Carrot Cake with Garam Masala
This recipe is our modification of Bon Appetit's "Best Carrot Cake" recipe in which we substitute our Blood Orange Olive Oil and our exceptionally flavorful Organic Garam Masala blend for the spices more typically used in carrot cakes. A hint of orange zest in the cream cheese frosting adds the finishing touch to make this dessert uniquely flavorful. (Note: if you make this cake we strongly recommend you use Spice Your Life Garam Masala Blend because the flavor quality of the spices in this blend far exceeds any other garam masala blend we've tested.)
YIELD: 12 servings PREP TIME: 30 min BAKE TIME: 35-45 min
- Nonstick oil spray for baking
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped and lightly toasted (optional)
- 1 pound carrots, peeled and grated coarsely
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 4 ½ teaspoons Spice Your Life garam masala spice blend
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup (packed) dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¾ cup Spice Your Life Blood Orange Olive Oil
- 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of Kosher salt
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- Orange zest (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Using nonstick baking spray, lightly coat two 9-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms of pans with parchment paper and lightly coat the parchment paper with baking spray.
If using walnuts, lightly toast these on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once, until golden brown (~8-10 minutes).
In a large bowl combine grated carrots and buttermilk.
In a second large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, garam masala, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
In a large mixing bowl and using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract until pale and thick with a smooth consistency (~4 minutes). Reduce mixer to medium-low speed and gradually drizzle in olive oil. Next, add the dry ingredients in 3 separate portions, alternating with carrot mixture in 3 separate portions. Blend until smooth. If using walnuts, fold these into the batter. Then scrape the batter into the round baking pans prepared above.
Bake cakes at 350° F., rotating pans halfway through, for 35-45 minutes, until a small knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove cakes from the oven to cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Then run a knife around the sides of the cakes an invert onto a wire rack. Remove parchment paper and left cool completely.
In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and butter at high speed with an electric mixer until smooth (~1 minute). Next, beat in vanilla extract and salt. Then reduce speed to low and gradually mix in powdered sugar. Increase speed to high and beat frosting until light and fluffy (~2 minutes). If desired, add orange zest to frosting to taste. Just a hint of orange zest in the frosting nicely enhances the light blood orange flavor in the cake.
To assemble, place 1 cake, domed side down on a cake plate and spread ¾ cup frosting evenly over the top. Then place the second cake, domed side down, on top and spread 1 ¼ cups frosting on the top and sides. Chill the cake for 30 minutes to set the frosting. Finally, spread the remaining frosting over top and sides.
Organic Garam Masala
Blood Orange Olive Oil