Maple Carrot Cake with Maple Butter Icing

Printemps 2011
food and drink

BY: Monda Rosenberg

While few flavours are as Canadian (or as addictive) as maple syrup, we have a habit of only using it over pancakes and glazed on doughnuts. So here’s a delicious way to spread its goodness way beyond the morning hours. This multi-tiered, lightly spiced knockout dessert is filled with sweet maple syrup you can taste in every bite. What could be better than ending the evening on a naturally sweet (and truly patriotic) note?

4 cups (1 L) grated carrots
2½ cups (625 mL) all-purpose flour
1 tbsp (15 mL) baking powder
1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
½ tsp (2 mL) cinnamon
½ tsp (2 mL) ground nutmeg
1 cup (250 mL) butter, at room temperature
1 cup (250 mL) golden brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla
¾ cup (175 mL) maple syrup
½ cup (125 mL) milk

1½ cups (375 mL) butter, at room temperature
¾ cup (175 mL) maple syrup
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
3 to 3½ cups (750 to 875 mL) sifted icing sugar

1 Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray or lightly oil two 9-inch (1.5-L) round cake pans.

2 Grate carrots using a food processor. Measure out 4 cups (1 L) and set aside. Place flour in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir to blend.

3 Place butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually beat in sugar, then beat on medium for about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and beat in eggs, then vanilla. It may look curdled. Then beating on low, gradually add about a third of flour mixture. Beat just until mixed, followed by the maple syrup. Beat in half the remaining flour followed by the milk, then end with the flour. Stir in carrots.

4 Divide batter between pans. Spread evenly to sides of pan. To remove air pockets, bang pans on counter 5 to 6 times. Bake until centres seem set when lightly tapped, from 35 to40 minutes. Place on baking racks to cool. After about 15 minutes, turn cakes out of pans and cool completely on racks. It’s best to make cakes a day ahead of icing and leave at room temperature overnight.

5 To make icing, place butter in a medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until creamy. Beating on low, gradually pour in about ¼ cup (50 mL) maple syrup. Add vanilla. Then beating on low, add about ½ cup (125 mL) icing sugar. Repeat process twice. Continue to beat in enough icing sugar, about ¼ cup (50 mL) at a time, until it reaches spreading consistency. Stop and scrape down beaters occasionally. If not firm enough to ice, refrigerate for a few minutes.

6 To assemble, slice cakes in half horizontally. Place top of 1 cake, dome-side down, on a platter. Thinly spread with icing leaving a narrow border of cake around edge. Lay bottom of that cake, cut-side down, on top. Thinly spread with icing leaving a border. Add the bottom half of the second cake, cut-side down. Repeat spreading. Top with the final layer, cut-side down. Smoothly spread icing over the sides of the cake, then the top. Best to refrigerate several hours or overnight before serving.

Serves 12

What to Serve