Birthday Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and…

… Happy National Cupcake Day!! According to this American Food Holidays website, today is National Cupcake Day. To honor such a great day, I bring you a great cupcake. You may have seen this in other blogs earlier in the year when the TWD group did this cake. And now on to the cupcake…

It was time to celebrate a good friend’s birthday and I did the thing I know best. I offered to bring cupcakes. Her hubby said her favorite cake was carrot cake, so I set out to find a good carrot cake recipe. My hubby doesn’t actually like carrot cake. And I had a bad experience last summer when I made carrot cake cupcakes that turned out so bad I had to throw the whole batch out. That has only happened twice and it was traumatic both times.

But this time, I was determined to make a delicious carrot cake. Two recipes popped into my mind immediately. I remembered that the Tuesdays with Dorie group had done carrot cake earlier this year…. The Pioneer Woman had also done a carrot cake in the spring. I analyzed the recipes and decided on the TWD recipe using dried cranberries instead of raisins (stole that idea from CB).

This carrot cake recipe is amazing. I love the coconut and cranberries in the cake. Everyone really enjoyed these little guys. Even Hubby, who claims to not like carrot cake, ate 3 of them!!

Bill’s Big Carrot (Cup)cake – from CB – originally from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan – I got 27 cupcakes
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
1/2 cup moist, plump raisins (dark or golden) or dried cranberries
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 large eggs

Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter three 9-x-2-inch round cake pans, flour the insides, and tap out the excess. Put the two pans on one baking sheet and one on another.

To make the cake—
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, stir together the carrots, chopped nuts, coconut, and raisins.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the sugar and oil together on a medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs one by one and continue to beat until the batter is even smoother. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing only until the dry ingredients disappear. Gently mix the chunky ingredients. Divide the batter among the baking pans.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point, until a thin knife inserted into the centers comes out clean. The cakes will have just started to come away from the sides of the pans. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes and unmold them. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up

[NOTES: Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full and bake cupcakes for 20-25 minutes until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.]

The cakes can be wrapped airtight and kept at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.

Cream cheese frosting
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 pound or 3-3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract
1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional) – I added this as well as 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Finely chopped toasted nuts and/or toasted shredded coconut (optional)

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the frosting is velvety smooth. Beat in the lemon juice or extract.

If you’d like coconut in the filling, scoop about half of the frosting and stir the coconut into this position.

To assemble the cake—
Put one layer top side up on a cardboard cake round or a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper. If you added the coconut to the frosting, use half of the coconut frosting to generously cover the first layer (or generously cover with plain frosting). Use an offset spatula or a spoon to smooth the frosting all the way to the edges of the layer. Top with the second layer, this time placing the cake stop side down, and frost with the remainder of the coconut frosting or plain frosting. Top with the last layer, right side up, and frost the top- and the sides- of the cake. Finish the top with swirls of frosting. If you want to top the cake with toasted nuts or coconut, sprinkle them on now while the frosting is soft.

Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes, just to set the frosting before serving.

Serving:
This cake can be served as soon as the frosting is set. It can also wait, at room temperature and covered with a cake keeper overnight. The cake is best served in thick slices at room temperature and while it’s good plain, it’s even better with vanilla ice cream or some lemon curd.

Storing:
The cake will keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. It can also be frozen. Freeze it uncovered, then when it’s firm, wrap airtight and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost, still wrapped, overnight in the refrigerator.

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34 Responses to “Lemon Raspberry Layer Cake”

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    oneordinaryday — April 26, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Raspberries are my very favorite food on the planet and this looks absolutely divine. Thanks for sharing this!

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    Carrie — April 26, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Its my husband birthday on Fri I might try to talk him into having this cake for it.

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    Cara — April 26, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    awesome work, Jen! It sounds delicious and looks gorgeous. I’m totally jealous of your border-piping skills too.

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    Ammie — April 26, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Beautiful cake! This is very similar to our wedding cake, I may just have to try it!

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    annies-eats.com — April 26, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    It looks beautiful and sounds delicious. I’ll have to try this one!

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    KB — April 26, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    This looks absolutely terrific! Great job on the assembly and decoration!

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    hannah! — April 26, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    really beautiful cake! and raspberries are one of my favorite fruits ever! i love the little sacs together with the crunchy seeds. hee.

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    Sherry G — April 26, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Holy beautiful! this cake is quite elegant and delicious looking! I love raspberries with cake.

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    roxan @ kitchen meditation — April 26, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    Jen this cake is so so beautiful! It reminds me of the triple berry cake from Sweet Lady Jane here in LA. If an opportunity every arises for me to make a layer cake (I have the same problem – it’s hard to find people to help finish it!) I will definitely try this one.

    You did a beautiful job with the piping. Gorgeous.

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    Memória — April 26, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    We should be best friends hahaha. We have the same go-to white cake recipe, and we both made layered cakes this weekend! Your cake is BEAUTIFUL! You have every right to brag. You did an excellent job on the piping and decorating. It looks professional!

    I added lemon extract to my strawberry frosting on my strawberry cake (which came from Bridget’s recipe), and I could taste hints of lemon. I think the extract and some lemon zest would work well.

    I must make this cake!! I am 100% certain that I would like it because we have similar tastes.

    Now I need to look at your overdose cake to compare it to my overload cake.

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    living_insanity — April 26, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    Lemon and raspberries sounds like a perfect flavor combo. Your cake looks beautiful!

