Happy Easter…Time for Carrot Cake!

Well, I didn’t get to cook a lot this weekend since my husband and I were out of town, but my mom made up the slack for me. We had an elaborate Easter lunch with family and friends and it was amazing! Filet Mignon, baked potatoes, bread, fruit salad with kiwi, pineapples, and strawberries, homemade macaroni and cheese, and last but not least…CARROT CAKE!

Mom made the carrot cake in a 9×13 inch pan this time, which is actually easier than layering the cake, and it tastes just as good. The flavors of cinnamon and spices were perfect and the cream cheese frosting was to die for. The cake recipe was from Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking From My Home to Yours” cookbook, and the icing is my mom’s own recipe.

I definitely recommend you try this. I am not a big cake person because I think cakes (white and yellow cakes) are bland, so I have to have lots of icing. This cake on the other hand is moist, and flavorful, however that’s not to say I didn’t eat my fair share in icing. When my husband says, “That cake was unbelievable”, you’ve got to believe him. Enjoy!

Carrot Cake
Ingredients for the Cake
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
3 cups grated carrots (about 9 carrots; we grated them in a food processor fitted with a shredding blade)
1 cup coarsley chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
1/2 cup moist, plump raisins (we omitted because the males in our family don’t like dried fruit)
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola or safflower oil
4 large eggs

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9×13 inch cake pan, flour the insides and tap out the excess. (Can make into three 9×2 inch round cake pans instead).
2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, stir together the carrots, chopped nuts, coconut, and raisins (if using).
3. In an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the sugar and oil together on medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs one by one, and continue to beat until the batter is even smoother.
4. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing only until the dry ingredients disappear. Gently mix in the chunky ingredients.
5. Pour batter in baking pan and bake for 40-50 minutes, until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
6. Cool until room temperature and then add the frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 stick butter, softened
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese,
1 pound powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup pecans, chopped finely

1. In a large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese.
2. Add sugar and vanilla and blend, then mix in the nuts.
3. Spread on cooled carrot cake.

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