Rediscovering the Joy of Cooking

April 22, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie

Filed under: dessert, Tuesdays with Dorie — Emily @ 6:27 pm

I recently joined an online food blogging group called Tuesdays with Dorie . It is a group of bakers who bake a new recipe every Tuesday (or whenever during the week and post it on Tuesday) from Dorie Greenspan’s book Baking: From My Home to Yours. This was my first week to participate and it was really fun! Today is Aaron’s birthday, and luckily, he loves carrot cake. I only made a two layer cake instead of a three layer cake because those were the only pans I had. It still turned out well—I will let you know when I’ve tried it!

Bill’s Big Carrot Cake

Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Yields 10 servings


For the cake:

2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

¾ teaspoon salt

3 cups grated carrots (about 9 carrots, you can grate them in food processor fitted w/ a shredding a blade or use a box grater)

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans-I used walnuts

1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)

½ cup moist, plump raisins (dark or golden) or dried cranberries-I used dark raisins

2 cups sugar

1 cup canola oil

4 large eggs

For the frosting:

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1 stick ( 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 pound or 3 and ¾ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or ½ teaspoon pure lemon extract

½ cup shredded coconut (optional)

Finely chopped toasted nuts and/or toasted shredded coconut (optional)

Getting ready:

Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter three 9-x-2-inch round cake pans, flour the insides, and tap out the excess. Put the two pans on one baking sheet and one on another.

To make the cake:

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, stir together the carrots, chopped nuts, coconut, and raisins.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the sugar and oil together on a medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs one by one and continue to beat until the batter is even smoother. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing only until the dry ingredients disappear. Gently mix the chunky ingredients. Divide the batter among the baking pans.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point, until a thin knife inserted into the centers comes out clean. The cakes will have just started to come away from the sides of the pans. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes and unmold them. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.

The cakes can be wrapped airtight and kept at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.

To make the frosting:

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the frosting is velvety smooth. Beat in the lemon juice or extract.

If you’d like coconut in the filling, scoop about half of the frosting and stir the coconut into this position.

To assemble the cake:

Put one layer top side up on a cardboard cake round or a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper. If you added the coconut to the frosting, use half of the coconut frosting to generously cover the first layer (or generously cover with plain frosting). Use an offset spatula or a spoon to smooth the frosting all the way to the edges of the layer. Top with the second layer, this time placing the cake stop side down, and frost with the remainder of the coconut frosting or plain frosting. Top with the last layer, right side up, and frost the top- and the sides- of the cake. Finish the top with swirls of frosting. If you want to top the cake with toasted nuts or coconut, sprinkle them on now while the frosting is soft.

Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes, just to set the frosting before serving.


This cake can be served as soon as the frosting is set. It can also wait, at room temperature and covered with a cake keeper overnight. The cake is best served in thick slices at room temperature and while it’s good plain, it’s even better with vanilla ice cream or some lemon curd.


The cake will keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. It can also be frozen. Freeze it uncovered, then when it’s firm, wrap airtight and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost, still wrapped, overnight in the refrigerator.



  1. He’s lucky to have such a beautiful b-day cake! you did an excellent job…..welcome to the group!

    Comment by mary — April 22, 2008 @ 7:31 pm

  2. Welcome aboard! Your cake looks awesome, your Aaron sure is a lucky guy!

    Comment by Mari — April 22, 2008 @ 9:20 pm

  3. Happy birthday Aaron! Your cake looks great with all the walnuts! What a great cowinky dink that your first challenge is carrot cake. Welcome to TWD!
    Clara @ I♥food4thought

    Comment by CB — April 22, 2008 @ 9:21 pm

  4. Looks like a lovely cake! Good job.

    Comment by Heather Peskin — April 23, 2008 @ 1:30 am

  5. Happy B-day Aaron! Looks great!

    Comment by Melissa — April 23, 2008 @ 1:31 am

  6. Welcome to TWD! Always nice when the timing and the project come together.

    Comment by Rebecca — April 23, 2008 @ 3:54 am

  7. Beautiful presentation, your cake looks delicious!

    Comment by LyB — April 23, 2008 @ 2:54 pm

  8. The cake looks great!! Welcome to TWD!! You’re going to love it!

    Comment by Aggiesgirl (Amy) — April 23, 2008 @ 9:40 pm

  9. Hope you enjoyed the cake! Welcome to TWD! Great birthday cake!

    Comment by Gretchen Noelle — April 23, 2008 @ 9:57 pm

  10. Your cake is so pretty! Welcome to TWD!

    Comment by Erin — April 24, 2008 @ 12:52 am

  11. Welcome to TWD. The cake looks great! Hope you like it!

    Comment by Sharon — April 25, 2008 @ 1:32 pm

  12. OOOOOOO! Very nice! Welcome to TWD!

    Comment by Donna — April 25, 2008 @ 3:29 pm

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