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Carrot Cake Cheesecake Cake





3/4 cup shredded carrots (I grated mine small, using a hand grater, and used well cleaned but unpeeled organic carrots.)
3/4 cup granulated sugar (Brown recommends superfine sugar, so use that if you want to.)
1 and 1/2 sticks (6 oz.) unsalted butter, melted
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil (I used canola oil.)
5 large eggs, lightly beaten

Dry ingredients:

1 cup granulated sugar (Again, Brown suggests superfine sugar; use that if you like.)
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 cups all-purpose flour (I used unbleached.)
1/4 white whole wheat flour (Brown suggests regular whole wheat flour, but white whole wheat is lighter and has the same nutritional value.)
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt (I used 1 generous tsp. of kosher salt.)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 scant pinch allspice
1 cup coconut, dried, unsweetened, and finely shredded (This "dessicated" coconut can be found in health food stores; look there if you can't find it in the grocery store. If you can't find this, you can still use sweetened coconut, but chop it finely before adding it to the batter.)

3/4 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped small
1 cup raisins (Use moist raisins to start with, or soak your raisins in warm water for about 15 minutes then drain them thoroughly before adding to the batter.)




For the cream cheese frosting:


16 oz. of cream cheese at room temperature (Definitely use a thick, rich brand like Philadelphia.)
3/4 of a stick (3 oz.) of unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 cups (about 16 oz.) confectioners' sugar
1 very scant pinch of fine-grain salt (Add this if you like. I think it helps cut the sweetness.)

***** 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two 9" round baking pans. Line them with circles of parchment paper, and then lightly grease the parchment.

Mix the carrots and 3/4 cup of sugar in a medium size bowl and dump them into a sieve or colander. Set it over the bowl and let this drain while you prepare the rest of the batter. You'll end up discarding the drained juice.

In a medium size bowl, whisk together the melted butter, oil, and lightly beaten eggs.

In a large bowl, stir together the granulated sugar, light brown sugar, all purpose flour, white whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt, spices, coconut, and chopped nuts.

In a small bowl, stir together the raisins and carrots.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients (butter, oil, eggs). Stir well to combine. Toss in the raisin and carrot mixture, stirring just to blend evenly.

Divide the batter between the two prepared pans and smooth it out with an offset spatula or the back of a large spoon.



Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the top comes out mostly clean. Don't overbake; the sides of the cake should just be starting to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool the cakes in their pans, on a rack, to room almost temperature. Invert them onto racks and peel off the parchment paper. Let them finish cooling completely before assembling with frosting.

To make the frosting:


In the large bowl of your mixer, on medium speed, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add in the butter and vanilla until well combined. Gradually add in the confectioners' sugar on low speed, stopping to scrape as needed. If the frosting is extremely soft, chill it a bit before frosting the cake. Frost the layers when they're cool and, if you like, pat more chopped nuts onto the sides of the cake all around (you'll need about another cup of chopped nuts for this). Keep the finished cake in the fridge until shortly before serving. 

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