Sugar and Spice Carrot Cake with Caramel Topping
This is not the original recipe I had, my daughter and I played with a little bit to get the flavor we wanted. We both like to dabble with spices, and we were both pleased with the outcome. It was sort of a carrot cake/ spice cake combo. If you like, I would guess you could also add some pineapple and walnuts to this as well (I would just reduce my liquids slightly for the pineapple)
- 4 eggs
- 1-1/2 Cups Light Brown Sugar
- 1-1/2 Cups grated carrots (3 large)
- 1-1/3 Cups vegetable oil
- 2-1/4 Cups all-purpose flour
- 2-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- If you like, you can add the following spices to spice it up a bit:
- 1/4 teas. nutmeg, 1/4 teas. pumpkin pie spice, and 1/4 teas. ground clove
Beat eggs and sugar untill fluffy and slightly thick. Add carrots and oil; blend well. Combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt (add extra spices here if you want to add the extra). Stir into egg mixture. Pour into greased 13X9X2 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Cool in pan. Frost.
For the caramel topping:
4cups whole milk
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean
1/2 tsp. baking soda
Combine 4 cups of whole milk, 1-1/2 cups sugar, and 1 vanilla bean and seeds (split), in a large saucepan (minimum 4 quart). Bring to a simmer over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and stir to combine. At this point reduce the heat to low, keeping the mixture to where it is only slightly simmering. Stir occasionally, but don’t mix in the “scum or foam” that is on top. Do not cover the mixture, continue low simmer for about an hour. After 1 hour remove the vanilla bean, and continue to cook the mixture until it looks like a dark caramel color and has reduced to about 1 cup. This will take about 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Once reduced, pour through a metal mesh strainer. If kept in an airtight container this caramel will last in the frig up to a month (it never lasts that long in my house).
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