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Carrot Cake Pound Cake

This is the cake when you’re in the mood for a slow food showstopper.  This beautifully-spiced carrot cake features macerated currants and is a centerpiece-worthy addition to any table.

  • Total Time: 5-7 hours active and cooling)
  • Yield: 18 servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale

For the Batter:

  • 250 g (1c) boiling water
  • 144 g (1 c) currants (raisins will also work)
  • 188 g (.75 c) brandy
  • 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
  • 384 g (3 c) flour, plus 2 tbsp to grease the bundt pan
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 227 g (1 c) butter, room temperature, plus 2-3 tbsp to grease the bundt pan
  • 1 tbsp oil (olive oil works wonders in this cake, but vegetable oil works well too!)
  • 500 g (2.5 c) granulated sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 360 g (4 c) freshly shredded carrots (not the pre-bagged kind)

For the Simple Syrup

  • 83 g (1/3 c) water
  • 83 g (2.4 c) granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp macerating liquid from the currants, strained (optional)

For the Cream Cheese Glaze:

  • 77 g (1/3 c) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 120 g (1 c) confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1.52 tbsp whole milk
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt

Instructions

Before the Batter:

  1. Place the currants in a heat-proof bowl.  Carefully pour boiling water over them.  Allow them to soak for 10-15 minutes.  Strain hot water.  
  2. Add the brandy and cinnamon stick to the small bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to soak for 1 to 12 hours.  The longer the better!
  3. Remove the currants from the brandy.  Don’t throw out the leftover brandy!

To Make the Batter with a Stand Mixer:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.  It’s highly recommended to use an oven thermometer for this recipe since proper oven temperature will impact the outcome of your cake.
  2. Peel and shred the carrots immediately before baking the cake.  Using bagged, pre-shredded carrots won’t work in this recipe because those carrots have lost most of their moisture.
  3. Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg in a medium bowl.
  4. Place the room-temperature butter and oil in the bowl of your stand mixer.  Mix on low speed until completely smooth.  
  5. Slowly add the granulated sugar and mix on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy.  
  6. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing for at least 45 seconds after each addition.  Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed (I usually scrape the bowl after the third and sixth egg).  Don’t skimp on this step because it helps the cake rise!  
  7. Add vanilla extract and mix until thoroughly combined.  
  8. Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined.  
  9. With the mixer on the lowest speed, add all of the carrots and mix until just combined. 
  10. Add the second half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until almost combined.  Stop mixing just before the mixture is fully together.  
  11. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the currants.  Then, fully scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl.  Then, mix the batter until it is smooth and consistent.  Make sure to fully scrape the bottom of the bowl!
  12. Grease a 10-12 cup bundt pan with the remaining butter and flour and place the batter in the pan.

To Make the Batter with a Hand Mixer:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.  It’s highly recommended to use an oven thermometer for this recipe, since proper oven temperature will impact the outcome of your cake.
  2. Shred the carrots immediately before baking the cake.  Using bagged, pre-shredded carrots won’t work in this recipe because those carrots have lost most of their moisture.
  3. Combine the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg in a medium bowl.
  4. Sift the flour mixture into another medium bowl.  Add kosher salt and mix until combined.
  5. Place the room-temperature butter in a large mixing bowl.  Mix on low speed until smooth.  
  6. Add half of the sugar and mix until the sugar is just incorporated.  
  7. Add the second half of the sugar and mix on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy.  
  8. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing for at least 1 minute after each addition.  Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed (I usually scrape the bowl after the third and sixth egg).  Don’t skimp on this step because it helps the cake rise!  
  9. Add vanilla extract and mix until thoroughly combined.  
  10. Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined.  
  11. Add all of the carrots and mix on lowest speed until just combined.  You can also choose to fold the carrots into the mixture.
  12. Add the second half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until almost combined.  Stop mixing just before the mixture is fully together.  
  13. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the currants.  Then, fully scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl.  Then, mix the batter until it is smooth and consistent.  Make sure to fully scrape the bottom of the bowl!
  14. Grease a 10-12 cup bundt pan with the remaining butter and flour and place the batter in the pan.

To Bake the Cake:

  1. Bake the cake at a true 325°F for 60-70 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer reads 210°F-215°F.  My preferred internal temperature for this cake is 212°F.  Alternately, the cake is done with a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and a fingerprint indentation bounces back.
  2. Allow the cake to rest for ten minutes while you make the simple syrup.

To Make the Brandy Simple Syrup:

  1. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Stir occasionally until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  2. Remove the simple syrup from the heat and add macerating liquid. Stir until incorporated.
  3. After allowing the cake to rest for ten minutes, invert it onto a cooling rack and carefully remove the bundt pan.
  4. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the simple syrup over the entire cake.
  5. Allow the cake to cool completely.  (3-5 hours)

To Make the Cream Cheese Glaze:

  1. Combine the confectioner’s sugar, cream cheese, vanilla, whole milk, and fine salt in a medium bowl.
  2. Mix with a whisk or a hand mixer (on low speed) until only slightly lumpy.  
  3. Add heavy cream and mix on low speed until completely smooth.
  4. Final glaze should have the consistency of thick honey.  Overmixing will cause the mixture to have air bubbles, so make sure to mix on the lowest speed if using a hand mixer.
  5. Using a spouted measuring cup, spoon, or squeeze bottle, drizzle final glaze over the cake.  Use a spoon to help the glaze fall over the sides of the cake.

To Store:

This cake is best eaten immediately, but it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

  • An oven thermometer is strongly recommended to make sure that your oven reaches the correct temperature.
  • It is also strongly recommended to use a digital food scale to measure ingredients using metric measurement. It will seriously make your baking so much easier!
  • This recipe can be halved for a loaf pan or a 6-cup bundt pan.
  • Make sure you take your time to cream the butter and sugar on the front end!  Once you add your flour mixture, you have to mix gently in order to avoid over-mixing.
  • This is a big bundt cake.  I recommend placing a sheet pan underneath this cake while it bakes for extra insurance.
  • You can absolutely add chopped pecans or walnuts to this cake batter!  1/2 cup to 1 cup shouldn’t impact the final texture and should be delicious.  I have a nut-free kitchen, so I wasn’t able to do that, but I encourage you to add chopped pecans or walnuts for a more traditional carrot cake.  
  • Author: Shani
  • Prep Time: 1 hour (active)
  • Cook Time: 60-70 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Carrot Cake