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I tried many carrot cakes and always feel as though I can’t ever finish it. They are usually heavy and all seem to be somewhat the same. This is a very old recipe of my mothers and is lighter with an Italian twist. The original recipe was topped with cornflakes, however I have replaced the cornflakes with chopped walnuts sprinkled at the bottom of the mold pan so that the top of the cake is decorated with walnuts and doesn’t need the cream cheese frosting. Put a dollop of cream cheese or Mascarpone maple cream topping on the side or make two carrot cake molds and fill the middle of the cake with the topping. I find that the cream cheese topping done this way helps to keep the cream cheese moist and prevents it from drying out and cracking.
Pecans can be substituted and the cream cheese topping can be substituted with Mascarpone Cream. Add little maple syrup and crushed walnuts or pecans to the Mascarpone for a different variation.
1 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
2 cups solid vegetable shortening or half shortening and butter
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons lemon juice
6 cups grated carrots
Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 oz. butter, softened
1 1/3 cups confectionary sugar
Mascarpone Maple Cream Filling
Yield: 1 1/2 cups
1 8 oz. container Mascarpone Cheese
6-8 tablespoons of maple syrup
1/4 cup pulverized walnuts/pecans
Other Things Needed
1 bundt pan, greased
In a mixer, place the shortening and sugar and beat until blended. Add the eggs one at a time while mixing. Put in the lemon juice. Mix the flour, salt and baking powder and add it a little at a time to the mixing bowl, blending it before you add more flour. Once the batter is smooth, fold in the carrots.
In a well-greased bundt pan, spread the walnuts/pecans over the bottom of the pan. Pour in the batter and place the pan in a larger pan of hot water. The water should come up to about the middle of the pan.
Put it in a 350ºF oven for 1 hour. Allow the cake to cool before adding the filling.
NOTE: Put the larger pan on the rack in the oven, pour the hot water in the pan and place your cake pan into it. This way you don’t risk dropping the hot water or splashing water into your cake batter. It is much safer than doing it on the counter and bringing it to the stove.
Two mold pans can be used instead of one. Fill the center of the cake with your Cream cheese or Mascarpone cream filling.
Mix the softened cream cheese with the softened butter and add the vanilla and sugar blending it until it is smooth.
Mascarpone Maple Cream
Bring the Mascarpone to room temperature. Pulverize the nuts in a food processor. Mix all the ingredients together until the cream is smooth. You can adjust the recipe to make it stronger. Add other varieties of syrup or chopped dates, chopped fruit etc. to compliment your dessert.