This carrot cake recipe is one to make when you have time to relax and enjoy the process of baking. There are several steps to prepare ahead of time before actually creating the cake batter. You'll need to make brown butter, which is not difficult but browning three sticks of butter takes a good amount of time to slowly bring it to color, adding a depth of nutty flavor. Additional nuttiness and texture come from toasted pecans, either purchased as toasted or toasting them yourself. And not to forget, grating the carrots, by hand with a box grater (recommended) or in the food processor. After doing all that, then you are ready to make the cake batter. But the reward and use of time is well worth it, resulting in an irresistible carrot cake.
My favorite carrot cake recipe is this one created by Ina Garten that I posted in an earlier post. I love the traditional flavors using crushed pineapple, dried currents and toasted walnuts, baked into individual small cakes. I was drawn to this new recipe, based on one from Martha Stewart, as I wanted to use brown butter in the cake batter. Ms. Stewart's original recipe does not use browned butter, but it uses butter, whereas most other carrot cake recipes I have seen use oil. I improvised her recipe increasing the spice level with more cinnamon, also adding dried ginger, and fresh orange zest.
Both recipes result in a moist cake that is a challenge to resist eating more than one piece. Share it with a crowd of friends and family.