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Carrot Cake With Maple-Cinnamon Buttercream By Jasmine Bell

This showstopper of a cake comes from the brilliant mind of Jasmine Bell Smith, and will easily become a holiday (or everyday) dessert staple. Decorate the cake with an array of pretty, Swiss meringue buttercream flowers to really make it shine. 

Carrot Cake with Maple-Cinnamon Buttercream
Makes 1 cake

Ingredients

For the carrot cake:
Nonstick cooking spray
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 /2 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups shredded carrots (about 6 to 7 carrots)

For the maple-cinnamon buttercream:
1 pound cream cheese, softened
1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon maple extract
2 cups confectioners’ sugar

For the Swiss meringue buttercream:
375 grams granulated sugar
200 grams egg whites
1 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions

1. Make the carrot cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease 2 8-inch cake pans with cooking spray.

2. In a small bowl, sift flour with baking soda and whisk to evenly combine.

3. In a separate, large mixing bowl, whisk together oil, sugar, salt, cinnamon, eggs and vanilla. Gradually stir in the flour mixture until well blended. Add carrots and stir until smooth. 

4. Divide batter evenly into pans and bake until centers are cooked through, and cake pulls from the walls of the pan, about 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely before removing from the pans.

5. Make the buttercream: In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the cream cheese. Using the paddle attachment on medium speed, beat until smooth. Add cinnamon, vanilla, maple extract, and butter. Reduce speed to medium low and beat, occasionally scraping the bowl, until well combined and no lumps remain. 

6. Reduce speed to low and mix in sugar until dissolved. Set speed to medium high and continue to mix until frosting is airy and off white, being careful not to overmix when the fats will separate from the oil.

7. Make the Swiss meringue: In a double boiler over medium-low heat, add sugar and egg whites, stirring occasionally so the egg doesn’t cook, until the sugar dissolves and can be rubbed between two fingers without feeling any sugar, about 5 to 10 minutes.

8. In the bowl of a standing mixer with the whisk attachment, transfer mixture and whisk on high until medium peaks form, between 5 to 10 minutes. Add vanilla and continue to whisk until stiff peaks form, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Turn speed to low and incorporate your butter, in two separate batches. Once combined, increase speed to high and whip until frosting is airy.

9. Assemble the cake: Place one cake on a platter. Evenly spread maple-cinnamon buttercream over the top. Place the other cake on top of the frosting. Frost the top and outer layer of the cakes with Swiss meringue buttercream. Decorate with Swiss meringue buttercream flowers, if desired.


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