When you imagine a celebration cake, what do you envision? My immediate response would be carrot cake. My sister and I developed a recipe for carrot cake for her catering business, and it is delicious. I thought it was probably the best carrot cake recipe ever. That is until I made this carrot cake recipe by Ina Garten from Foolproof. This recipe takes carrot cake to the next level.
Some time ago, I received samples of Paradise Fruit Co.‘s crystallized ginger. There are many crystallized ginger options in the market. The main considerations for me are taste and texture. I also like that this brand gives you even slices of peppery ginger that is still moist and perfectly coated with sugar. I didn’t get any rough or stringy pieces. Given all that delicious crystallized ginger, I had to use it for this recipe.
If you want a delicious, show stopping-cake, this is the cake to make. That delicious crystallized ginger is just the icing on the cake.
The full recipe is posted here. It is recommended to grate the carrots by hand. Using a food processor will make the carrots too wet and adversely affect the texture of the cake.
Here is what I did differently: The recipe makes a 2 tier 9 inch cake. Instead, I baked the full recipe in a half sheet cake pan (12 by 18 by 2 inches). I wanted to be able to serve a crowd, and this was an easy way to get more servings out of the recipe. There are many different instructions on how to adapt recipes for different pan sizes. The recipe makes 10 cups of batter, and my pan holds a total of 15 cups, so my pan was 2/3 full. It worked out perfectly. The cake rose just to the edge of the pan
I preheated the oven to 350F, reduced the temperature to 325F when I placed the cake in the oven, and then baked it for about 60 minutes. My oven does run a little hot, so baking time will vary according to your oven. The key here is to bake the cake until it’s done. Start checking it a few minutes before, with a toothpick in the center. The batter in the middle of the cake should be cooked. This is a moist cake, so you might still get some crumbs on the toothpick. Let the cake cool a full 30 minutes. Carefully run a thin paring knife along the edges to loosen it. It is really important to use the parchment paper to make sure the cake comes out of the pan easily.
The 12 by 18 by 2 inch sized cake serves 36 (2 by 3 inch pieces).
Disclosure: I received samples of Paradise Fruits Crystallized Ginger to try out. I was not required to write a blog post about it. I was not compensated for this post.