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    KRISTINA CIPOLLA PHOTOGRAPHY — April 26, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    OH wow, I started drooling as soon as I saw the pic. SO pretty and looks delish! Will def. have to try this one… 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

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    We Are Not Martha — April 26, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    This is so, so pretty! And obviously looks delicious too. Raspberries are one of my favorite parts of spring!

    Sues

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    Brisbane Baker — April 27, 2010 at 12:56 am

    I don’t think you’re bragging! I would be proud of a beautiful cake like this one.

    Looks delicous!

    http://www.brisbanebaker.blogspot.com

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    Josie — April 27, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    beautiful!! Great decorating job!

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    bcallegra — April 28, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    This cake looks awesome and my mouth is watering looking at the picture right now.

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    ashley — April 28, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    beautiful cake!

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    Katie — April 29, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    This cake is SO, SOOO beautiful! I love it!!!

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    Allie — May 3, 2010 at 2:27 am

    Looks beautiful, I love layer cakes!

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    vertigoxcured — May 3, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    you say something about videos from youtube? can you share the the links?

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    Jen — May 6, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    vertigoxcured – I updated the post with links to the youtube videos. Sorry about that.

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    Smithie7482 — May 9, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    I made this for Mother’s Day and it was a huge hit! Thanks for sharing. I added the juice of the zested lemon and an extra cup of confectioners’ sugar to the buttercream and managed to get a nice lemony tang.

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    Karin — June 16, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    I cant believe this is your first frosting coated cake. So beautifully done. And also note…that 4 layers with fruit filling without cake sliding all over the place is not a normal for first timers in that department. Kudos… you got the cake decorating skills Ma’am.

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    nod — March 22, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    am making this cake right now, and i must ask about the proportions of flour to liquid. it seems off. i made the recipe exactly as written and it was a pool of liquid. i had a similar recipe for a white cake which called for 2-3/4 flour and only 4 egg whites + 1 whole egg ( similar), so i added another 1/2 cup flour and it was still liquidy. it took 30 mins. to bake, not 23-25. will see how it turns out. the only good part is rubbing the grated lemon zest with the sugar, although i could not taste much lemon in the batter. by the looks of the layers, i would recommend 8″ pans as the layers are quite thin. all in all a big disappointment. glad i planned ahead and will make a different recipe.

    • beantownbaker — March 25th, 2013 @ 1:27 pm

      Sorry to hear this recipe didn’t work out for you. This batter was very thin going in to the oven.

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    rach — April 22, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Does this cake keep well? i just made three 6″ cakes, which I’ll freeze in preparation for making a little layer cake on Sunday (a top-tier wedding cake replacement for our one year anniversary, after Hurricane Sandy ruined the real one.) But I also made two dozen cupcakes with the batter. I’m planning to bring one dozen to a dinner party tomorrow and the next dozen to a party on Wednesday. Any tips for the cupcakes? Should I freeze them, or just leave them out til I’m ready to frost? Would appreciate any suggestions! Thanks.

    • beantownbaker — April 23rd, 2013 @ 7:48 am

      I haven’t made this cake into cupcakes before. But in general, cupcakes are fine for a couple days. If it’s more than 2-3 days, I’d go ahead and freeze them, then frost them the day before you want to serve them.

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    Zea — June 8, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Would it be advantageous to whip the egg whites first, and fold them into the batter at the end? It might help with the thin batter issue, and I have some recipes for white cake that call for whites whipped into soft peaks. I am making this cake for a baby shower this weekend, so I will let you know how this technique works, unless the author has an opinion against.

    • beantownbaker — June 10th, 2013 @ 12:27 pm

      I have made this cake, or a variation of the cake, multiple times as it is written without any issues. I know some cake recipes do have the cake whites whipped and folded in at the end. If you try it, please let me know how it goes.

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    どづでむ — July 10, 2013 at 7:28 am

    If you could email me with a few pointers on how you made your blog site look this cool, I would be thankful!

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    Darlene — September 27, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Going to endeavor to make this for my husband’s birthday next weekend. I haven’t made a cake in ages, but I like challenges!!! Hopefully it will go well as his parents are coming into town for his birthday (yikes!) I hope it has a nice lemon flavor because he loves lemon. Wish me luck!!!

    • beantownbaker — September 27th, 2013 @ 3:54 pm

      I hope he enjoys it. The cake definitely has a lemon flavor. If you wanted to go super lemony, you could use lemon curd instead of raspberry curd for the filling!

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    Carol — September 22, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    Cake looks beautiful. However, each cake was an only an inch thick so was confused how to possibly cut it in half to make four layers. So after everything was cleaned up, I had to make a second round of this. The puree was tasty and plenty of it. The Frosting was delicious and plenty also. The cake itself tasted good with hint of lemon, but did not rise much at all and it had a very rubbery texture and very dense. I agree the batter was thin when I poured in pans, but it was not fluffy and light by any means after it was baked. I appreciated making it, but not a fav for me.

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    Lauren — September 22, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    I know this is an old post, but I had to comment after making it for the first time yesterday. This is a lovely cake! The only downside, for me, was that the lemon flavor was lighter than I thought it would be. I ended up topping it with some toasted almonds and fresh raspberries, and serving it with homemade coconut ice cream.

    *Note: My layers came out quite thin. They were both only a little over an inch thick, and the batter itself was a slightly thick/fluffy consistency. That being said, I was able to torte them without difficulty and the finished cake came out to a little over 3 inches.

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