g whole wheat flour
200 g AP flour
100 g walnut meal
1 packet (15 g) baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
150 ml neutral vegetable oil
150 g brown sugar
For the filling:
250 g mascarpone
400 ml whipping cream
1 packet (7 g) vanilla sugar
- Generously butter and flour two 17 cm cake tins (6.5″).
- Peel, core and grate apple. Peel and grate carrots. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 150C (300F).
- In a large mixing bowl, mix flours, baking powder, salt, spices and walnut meal.
- In another bowl, whisk eggs, sugar and oil until frothy.
- Fold egg mixture into flour mixture. Add carrots and apple, mix until combined.
- Divide batter equally between the tins. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about an hour.
- Let cool 20 min before removing from tins. Cut both in half horizontally so you have 4 layers. Cool completely.
- While layers are cooling, make filling: mix mascarpone and cream with an electric mixer on low to combine. Increase speed and whisk until stiff peaks form.
- Arrange cake. Refrigerate for 1 h before serving. Enjoy!