2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature (plus a little extra for preparing cake pans)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour (plus a little extra for preparing cake pans)
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature (frosting)
2 cups confectioners’ sugar (frosting)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (frosting)
1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature (frosting)
1/4 cup dark molasses (frosting)
The basis of this recipe was my grandmother’s – she was the “sweet grandma” (as opposed to the “spicy grandma”)…she loved figs and they were always part of any holiday meal, in this cake, turkey stuffing, and on top of sweet potatoes!
11. Place the chopped figs and brandy into a microwave safe bowl and microwave until very warm. Set aside for about 1 hour. After soaking, puree mixture to a paste. Set aside.
22. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
33. With an electric beater, beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and fig puree. Mix at medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl.
44. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the dry ingredients to butter mixture, half at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Mix on low speed until smooth, about 25-30 seconds.
55. Butter and flour two 9” cake pans – shake out excess flour.
66. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until center of cakes springs back when lightly pressed. Cool for 8-10 minutes, then turn out of pans and cool completely on wire racks.
77. With an electric beater, beat the frosting butter with the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the cream cheese, beating until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add the molasses and beat until smooth and well-incorporated.
88. Sandwich the two cooled layer cakes thickly with the frosting and then frost sides and top of cake.
How to Make an Easy Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
A multilayered carrot cake can be the crown jewel of the dessert table, but it takes a herculean effort to put together. In this episode of The Easiest Way, Amy Wisniewski of the CHOW Test Kitchen shows how you can avoid all that hassle and still end up with a beautiful, delicious cake. Follow along as she makes our Easy Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting recipe.
How to Frost a Cake with Meg Ray
A hot cake plus cold frosting means cake death: soggy and ugly. Meg Ray, founder and owner of San Francisco’s Miette patisserie and confiserie, explains what you’re doing wrong when you’re frosting a cake. Plus, more importantly, what you should be doing right: using good tools, keeping the components at the right temperature, giving it a crumb layer, and more. Here's CHOW's basic yellow cake recipe to try out your new frosting skills on.
Justin Chapple, Food & Wine Deputy Test Kitchen Editor, is back this week with another killer Mad Genius Tip—an ice cream cake made of store-bought ice cream sandwiches, that requires just minutes of prep time.