Brown Butter Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Buttercream
(4)
"A classic, high-altitude recipe for carrot cake, made with browned butter and perfectly spiced, and frosted with cream cheese buttercream"
-- @curlygirlkitchen
Recipe

Details

Prep time 15mins
Cook time 28mins
Serves or Makes: 12-15

Recipe

Cake

  • 3/ 4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups carrots, finely grated
  • 1/ 2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/ 4 cup whole buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 1/ 4 cups cake flour, or all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 1/ 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/ 2 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/ 2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/ 2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Buttercream

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon meringue powder
  • 1/ 4 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cake

Method

  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 350. Spray three 8-inch cake pans with non-stick spray. For best results, let your cold ingredients (eggs, buttermilk, etc) come to room temperature before mixing up the cake batter.

  • Step 2

    Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium low heat. Continue cooking, swirling occasionally, until nutty brown solids form on the bottom of the pan. Scrape the butter and the browned bits into a large mixing bowl and let cool for a few minutes, then whisk in the grated carrots, applesauce, granulated sugar, brown sugar, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla.

  • Step 3

    In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Add the dry to the wet, stirring just until combined. Divide the batter between the pans. Bake for about 25-28 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Set the pans on wire racks and cool completely, covered with a clean kitchen towel.

Buttercream

Method

  • Step 1

    In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter for 1 minute until smooth. With the mixer on low, add the powdered sugar and the meringue powder, mixing until combined. Add the salt and vanilla; on medium high, whip for several minutes until light and fluffy - add a little more powdered sugar if the buttercream is too soft.

  • Step 2

    Stack and fill the cooled cakes, then frost all over with a thin crumb coat of buttercream. Chill for 30 minutes, then frost with a final layer of buttercream. For the naked cake pictured here, pipe the buttercream onto each layer using a large open star tip. Any leftover buttercream can be frozen for another cake.