Recipe by Lennie
Carrot cakes don't need nuts in them to be good! Try this version of a recipe I originally found in Chatelaine mag. Don't be put off by the length; it's no harder than any other carrot cake!
Top Review by ReeLani
Made this as one of my contributions to this year's Easter dinner when a nutless carrot cake was requested. I liked the idea of the added orange flavor in the cake, and I enjoyed it. I agree that this was no harder to make than any other carrot cake. The texture was dense and pleasant. Everyone else, however, took a bite and did that â€œwhat's this?" double-take. They didnâ€™t dislike the cake but would have preferred no orange flavor in it. If you like a carrot cake thatâ€™s a bit different than the norm, however, youâ€™ll like this one.
- 1 cup golden raisin
- 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier or 3 tablespoons Cointreau liqueur
- 7 medium carrots
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest
- 1 1⁄2 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup canola oil (or any vegetable oil)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon allspice
- 1 lb cream cheese (room temperature)
- 2 cups icing sugar, sifted to remove lumps
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or 1 tablespoon Cointreau liqueur
- 1⁄3 cup toasted unsweetened dried shredded coconut (optional)
Directions See How It's Made
- Place raisins in a microwave-safe bowl and drizzle with the 3 tbsp of orange liqueur; cover with plastic wrap or a lid and microwave on Medium power for 1 or 2 minutes, until the raisins are warm; remove from microwave and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350F; lightly butter or spray with non-stick cooking spray three 9-inch round cake pans or three of the disposable 8 1/2-inch or 9-inch foil pans.
- Line the bottom of each pan with a circle of parchment paper or wax paper, lightly greased; set pans aside.
- Scrape carrots and grate, using either the grating disc in your cuisinart or on the large holes of a box grater; you do NOT want to grind the carrots, you want them shredded.
- Grated carrots should measure out to be 3 1/2 cups; don't use any more than that or your cake's texture will definitely suffer.
- In a mixing bowl, with electric mixer, beat together eggs, orange zest, brown sugar, oil and vanilla; beat until smooth.
- In another mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and spices; I do this by sifting all through a sieve into the bowl.
- Make a well in the centre of the dry mixture and pour in egg mixture, stirring just until moist.
- Carefully fold in carrots and raisins (and any remaining liqueur).
- Divide evenly among three prepared pans; smooth tops.
- Bake in preheated oven until a tester comes out clean when inserted in centre of cakes, 25 to 30 minutes.
- When done, remove cakes from oven and cool in pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and let cool thoroughly.
- You could now wrap the cakes tightly and refrigerate them overnight, if you wanted to ice the cake the next day.
- To make the icing, beat softened cream cheese (2 250 gram or 8 oz bars= one pound) in a large mixing bowl with electric mixer until creamy.
- Beat in icing sugar, vanilla and liqueur, combining well.
- Place one layer of cake on a plate and spread one-third of icing over cake layer, going right to the edges.
- Repeat with the next two layers.
- If desired, sprinkle the toasted coconut over the top layer of icing.
- Refrigerate cake for at least one hour before serving, and keep leftover cake in the fridge, well covered.