Carrot Pineapple Cake with Blackberry Icing has to be one of the more unique cakes on the blog, the moist and chunky cake is chocked full of fruit and nuts, while the thick layer of icing is an unusual blend of mascarpone and blackberries.
I don’t do carrot cake very often…all that chopping and the shredding is a once a year thing in my kitchen, at best, so I usually stick to a pretty straight and narrow path with the recipes. But I was inspired to get a little crazy with carrots and berries when I saw this lovely cake. The idea of a chunky, moist, nutty carrot cake topped with a fresh berry frosting was just kicky enough to tempt me to experiment. I love how it turned out…and it’s a little reminder to mix things up every now and then.
The cake itself is a classic carrot cake, with lots of golden raisins, chopped pecans, and pineapple, so it’s got great color and crunch built right in. The frosting has a mascarpone cheese base with a hint of fresh berry flavor. If you aren’t feeling particularly daring, you can always substitute a regular cream cheese frosting. You could also use any other type of berry that you have around, you only need a handful.
*The cake itself is just slightly adapted from an Ina Garten recipe
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (plus 1 Tbsp)
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
- 12 oz grated carrots
- 1/2 cup fresh diced pineapple
- 8 oz mascarpone cheese (or cream cheese)
- 1/3 cup fresh blackberries
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 4 cups (more or less) confectioner's sugar
- Set the oven to 350F
- Grease a 9x12 pan.
- Cream the sugar and oil together with the eggs.
- Toss the raisins and pecans with the tablespoon of flour (this will help them stay suspended in the batter.)
- Whisk the 2 1/2 cups flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt together in a separate bowl.
- Add the flour to the eggs and sugar mixture along with the pecans and raisins. Blend well.
- Fold in the carrots and the pineapple.
- Spread the batter into the pan and smooth out the surface.
- Bake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool completely on a rack before frosting.
- To make the frosting, blitz the mascarpone cheese, the lemon juice, and the berries in a small food processor until smooth.
- Then transfer the mixture to a bowl and beat in the sugar until you have a nice frosting consistency.
- You could substitute creme fraiche for the mascarpone.