I made a carrot cake. It was epic, at least for me. I’ve done one cake that involved more effort, a coconut cake with a complicated icing, but I’m quite proud of this one anyway. I grated the carrots by hand and everything.
I used this recipe (http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1015523-dorie-greenspans-carrot-cake
) with a few alterations. I don’t have three cake pans of the required size—I only own two cake tins of any sort, and knowing me disaster would ensue if I had tried to take one of the cakes out, clean the pan up, and cook the third layer separately. It would have come out too thin, or burnt, or something. I have a genius for such cock-ups. I also used half fancy olive oil and half canola, instead of all canola oil, and switched out one of the cups of white sugar for brown sugar. I strongly recommend the olive oil (find a good one with an intense flavour—Trader Joe’s Sicilian Olive Oil is a decent price), as it gave a nice depth of flavour to the sweetness.
The bake took exactly as long as instructed, for once. They did sink a little in the middle, but not enough to make me regret using two pans rather than three. This could have been the result of my switching things out in the recipe, but the same thing seems to have happened to the cake in the original illustration, so it could just be how heavy the batter is with all the raisins and carrots and whatnot. (Possibly? This is where it would help to be a better chemist.) I had to trim a little from the sides when they were cooled, but there was no spilling over the edge of the pan, which is what I was most concerned about.
The final product came out pretty much exactly as I was hoping for—I don’t think I’ll ever buy a carrot cake again. Next time I’ll work on avoiding the sinkage, and get a better picture where you can see the icing between the layers (it is there, just as it should be, but is completely obscured by cake crumbs in the last picture).