Three-Layered Carrot Cake Recipe
Three-Layered Carrot Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Three-Layered Carrot Cake Recipe

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My mom loved carrots so much she put them in various dishes at least five times a week when I was growing up. Her specialty was a homemade carrot cake that was requested for every special occasion. When I made this for her 70th birthday, she cried with each bite.—Paula Marchesi, Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 1 hour + cooling Bake: 20 min. + cooling
MAKES:16 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 1 hour + cooling Bake: 20 min. + cooling
MAKES: 16 servings

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1-1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme, optional
  • 2 cups finely shredded carrots (about 4 medium)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • FROSTING:
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 8 to 8-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar

Directions

  1. Place egg whites in a small bowl; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottoms of three greased 8-in.-square baking pans with parchment paper; grease paper.
  2. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk orange juice and sour cream. In a large bowl, cream butter, sugars and orange peel until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. If desired, beat in thyme. Add flour mixture alternately with orange juice mixture, beating well after each addition.
  3. With clean beaters, beat egg whites on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter. Gently fold in shredded carrots and pecans.
  4. Transfer to prepared pans. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.
  5. For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese, orange peel and juice until blended. Gradually beat in enough confectioners’ sugar to reach desired consistency.
  6. Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake. Refrigerate until serving. Yield: 16 servings.
Editor's Note: To decorate cake with carrot ribbons, use a vegetable peeler to shave one large carrot into long ribbon-like strips. Reserve four of the longest strips for sides of cake; roll up remaining strips to make curls for the bow. Arrange long and rolled-up strips on a paper towel-lined baking sheet; let dry 30-45 minutes before placing on cake. Decorate frosted cake with carrot ribbons just before serving; if desired, add fresh thyme sprigs.
Originally published as Three-Layered Carrot Cake in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2014

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