Have you ever been struck by an absolutely GENIUS idea then discovered that you weren't the first [or even the tenth] person to think of it? That kind of happened to me with this naked bourbon carrot cake. Carrot cake is one of my favorite kinds of cake (the others are cheesecake and tres leches) and I wanted to do boozy version. "What better way than to soak the raisins in bourbon?" I thought. "I've never heard of this before. I'm so smart!" I thought. The lie-detector test determined that was a lie. Well, I am smart but someone out there has definitely heard of this method before. 🙂 A quick chat with my good girlfriend, Google, yielded several bourbon carrot cake recipes. I was slightly disheartened until I clicked and read through the recipes. None of them were quite what I had envisioned so I felt relieved and came to the conclusion that I'm neither a subliminal plagiarist nor a basic!
I like my carrot cake all the way--deluxe, if you will. It should toe the line between a spice cake and a fruit cake. Cream cheese frosting is always a given but walnuts, pineapple, shaved carrots, and raisins aren't as common for some reason, especially among the bourbon-infused crowd. One thing I don't like to find in my carrot cake is coconut. I don't get it. I feel like the other mix-ins stop talking when coconut joins the batter and text each other "Who TF invited coconut?!" It's just not right, y'all. I don't find many carrot cakes out there with everything I want in them, which was another source of motivation to create, in my opinion, the very best version. Of course, this cake can be made friendly for those who don't consume alcohol and it will still be epic!
If you do opt to use the bourbon-infused raisins, (which are so much fun, btw) you'll need to soak them ahead of time. One day is totally enough time so don't worry! If you read about my birthday cake, (which is a salted caramel buttercream dream!) then you know I prefer making naked cakes because they're...easier. No need to worry about getting the frosting ratio perfect throughout or fussing with a crumb coat. I'm not against traditionally-frosted cakes at all. It just comes down to time and effort. If I'm making a cake for myself, it's gonna be naked but even if I'm serving it to others, I've never gotten any complaints about it not being perfectly frosted! This naked bourbon carrot cake is an anytime favorite but will definitely grace our holiday table. Whether or not this carrot cake is your speed, I definitely encourage you to check it out.
What do you like (or hate) to have in your carrot cake? Let me know below. Thanks for reading!
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 2 ½ cups powdered sugar sifted
- ¼ cup butter melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup Chopped Pecans optional, but encouraged for garnish
- ½ cup bourbon I used Jim Beam Black Label
- ¼ cup raisins
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- 2 ⅓ cup flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup white sugar
- 5 eggs
- 1 cup butter melted
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 large carrots shaved or shredded
- 1 cup walnut pieces
- ½ cup crushed pineapple drained
- 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon clove
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Add raisins and golden raisins to a sealable glass container, such as a mason jar, and add enough bourbon to cover them (about ½ cup). Close tightly and set aside for at least 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and sea salt to a bowl and whisk together.
- In another bowl, mix sugars, vanilla, eggs, butter, and crushed pineapple.
- Add carrots, walnuts, and raisins to dry ingredients then mix together. Add wet to dry and mix, adding any extra bourbon from the raisins.
- Divide batter between two greased round pans and bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each comes out clean.
- While the cakes bake, mix together frosting ingredients by hand or with a beater and set aside.
- Cool cakes completely then frost. Garnish with chopped pecans, if desired.
Recipe by Jazzmine of Dash of Jazz