TOWERING CARROT CAKE WITH PRALINE FILLING
- Cooking Time: 20 cooking; 35 baking
- Servings: 16-20
- Preparation Time: 45 minutes
- 1 lb. (6 med) carrots, sliced (3 cups)
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2-3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/3 cups cooking oil
- 6 large eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup flaked coconut Praline Sauce:
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Candied Pecan Halves:
- 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 1/2 cup pecan halves
- Cinnamon-Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 5-3/4 to 6-1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease three 9" round cake pans; line bottoms with Reynolds Parchment paper and grease the paper and lightly flour pans; set aside. In a medium saucepan, cook carrots, covered, in moderate amount of boiling water until very tender, about 20 minutes. Drain; cool slightly and chop in food processor using several on/off turns, or coarsely mash with potato masher (should be about 1-1/2 cups). In large mixing bowl, stir together flour, granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make a well in center of dry ingredients; add oil, eggs, pineapple and vanilla. Beat with electric mixer on low speed about 1 minute to combine all ingredients. Fold in 1 cup pecans, coconut and mashed carrots. Spread batter evenly into prepared pans.
Bake 35-40 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool on wire racks 10 minutes before loosening edges and removing from pans. Cool cakes thoroughly on wire racks.
In small saucepan over med heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter. Add 3 tablespoons brown sugar and the cream. Cook and stir until mixture comes to a full boil. Reduce heat and boil gently over entire surface 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Cool.
Candied Pecan Halves:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar and orange juice. Add pecan halves, stirring to coat. Spread in lightly greased 8" square pan. Bake 12 minutes or until nuts are browned and syrup is bubbly, stirring once. Pour out onto lightly greased baking sheet, separating into single nuts. Cool on wire rack.
Cinnamon-Cream Cheese Frosting:
In large mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese, 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Gradually add about 1/2 the powdered sugar, beating well. Gradually beat in enough of the remaining powdered sugar to reach spreading consistency.
Place 1 of the cooled cake layers, top down, on cake plate. Use about 1 cup frosting to pipe or spoon a rim about 1" and 1/2" high around outer edge of cake layer. Then spoon about 2 tablespoons frosting in center 1-1/2" of that layer, leaving an unfrosted area or ring. Spoon and spread about 1/2 of the Praline Sauce into ring (sauce will not fill ring). Add second cake layer, top down, and repeat frosting and sauce as above. Add final cake layer, top up. Frost top and sides of layer with remaining frosting. Garnish top with Candied Pecan Halves. Store cake in refrigerator.
Website Credit: http://www.bhg.com/recipe/cakes/towering-praline-carrot-cake/