Becky Luigart-Stayner
Recipe from Cooking Light

Moist, rich, and lightly spiced, this carrot cake received our Test Kitchens' highest rating. We call for a metal baking pan for the cake; if you use a glass baking dish, which conducts heat better than metal, decrease the baking temperature to 325°, and begin checking for doneness after 25 minutes. For the best frosting consistency, use softened butter and cold cream cheese, and add the powdered sugar in batches.

Ingredients

  • Cake:
  • Cooking spray
  • 9 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 cups finely shredded carrot
  • Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) block-style fat-free cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 3/4 cups powdered sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon orange sugar sprinkles

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. To prepare cake, coat a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray; line bottom of pan with wax paper. Coat wax paper with cooking spray; set aside.
  3. Place 9 tablespoons butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 5 minutes or until well blended. Add eggs and egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition until pale and fluffy. Beat in 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
  4. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix after each addition. Stir in carrot. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Sharply tap pan once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Carefully peel off wax paper; cool completely on wire rack.
  5. To prepare frosting, place the cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, 2 teaspoons of vanilla, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Gradually add 2 cups powdered sugar, beating at low speed until smooth (do not overbeat). Stir in the remaining 3/4 cup powdered sugar. Cover and chill 30 minutes. Spread frosting over top of cake. Garnish with sprinkles. Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator.
Jan Moon,
May 2005