Carrot Cake with Maple Brown Sugar Buttercream & Candied Pecans
Carrot Cake with Maple Brown Sugar Buttercream & Candied Pecans with coconut, maple syrup, brown sugar, and pecans make a combo that will have you swooning.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time2 hrs 5 mins
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup canola oil
- 4 large eggs
- 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 cups grated carrots about 4 large
- 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar packed
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup pecan halves
- 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 1/4 cups butter
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray two 9-inch cake pans* with nonstick spray. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, gently spray 2 – 9 inch round baking pans with cooking oil and set aside.
Mix together brown sugar, granulated sugar, oil, eggs, applesauce, and vanilla together until smooth and there are no lumps. . In separate large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves together until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix together until combined. Gently fold in coconut and carrots. Pour batter into the prepared pan, making sure to divide evenly.
Place in preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack until completely cooled.
While cake is cooling prepare candied pecans and frosting.
Coarsely chopped the 1 cup of pecan halves and place in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Toast pecans for 3 minutes, give or take, occasionally stirring making sure not to burn. Toast until you start to smell the nutty aroma, once toasted gently stir over brown sugar mixture and constantly stir for 15-20 seconds, allowing the sugar to caramelize over the pecans.
Quickly spread out pecan pieces over parchment paper and cool. Set aside until ready to use.
Maple Pecan Brown Sugar Buttercream
In a large bowl, I use my Kitchen Aid mixer cream together butter, brown sugar and maple syrup. Slowly blend in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time beating well after each addition. Beat in the milk and continue mixing until light and fluffy. You may need to add more sugar or milk until you find the right consistency, this varies every time I do the recipe.
Prepare to assemble carrot cake.
Once cakes are completely cool, remove from pans. Place on cake on cake stand or serving plate.
Top with 1/3 of the maple brown sugar buttercream cheese frosting.
Add the second cake on top of the buttercream and frost the entire cake with the remaining maple brown sugar buttercream. Make sure the top is completely covered and you cannot see the cake, the sides will be okay if they are covered in frosting but you may still see the cake in some areas. Once frosted immediately add the candied pecans to the side. Gently press them into the frosting to make sure they stick. Don’t press to hard you don’t want them pressed into the cake just on the frosting.
Serve immediately or save for later.
If we are eating this later, I will set in the fridge, but my kids like it warm or at room temp, so pull cake about 30 to an hour before serving. My son, Madden loves to heat it up to the frosting melts.