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Ina Garten's Carrot Cake Recipe from Foolproof Cookbook

This past Saturday, my friends Cecilia and Julia came over to my condo for a cookbook dinner party. We each chose a few recipes from Barefoot Contessa's Foolproof. Combined with a few appetizers and three bottles of wine, this turned out to be another fun evening with good friends.

For one of my recipes, I made Ina Garten's Carrot Cake with Ginger Mascarpone Frosting. Because I followed the directions exactly I'm not going to retype it: you can find the recipe here.

One of the hardest things about this cake was grating a pound of carrots by hand. I was tempted to use a food processor, but Ina said it would make the cake too wet...and who would want that?

Although I've never baked a carrot cake, I've had them in the past. What I liked about this recipe was that it wasn't heavy in the spice department. The only spice, in fact, that Ina used was cinnamon. Other than that, it was a basic recipe with carrots, walnuts, raisins and vanilla.

I recommend you use golden raisins!

The cake was baked in two separate pans and had to be completely cooled before being iced. My entire condo smelled amazing!

The icing was incredible: mascarpone, cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and crystallized ginger! I really liked the addition of crystallized ginger for both the texture and the flavor.

The cake only got the icing in between the layers and on top. I liked that it looked rustic and not fussy. Of course you can make yours look a bit more perfect...but why?

And now for the taste: the cake was incredibly moist and tender. The icing was creamy and not too sweet. Make sure you are not left at home by yourself with this cake or you'll eat it all! I was sure to share this with my friends ;)

And a few shots from different sides ;)

Make sure to come back because I will be sharing three other recipes I made from Foolproof. I definitely recommend this book! I'm very happy I purchased it when I saw Ina Garten in DC!


Mimi Holtz said...

I love the idea of the cookbook dinner party! Now that my kids are all leaving, maybe I'll start doing that with friends. I'm sure my husband would love to help with the eating!

Your cake looks delicious...makes me wish I had planned to make carrot cake for Easter.

Megan said...

That icing sounds amazing!!

Olga @ MangoTomato said...

It so totally was!!!! I'm a little sad I did not freeze a few slices of cake but gave the leftovers to friends instead.

Suzanne said...

What a great site! I want to make this cake for a dinner party tomorrow but I don't have a paddle attachment (?) or even know what that is - to make the frosting. can I just use a handmixer?

Olga @ MangoTomato said...

Hi, Suzanne.
I don't have a stand mixer, so I used my hand one and it worked perfectly well. Make the cake: you will love it!!!
Let me know what you think after you try it out.

Suzanne said...

I made the cake and it was the hit of the party! People raved about it and said it was the best carrot cake they'd ever had - then the fight over leftovers broke out. As someone who never bakes (I had to buy cake pans to make this) - it was very rewarding!

Olga @ MangoTomato said...

I wish I could take the credit, but it's all Ina.
SOOOO glad it was a huge success: now I wish I had a slice of it.