Bake Time: 18 minutes
Cool Time: 30 minutes
Frost Time: 20 minute
Make Again: Yes
America's Test Kitchen TV (Season 13)
Cook's Illustrated (May 2012)
I've been wanting to try this cake for the past year and finally decided to make it for Thanksgiving. It was quite good and the only difficult part was frosting it. But overall it was fairly simple.
It is not easy to make a layer cake out of carrot cake, because the cake is so soft and moist. They solve this problem by baking the cake in a half sheet pan, so it is very big but thin, and then cutting the cake into 4 quarters making each a layer. I have a 1/4 sheet pan, so made a half recipe, which worked out very nicely.
Instead of 4 layers, I cut the cake into thirds for 3 layers. I cut the frosting recipe in half but that was a problem, because I really didn't have enough. I really had to stretch it in some spots. I knew it would be tight, because I think there is more surface area on the outside when you cut a recipe in half. (I didn't do the math, but I am pretty sure about this.) I did make it work though and honestly the frosting is very rich, so I wouldn't really want it any thicker than it ended up.
You are supposed to cover sides with chopped pecans but I am not a pecan fan, so I skipped those. It would have been nice to cover up my mistakes though!
I should point out that you need buttermilk powder for the recipe. That is to add tang without moisture. It worked really well. I do think however, my frosting could have been a tiny bit moister without problems. It probably would have made spreading it easier.