I really meant to make carrot cake much earlier in the spring, like February or March. As it turned out, I made it in the middle of may during the hottest weekend we’ve had so far! So hot that my cream cheese frosting was melting in the kitchen in only a few minutes. I kept having to take the cake in and out of the fridge so my piping would slide right off or melt into the cake!
BUT. This is a really great carrot cake. It is super moist because of the addition of apple sauce, and it would totally hold up to adding nuts, raisins, coconut, pineapple or any of that stuff if you like that. I kept it simple with just carrots and spices this time. I think this cake’s subtle spice would stand up well on its own. The delicate flavor was a little overpowered by the combination of caramel and cream cheese frosting, though it was still delicious. If I kept the frosting and everything next time I think I’d up the cinnamon.
The rum caramel was supposed to be a sauce for pouring over the cake, but without pulling out my candy thermometer it turned into more of a cross between a caramel sauce and a soft caramel. Not really thin enough for a sauce, not hard enough for a soft candy. I just spread a thin layer (keep it thin– it’s super sweet!) over the tops of my two six inch cakes where it thickened into a nice glaze.
I also made a nice whipped cream cheese frosting. Before this cake I would have told you I didn’t really like cream cheese frosting, but this was amazing. It was easy to work with, easy to pipe, and had just the right balance of tangy and sweet. I will definitely be using this frosting recipe again!
I also used this cake as an opportunity to practice my piping work a bit. (Though with the heat I definitely could have done better… Oh well, still practice!)
Cake recipe is here, but I cut it in half to make two six inch cakes since there was only two of us eating it. I also cut the caramel rum sauce in half, but would probably just make a quarter of it next time. (I ended up using the leftovers this time to make homemade “Take 5” bars with dark chocolate, rum caramel, peanut butter, pretzels, and rice krispies. Seriously addictive!). Cream cheese frosting recipe here— I cut it in half and just barely had enough to comfortably fill and decorate my small cake.
So now that it’s approaching summer officially this may not be the cake of the season, but hold on to this recipe because it’s certainly a keeper if you ever need a carrot cake!