I'm probably the last baker on the block to try this buttermilk glazed carrot cake, but now that I have I can attest that it is very good, and I'll most likely make it again despite my initial skepticism towards a carrot cake with both a glaze and a frosting. Originally from Southern Living, this is a 9x13 inch carrot cake recipe that starts out like "the usual" carrot cake, but calls for an extra step of pouring a glaze over it that sinks in as it cools. As you can guess, this makes the cake extra moist -- though not mushy, which was my concern.
The cake calls for common carrot cake measures -- 2 cups flour, 2 cups sugar etc. and only ¾ cup of oil. Then while the cake bakes, you boil a mixture of sugar, baking soda, buttermilk, corn syrup and butter until it turns a golden brown. This golden brown buttermilk glaze is poured over the cake adding extra moisture plus extra flavor from the butter and buttermilk.
The baking soda is an interesting addition to the glaze. It makes it soft and foamy as it boils, and I suppose it helps it turn brown. Make sure to boil the syrup until it turns brown to help boil away the baking soda flavor.
It's also important to give the cake about a day to rest before frosting. Several people who made the original recipe said the cake was a little too soft on day 1, but fabulous on day 2. I've only tried it on day 2 so I'll take their word for it.
9x13 Inch Carrot Cake with Buttermilk Glaze
- 2 cups all-purpose flour 270 grams
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups sugar 380 grams
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups grated carrots 280 grams
- 8 ounce can crushed pineapple drained
- 3 ½ ounces sweetened flaked coconut
- 1 cup chopped pecans toasted before chopping
- 1 cup sugar 200 grams
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup butter unsalted
- ¼ teaspoon salt omit if using salted butter
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Icing
- 1 ½ sticks 6 oz unsalted butter, softened
- 16 ounces powdered sugar sifted
- 11 ounces package cream cheese room temp
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. If you haven’t toasted your pecans, toast them for about 8 minutes and set aside to cool.
- Grease a 9x13 inch pan.
- Stir together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar for about 2 minutes or until thick and yellow. Gradually add the vegetable oil, then add the vanilla.
- Stir in the buttermilk until well blended
- Add flour mixture, beating at low speed until blended.
- Fold in carrots, pineapple, coconut and pecans.
- Pour batter into pan and bake at 350 degrees f for 42 minutes total, covering loosely with foil after the first 30 minutes..
- Remove from oven. Make the buttermilk glaze (you can start while the cake it finishing baking).
- Buttermilk Glaze: Bring sugar, baking soda, buttermilk, butter and corn syrup to a boil over medium heat (I use a 3 ½ quart saucepan). Boil, stirring almost constantly, for 4 minutes or until mixture darkens to a golden brown.
- Remove from heat, let cool slightly, then stir in vanilla. Pour glaze over the cake.
- Allow the cake to cool for several hours, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, make the cream cheese frosting.
- Cream Cheese Frosting: Beat first cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until light and fluffy.
- Stir in vanilla. Frost the cake and use any remaining frosting to pipe a border.