Wednesday, April 15, 2009

TWD Rewind - Bill's Big Carrot Cake


I have used the same carrot cake recipe for YEARS. It is always well loved but I was ready for a change. Dorie Greenspan has a carrot cake in Baking From My Home to Yours that was chosen before I joined Tuesdays with Dorie, and I figured I'd give it a try. I have heard whispers about how yummy and flat out fantastic it is from reading some of my fellow TWD bloggers' posts, and I wanted to see how it compared to my go-to recipe.

My recipe has an 8 ounce can of crushed pineapple (juice included) and no coconut. That gives it a LLOOONNNGGGG life in the refrigerator, but that isn't always a plus unless you're a "B" diner. Dorie's recipe has just cinnamon, and mine had a mixture of spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, etc.) Dorie's calls for raisins or dried cranberries in addition to the nuts. Otherwise, the two were similar.

The recipe came together quickly and smelled amazing while it was baking. Since I made this a couple of weeks before I needed it, I cooled the layers completely and then triple wrapped them in plastic wrap and double wrapped them in heavy duty foil. My freezer is small and my friend Susan has a humongo freezer, so they had a sleep over at her house. On the day I planned to serve the cake, I let the layers sit out at room temperature (still wrapped) for an hour or two before I assembled the cake.

Dorie's cream cheese frosting recipe uses a pound of confectioner's sugar to 8 ounces of cream cheese, but adds a tablespoon of lemon juice to counteract the sweetness. I didn't have an available lemon, so I cut back on the sugar (to 14 ounces). I left the sides of the cake bare as Dorie did in the picture in the book.

This cake rocked our world. I used Vietnamese cinnamon and it gave the cake a wonderful depth of flavor. Normally, I use about half the amount of Vietnamese cinnamon since it's so assertive, but I really liked the spiciness it gave. We even liked it without any frosting.

My old recipe? It's history. Dorie's recipe? It's the future. A very yummy future, indeed. To make this cake a part of your future, check out the book Baking From My Home to Yours. It is an amazing feast of go-to recipes just as great as this one.

13 comments:

leanne said...

Everyone has given this cake rave reviews. I must go back and try it.Your cake looks great!

pinkstripes said...

Yes! Wasn't this delicious?

Jill said...

I've been thinking about making this and now I know I must!

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

Ok Ok I'll try it out. Looks so good!

Amanda said...

That's funny, I was just looking at this recipe in the book yesterday! Looks delicious

Steph said...

My carrot cake always turns out way too moist, I'll have to give dorie's a try!

Cathy said...

I never made a carrot cake until I made Bill's Big, and I can't imagine ever wanting to make a different one. It is the best carrot cake I've ever had. Yours looks fabulous!! I am so glad that you found a new favorite!

Pamela said...

Yeah, this is a fabulous cake. I loved the frosting especially. I'm a frosting girl. It looks terrific!

Teanna DiMicco said...

So funny, I was just asking for the perfect carrot cake recipe and EVERYONE says this one! You've totally sold me on it. I'm making it this weekend!

applecrumbles said...

The recipe I use for CC has pineapple as well. Love it. Yours looks fantastic and unfortunately has triggered a craving.

Annette said...

I haven't tried this cake yet either. It sounds amazing! I'll have to put it on the list.

Kayte said...

Okay...this has to be my treat for Mother's Day...I think this looks absolutely wonderful! And reading about it was even more convincing!

n.o.e said...

Leslie, I am SO far behind on your blog - sorry!! We loved this cake too. I made a few tiny changes (well they seemed tiny to me, but somebody told me it wasn't Dorie's recipe anymore! In a nice way of course), including expanding the variety of spices. I will be making this again; it's just a question of "when?"
Nancy