We gave the traditional carrot cake a fruity update, adding chopped, dried apricots in with the carrots and toasted pecans. A generous slathering of (our honeyed take on the) classic cream cheese frosting coats each perfectly-spiced layer.
Apricot Carrot Cake
Makes 1 (8-inch) cake
- 1 cup (128 grams) dried unsulphured apricots, finely chopped
- 2¼ cups (281 grams) plus 1 teaspoon (3 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
- 5 large eggs (250 grams), room temperature
- 2⅓ cups (467 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (224 grams) olive oil
- 2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking soda
- 2 teaspoons (4 grams) ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 10 ounces (2¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons) (284 grams) shredded carrot
- 1 cup (113 grams) toasted and chopped pecans
- Honey Cream Frosting (recipe follows)
- Garnish: chopped pecans, fresh carrots
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Spray 3 (8-inch) round cake pans with baking spray with flour.
- In a small bowl, toss together apricots and 1 teaspoon (3 grams) flour. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat eggs and sugar at medium-high speed until pale yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to medium. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, beating until combined, 3 to 5 minutes. (This step should be done very slowly to ensure that the eggs do not deflate or seize up.)
- In a medium bowl, sift together baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, salt, and remaining 2¼ cups (281 grams) flour. Using a rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into egg mixture. Fold in carrot, pecans, and apricots. Spoon batter into prepared pans.
- Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pans for 15 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.
- Spread Honey Cream Frosting between layers. To create a rustic, “naked” look, spread Honey Cream Frosting on top and thinly on sides of cake. Garnish with pecans and carrots, if desired. Store covered in refrigerator. (This cake needs to be kept cold in order to hold it’s shape.)
Honey Cream Frosting
Makes about 3 cups
- 16 ounces (450 grams) cream cheese, softened
- 4 ounces (112 grams) mascarpone cheese
- 3 tablespoons (63 grams) honey
- 2 cups (240 grams) confectioners’ sugar
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and mascarpone at medium speed until creamy. Scrape sides of bowl, and reduce mixer speed to low. Add honey, beating until combined. Gradually add confectioner’s sugar, beating until smooth. Use immediately.