#PumpkinWeek ~ Pumpkin Carrot Cake
This cake came out so pretty! I couldn't be happier with the luscious, smooth cream cheese frosting and the tender, moist cake packed full of tasty goodies. Using a combination of homemade applesauce (the original recipe calls for oil, but considering the other ingredients I thought applesauce would sub very well in this recipe, and it did - plus I still have a couple small mason jars of the homemade stuff left in my fridge), pumpkin puree, crushed pineapples and shredded carrots results in a WONDERFULLY tender and moist cake! I had to include a picture of the frosting in progress - because a huge pile of fluffy sweet cream cheese frosting atop those beautiful cake rounds made me happy.
I think this beautiful cake would look even more stunning with the recommended coconut and walnuts to adorn it, but my sister doesn't like crunchy things in her cakes and cookies, and is not a fan of coconut - so I left them out this time around. I left the suggested amounts per the original recipe linked below; if you are a fan of texture and those flavors give them a try!
My baby taste tester gets so excited when I put things on the bench for picture taking - she comes running in from her playroom (which opens to the dining room where I take my pictures) and straight over to the bench to eyeball whatever might be getting my attention at the moment. She loved the cream cheese frosting and stole a couple little finger swipes before I finished up. She held her little frosted finger out to me and said "Taste?" Cutie patootie.
The pumpkin puree adds extra moisture, a deeper color, and a lovely little something "extra" to this fantastic carrot cake. Carrot cake is one of those things I love, love, love but have only made a handful of times during the past 17 years I've spent running my little kitchen. This recipe is definitely going in my keeper file, and I look forward to making one the next time a special occasion calls for a cake - this one is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
#PumpkinWeek Day 4 Recipes:
- Pumpkin Almond Croissants from Love and Confections.
- Pumpkin Cake Pops from Dizzy Busy and Hungry.
- Pumpkin Carrot Cake from Making Miracles.
- Pumpkin-Chocolate Babka from Culinary Adventures with Camilla.
- Pumpkin Cranberry Mini Muffins from Feeding Big and more.
- Pumpkin Dip from Gluten Free Crumbley.
- Pumpkin Fudge from That Skinny Chick Can Bake.
- Pumpkin Pie Martini from The Redhead Baker.
- Pumpkin Spice Creamer from Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks.
- Spicy Pumpkin Sweet Potato Chili from The Crumby Cupcake.
- White Chocolate Pumpkin Mousse from A Day in the Life on the Farm.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 large eggs
1/2 cup applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated fresh carrots
1 cup crushed pineapple
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional - I omitted)
1-1/2 cups flaked coconut (optional - I omitted)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons milk
3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup flaked coconut (optional - I omitted)
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional - I omitted)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease two 8-inch round cake pans. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl add the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon - whisk to combine.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the eggs, oil and vanilla and beat until smooth. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture on slow speed. The dough will be very thick at this point.
- Fold in the pineapple and pumpkin by hand until well combined. Fold in the carrots and then the nuts and coconut (if using) until just combined.
- Split the batter between the prepared cake pans and bake for 50-60 minutes, until the cakes are browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean.
- Let the cakes cool in their pans on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Carefully turn them out onto the wire rack and allow them to cool completely before frosting.
- To make frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the softened butter, cream cheese and milk on high speed until smooth. Gradually incorporate the powdered sugar until frosting is light and fluffy. Fold in the coconut and walnuts by hand if using.
- To frost the cake: Place one cake layer on a cake stand or serving platter. Use a spatula to cover with a thick layer of frosting. Stack the other cake round on top of the frosted layer. Cover the top and sides with the remaining frosting. Garnish with additional walnuts, if desired.