Carrot Cake with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Icing
Everyone knows that peanut butter and carrots are always a great pairing… so why not update the classic carrot layer cake by adding sweet Mighty Maple peanut butter to the traditional cream cheese frosting?
The end result is both delicious and impressive – three towering layers of moist, spicy carrot cake with plump golden raisins, all enclosed in swirls of tangy, maply frosting. The only downside is that you’ll be tempted to eat it all on your own, which is probably not a very good idea!
While layer cakes might seem a little intimidating, they’re actually much easier than you’d think. This one in particular is a great one for beginners – the sturdy layers of cake stack beautifully, and I’ve added a decorative garnish of chopped honey roasted peanuts that do wonders for disguising even the most imperfect of frosting jobs.
- Yield:16 Servings
- Prep Time:45 minutes
- Cook Time:30 minutes
- Total Time:1 hour and 15 minutes
For the Carrot Cake
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup golden raisins
For the Mighty Maple Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
2 packages (8 ounce/250 grams each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup Mighty Maple peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup Peanut Butter & Co. Honey Roasted Peanuts, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter and flour three 9-inch round cake pans lined with parchment.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and nutmeg.
- In a second large mixing bowl, mix together brown sugar, canola oil, white sugar, vanilla extract and eggs until smooth. Stir in carrots and raisins. Fold in the dry ingredients, mixing just until barely combined.
- Divide the batter between the prepared pans, smoothing out the top into an even layer. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until cakes are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean. Set the pans on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes, then remove from the pan and peel away the parchment. Let cool completely on the wire rack.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip together cream cheese and peanut butter until smooth.
- Add vanilla and powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, and continue beating until smooth. Add cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the icing reaches a spreadable consistency.
- Using a serrated knife, trim away any roundness from the top of two of the cakes to create perfectly flat discs. (The third can be left as is.)
- Place the first trimmed cake layer cut-side up on a serving platter, and spread with 3/4 cup frosting. Top with the second trimmed cake layer, and spread with another 3/4 cup frosting. Gently place the final cake layer on top. Spread the remaining frosting over sides and top of cake in decorative swirls, and finish with a garnish of chopped peanuts.
- Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving to allow the frosting to firm up.