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.
Cooking Light MAY 2005
Preheat oven to 350°.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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