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Classic Carrot Cake

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• ½ cup dried currants

• 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

• 2¼ cups all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off with knife

• 2 teaspoons baking soda

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

• ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

• ¼ teaspoon ground allspice

• ¼ teaspoon ground cloves

• ¾ cup pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped

• 4 large eggs

• 1½ cups granulated sugar

• ½ cup packed dark brown sugar

• 1¼ cups vegetable oil



• 8 oz cream cheese, softened

• 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened

• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

• 3 cups confectioners’ sugar

• Pinch salt

• ½ cup pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)




• Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9×13-inch heavy-duty metal cake pan, or spray the pan with a nonstick cooking spray with flour, like Baker’s Joy or Pam with Flour.

• Soak the currants in ½ cup hot tap water for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

• In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves.


Transfer ¼ cup of this mixture to a small bowl and add the drained currants and the chopped nuts; toss to combine.

• In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, process the carrots until very finely chopped, to about the consistency of couscous. Transfer to a small bowl, then rinse out the food processor bowl (you’ll use it again).


• In the bowl of the food processor (again, fitted with the steel blade), mix the eggs and sugars until blended. With the machine running, slowly add the oil in a steady stream until combined. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the mixture into the flour mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until well combined, then stir in the carrots and the currant-nut mixture.

• Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool on a rack to room temperature.



• In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large bowl if using a hand mixer), combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and salt. Mix on low speed until combined, then increase the speed to medium-high and beat until aerated and light, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, mixing on low to combine. Once all of the sugar is mixed in, increase the speed to medium-high and beat until fluffy, about 1 minute.


• Using an offset spatula, spread the frosting over the cooled cake, swirling artistically. Sprinkle the nuts on top of the cake, if using, and serve the cake straight from the pan.

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