Yesterday I shared my baking woes with you… I told you all about how I scrambled my husband’s birthday cake and shared a list of what not to do when you’re baking a cake. So, it may seem a bit surprising to you that today I am going to share the recipe for the scrambled birthday cake. But, that’s exactly what I’m going to do.
The thing is, there was nothing wrong with the cake recipe… Not a thing. What went wrong was that I was too lazy to cut out circles of parchment paper. Fortunately, I did manage to get the two layers of the cake out of the pans with only a small amount of damage. And, since I planned on stuffing the cake with pistachios and plenty of cream cheese frosting (the real reason my hubby requested carrot cake for his birthday), I figured that I could hide some of the flaws in the cake.
While this certainly isn’t the prettiest cake I’ve ever made (while it’s not as obvious in the photos, the one side was fairly lopsided and sagging), it may be one of the tastiest cakes I’ve made. The cake stayed nice and moist, and had that classic carrot cake flavor with a little extra something from the pistachios. My husband was quite happy with how it turned out, and he declared it a carrot cake win. I loved the extra salty crunch that the pistachios added to the cake.
You can bet I’ll be making this cake again. Of course, next time I will remember to line my cake pans with parchment paper.
Carrot Pistachio Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes one 9-inch cake; Serves 12
(Adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook)
For the cake:
- 3 cups finely shredded carrots
- 4 beaten eggs, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup canola oil
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the frosting:
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 – 6 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk (if needed)
- 1 1/2 cups chopped pistachios
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans and line with circles of parchment paper.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together the shredded carrots, eggs, canola oil, and vanilla extract. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, ground ginger, and salt.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and gently stir by hand until all of the dry ingredients are moistened and incorporated. Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean.
Let the cakes cool in the pans on wire racks for 10 – 15 minutes, then carefully invert the cakes onto the wire racks and cool completely. Once the cakes have cooled, cut any dome shaped tops from the cakes to make sure they are level.
Once the cakes are cooled, combine the cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer). Beat on medium speed until well combined and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and beat until it is incorporated. Gradually add the powdered sugar, about 1 cup at a time. Beat after each addition until the powderd sugar is well incorporated. Add enough powdered sugar that the frosting has a spreadable consistency. If the frosting gets too thick, add in the tablespoon of milk, and beat until smooth.
To finish the cake, place one round layer on a cake plate or serving platter. Spread frosting over the top of the cake and sprinkle half of the pistachios over the cake. Place the second cake layer on top and press down gently to make sure the cake is level and secure. Top with the remaining frosting (saving some for piping borders, if you like) and gently spread the frosting over the top, pushing the excess down to cover the sides. Press the remaining pistachios into the sides of the cake and pipe borders, if desired.
Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Please Note – The link to the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook provided in this post is an Amazon affiliate link.