I had an interesting situation presented to me on Halloween when I decided to go ahead and make a carrot cake for my boyfriend’s father’s birthday since it’s his favorite, and despite the fact that my boyfriend is less than crazy about carrot cake. I have to cater to the birthday boy here first and foremost.
So I dug out my babci’s recipe – the always reliable, always amazing one that no modern-day recipe can hold a candle to. I haven’t made it in years because carrot is not a crowd-pleaser, and I was disgruntled to realize that it called for four cups of grated carrots. Yes folks, that takes some elbow grease. And it helps if you’ve got an assistant who wants to contribute to his father’s cake.
Get through that, and the rest is a breeze. I always marvel over how the simplest recipes wind up often being the best. This carrot cake is outstanding. You won’t find another this moist or tender, I promise. I think I could leave it out overnight uncovered, and it’d still be moist the next day.
Of course, I had to personalize this beauty one step more by making it a Caramel-Filled Utica Comets Carrot Cake. If I lost you after “caramel-filled,” stay with me. First off, the birthday boy loves caramel, so the filling was a no-brainer. Second of all, he and his whole family (along with almost everyone who lives in Utica, NY) are huge fans of the local Utica Comets hockey team. In fact, he’s at a game as we speak. So, I added the simple logo and distinguishing blue and green to finish this cake off right.
Whether you care about the Comets or not, this is a must-save recipe to break out for every carrot cake lover in your life. you won’t find another this good.
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
- Grating carrots is a pain. It helps to have a good, heavy duty grater.
- A classic cream cheese frosting would be delicious as well.
- You can make this into cupcakes by reducing the cook time to about 20 minutes.
- This makes a lot of batter, so you can stretch it to three layers, if you like.
Caramel-Filled Utica Comets Carrot Cake
By The Smart Cookie Cook
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. allspice
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 4 cups grated carrots
For the frilling
- 1 stick (8 tbsp.) butter, softened
- 2/3 cup good-quality caramel sauce
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
For the frosting
- 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 2-3 tbsp. heavy cream
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. salt
For the optional Comets decor
- green frosting
- blue frosting
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Spray 2 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray and ine the bottoms with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together sugar and eggs until thickened. Stir in the oil.
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon. Stir into the egg mixture, a little at a time, until well-incorporated. Fold in the carrots.
- Distribute batter evenly between pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let the cakes cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Then flip out onto cooling racks to cool completely. Discard parchment paper.
- When cakes are cool, make the filling. Place all filling ingredients in a large bowl and beat with a mixer on low until they start to come together. Increase speed and beat until well-combined.
- Place one layer of cake on whatever you’re serving the cake on. Spread filling on top in an even layer.
- Make the frosting. Place butter and 2 cups sugar in a standing mixer and beat on low until it starts to come together. Increase speed until well-combined. Add another two cups of sugar and beat in slowly. Beat in the final cup of sugar.
- Add vanilla, salt, and 2 tbsp. cream and beat until well-combined. If it’s too thick, add the last tablespoon of cream.
- Place second layer of cake centered on top of the filling-covered first layer. Spread frosting over top so that it is smooth and even.
- If you’d like, use the blue to write square lettering to spell out “COMETS.” Use the green to write “UTICA” above it. Use both colors to draw the signature swoosh, and use the blue to draw stars on the sides of the cake. I recommend Googling the logo to reference.
- Store cake in fridge in an air-tight container.