Monday, November 14, 2011

Pistachio-Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

 Yes! There is a lot going on here! and it's amazing! This cake is LOADED with all kinds of flavors and textures and somehow it all works! I wanted to enhance the traditional carrot cake recipe I had so I added some tropical ingredients like pineapple and coconut and then substituted pistachios for walnuts. I actually bought salted pistachios by mistake but it ended up working really well! I then added maple syrup and a little bit of cinnamon to my cream cheese frosting recipe!

I have been waiting all year to make a carrot cake from scratch. Carrot cake is my Dad's favorite so last month I had the opportunity to make this for his birthday. I wish I was able to snap a photo of a slice of this cake because then you would be able to see the the beautiful three layers but unfortunately we did't get around to cutting this until 8:00pm and the natural light was long gone by then, and so was the cake.

Pistachio-Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
recipe by Sabrina W. for eat.drink.and be merry.
serves 8 to 10
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ginger
1 1/2 sticks butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups grated carrot
1 cup crushed pineapple with juices
1 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped pistachios(use an additional 1/2 cup whole pistachios for garnish)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease three 8-inch cake pans with butter and then flour them.

Mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger and set aside.

In a separate larger bowl, beat the butter with sugars until fluffy and then add the eggs in one at a time. Add in the 1/2 of the flour mixture and beat well. Add in the buttermilk and beat well scrapping down the sides of the pan. Add in the remaining flour mixture and beat until well blended. (try not to overbeat) 

Stir in the crushed pineapple, carrots, coconut, and pistachios. Divide evenly among the 3 baking pans and bake for about 30 minutes. Check with a toothpick to make sure cake is cooked through.Set aside and cool completely before frosting. I usually make the cakes a day ahead and freeze them so they are easier to frost.

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
2 8-oz packages of cream cheese, softened
1 stick of butter, softened
2 cups of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup maple syrup

Beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Add in the sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and maple syrup. Beat until well blended.

For the garnish: I pulse 1/4 cup of pistachios in a food processor and used them to dust the sides and top of the cake. I used an additional 1/4 cup of whole pistachios to make a border along the bottom of the cake.


Kels @ K and K Test Kitchen said...

Sabrina, this cake is stunning and it sounds delicious too!! My dad also loves carrot cake (and pistachios). I only wish his birthday wasn't in September...

Inside a British Mum's Kitchen said...

What a fantastic looking cake - clever you!! delicious flavors - how I would love a piece right now!!
super post and super cake
Mary x

RavieNomNoms said...

Oh my goodness gracious that is a gorgeous cake!

Steph said...

I am totally drooling everywhere over this cake! The flavor combinations sound amazing!!

Collette Osuna said...

Such an intreesting looking recipe...who doesnt love these flavors AND cream cheese frosting?? yum!!

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Sabrina-eat.drink.and be merry. said...

Thanks ladies for your sweet comments! You're making my day!!!

Laurie {Simply Scratch} said...

I love it Sabrina! I love that you used pistachios instead of walnuts... clever!!

Carolyn said...

That is a seriously gorgeous cake and I think this combination of flavours would be amazing!

Cucina49 said...

More pistachios--there seems to be a theme today! You've managed to combine my favorite cake with my favorite nut--this looks awesome.

Claire @ The Realistic Nutritionist said...

This looks SO GOOD!! what a gorgeous creation!!

Christine's Pantry said...

Beautiful cake.

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

Beautiful presentation! Carrot cake is one of our favorites. YUM!

Elyse @The Cultural Dish said...

This is so beautiful! Your decoration makes this cake look so perfect! I love the border of pistachios and the sprinkles of them on top. I'm sure this tasted just as delicious as it looks!

Torviewtoronto said...

beautiful flavourful cake

Sue/the view from great island said...

Sabrina this is a stunner of a cake. I think it would make a fabulous wedding cake (with a few more tiers). Carrot cakes are such a labor of love, I usually only get around to it once a year at most. The wreath and dusting of pistachios is just gorgeous. I'm sure your dad was thrilled.

Sabrina-eat.drink.and be merry. said...

Thanks Sue!!!! your so sweet!

Sarah-Jane - said...

looks lovely. Just buzzed you.

I'd have LOVED to see a photo of the inside too !

Yasmeen said...

Oh, I absolutely love the pistachios here! You're really speaking my language with this flavor combination.

Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. said...

This cake is just gorgeous! And I love the pistachios! Well done!

The Baking Gypsy said...

Oh my gosh! Sabrina you took my breath away with this! Stunning work! I would love a slice of that cake. I can only imagine how wonderful it tastes with all those flavors~ YUM!


Kim Bee said...

Omg this is fantastic. I am in love with this one. So beautiful. You did an amazing job on this.

Sabrina-eat.drink.and be merry. said...

thanks guys! it really was super easy! you should try it!!! sometimes simple comes out really nice haha

Baker Street said...

what a beautiful cake! love the pistachio sprinkle! and maple cream cheese frosting totally makes this my kind of treat!

Tina said...

Love the changes you did on the standard carrot cake! The flavors do work nicely together and the end result is stunning. This is a winner-your creativity did pay off. Bravo!

Happy When Not Hungry said...

Love the twist on the traditional carrot cake. Looks delicious!

Melanie @ The Sweet Life said...

this. looks. heavenly. where did you get the cake stand?

Sabrina-eat.drink.and be merry. said...

why thank you! :) I got the stand from homegoods!


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