Carrot Cake was one of the first recipes I created on my own. I created and baked it for Delaney's first birthday that we spent together. Every year after that, for his birthday and also for mine, I have baked Carrot Cake changing the recipe a little bit each time. It evolved from a cake that only filled one 8 x 8-inch square pan to a three layer cake. It finally became what is now our Carrot Cake at the bake shop, and one of our best sellers. But, I am constantly thinking of new ways to make Carrot Cake because it is still one of our favorite cakes. Now that we own the bake shop and we can eat cake (or whatever sweets) whenever we want, I haven't baked Carrot Cake for either of our birthdays for a while. My birthday recently passed and I realized I've been craving Carrot Cake lately, so I thought of this combination.
This Honey Apple Carrot Cake is just perfect for Spring. The combination of the apples and the carrots make this a super moist cake. I like to use Gala, Fuji or Pink Cripps Apples. All of those are a sweeter apple, but if you prefer your apples more tart you could also use a different kind as well. I also don't remove the skin when grating the apples. It's really not necessary, if you use a fine grater, and it makes it less work too. Plus the skin of an apple is where all the nutrients are found, so why waste it? I love doing this cake naked because you don't really need a lot of frosting with this one, in my opinion. And this is literally the easiest naked cake to make! You can use a piping bag and tip like I did, or you can just slather on the frosting, no bag or tip needed.
Honey Apple Carrot Cake
Makes 3 Layer 6-inch Naked Cake
85 grams organic carrots, grated
1 medium organic apple, grated
113 grams (1/2 cup) organic canola oil
226 grams (1 cup) organic cane sugar
21 grams (1 tablespoon) organic raw honey
2 organic large eggs
1 teaspoon organic cinnamon
191 grams (1 1/2 cups) organic all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 sticks (226 grams) organic salted butter, softened
454 grams (3 cups plus 3 tablespoons) organic powdered sugar, sifted
30 grams (1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon) organic raw honey
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
Method Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a bowl add the flour, baking powder, sea salt and cinnamon and whisk together.
In either a mixing bowl, or in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add all other ingredients. Then add the flour mixture on top. Mix on low or stir with a spatula until the mixture comes together into a cake batter.
Line three 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper. Usually I don’t butter and flour the sides of my cake pans and I just use parchment paper on the bottom. But, as a side note, you can always use butter and flour instead of parchment paper on the bottom. Also, whenever making a naked cake (even if you prefer to use parchment paper for the bottom) it is always better to butter and flour the sides of the cake pans because it makes the cake pull away more form the sides. With a naked cake, you will see the sides versus with a fully frosted cake you won’t. So, you want the sides to look good. And if you use butter and flour the cake will bake a little apart from the sides, so you won’t have to cut around with a butter knife to remove as much and possibly ruin the sides of the cake.
Measure batter evenly into each pan, about 272 grams each.
Bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Once the cakes have cooled, remove them from the cake pans.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter, powdered sugar, honey and vanilla extract. Mix on low until all ingredients are combined, then speed mixer up to high for 1 minute or until light and fluffy. Scrape sides and mix again on high. Once the frosting is made, put at least half into a piping bag with Ateco tip #827.
When making this type of naked cake, you don’t have to use a piping bag or tip if you don’t have one or if you don’t want. You can just use a cake spatula to spread out the frosting too!
On your cake round, spinner or stand, place the first layer of cake. Next, spread a good amount of frosting in the center of the cake. Then, go around the outer edge with the piping bag and tip to create a pretty side view. Top with the second layer of cake and repeat this process until the last layer is on.
When frosting the top I did the same things as the center, but then took my cake spatula and just smoothed out the middle so it all flows together.
Top with a drizzle of honey (optional).
Store in a cake dome for up to 3 days.
Gluten Free - Just substitute the organic flour for 191 grams (1 1/4 scant cups) of Namaste Organic Perfect Flour Blend.
High Altitude – Bake at 350°F for 17 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.