Spiced Carrot Layer Cake . . .

Saveur - April 2010


"Orange juice and zest, cinnamon, and ginger add verve and depth to this sumptuous cake."       - Todd Coleman



For the Carrot Cake

1 cup unsalted butter, plus more for pans

1 1⁄4 cups flour, plus more for pans

1 1⁄4 cups whole wheat flour

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tbsp. baking soda

1 tbsp. ground cinnamon

2 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. kosher salt

1⁄2 tsp. ground allspice

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

1⁄2 cup finely ground almonds

3 cups finely grated carrots

1 1⁄2 cups packed dark brown sugar

3 eggs, separated

1⁄2 cup plain yogurt

1⁄4 cup orange juice

1 tbsp. orange zest

1 tsp. vanilla extract


For the Buttermilk Glaze and Cream Cheese Icing

12 tbsp. unsalted butter

1⁄2 cup sugar

1⁄4 cup buttermilk

1 tbsp. light corn syrup

3⁄4 tsp. baking soda

1 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract

1⁄2 cup mascarpone cheese

3 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese

2 tbsp. dark or spiced rum

1 tbsp. orange zest

1 (1-lb.) box confectioners' sugar

2 cups finely chopped walnuts



     Make cake: Heat oven to 350°. Butter and flour three 9" round baking pans; set aside. Heat butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until it browns. Chill until solid.

     In a bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and allspice. Finely grind coconut and almonds in a food processor. Combine nut mixture, carrots, and flour mixture; mix.

     In a bowl, beat together browned butter and brown sugar until fluffy, 1–2 minutes; beat in yolks one at a time. Add yogurt, juice, zest, and vanilla; beat. Add flour mixture; beat. Whisk egg whites to stiff peaks; fold into batter. Divide batter between pans; smooth tops with a spatula. Bake for 30–35 minutes. Let cool slightly.

     Meanwhile, make glaze and icing: In a 4-qt. pan, combine 4 tbsp. butter, sugar, buttermilk, syrup, and baking soda; boil. Cook until dark, 3–4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla. Spread glaze over each warm cake. Remove cakes from pans; transfer, glazed side up, to racks. Let cool.

     In a bowl, beat remaining butter, mascarpone, and cream cheese with a mixer until smooth. Add remaining vanilla, rum, zest, and sugar; beat. Chill. Spread 1 1⁄4 cups icing evenly over 2 cake layers; stack, top with remaining layer. Frost top and sides; press nuts onto sides. Chill before serving.