First, a late birthday shout out to my fabulous husband,…and a preview of his cake:
I knew we were meant to be when I learned that his family has a long-time favorite carrot cake recipe just like mine does. They’re surprisingly similar and equally delicious. We probably should have done carrot cake for our wedding, but that darn Freeport Bakery had too many other tempting flavors. And, truth be told, we’re kind of the carrot cake snob type — quite content with what we know we like (the homemade stuff!) and not really interested in or tempted by any other variety. 🙂 Hey, you might be too after you try this recipe.
The cake was just part of my favorite taste tester’s birthday. Stay tuned for the main course. All I’ll give you now is I learned a new skill — and thankfully the birthday boy’s dinner wasn’t a total failure since I was venturing a bit into the unknown.
This is such a basic, good recipe. It never, I mean never, disappoints. No crushed pineapple, shredded coconut or funky spices, like some of those other varieties. It’s just the basics — all in perfect proportion.
My Family’s Carrot Cake
I made one and a half of this recipe to achieve the three layers. My mom often makes it in a 9 x 13 pan, or you can go with 8- or 9-inch rounds. Lots of possibilities.
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 cups carrots, grated
Heat oven to 350. Butter two 9-inch cake pans and dust lightly with flour.
Sift the dry ingredients (sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon) into a large bowl. Add oil, eggs and vanilla. Beat well. Fold in grated carrots.
Pour batter into pans. Set on the middle rack of oven and bake for 35 minutes (shift positions of cakes front-to-back if necessary about halfway through), until edges have pulled away from sides and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a cake rack.
Perfect Cream Cheese Frosting:
If you have some left over frosting, get out your graham crackers and make some dessert ‘sandwiches.’ What is it about graham crackers and homemade frosting? A magical flavor combination if you ask me. They even freeze well!
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
8 oz. (1 package) cream cheese, softened
1 pound (that the small box size) powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Cream together the cream cheese and butter in a mixing bowl. Slowly sift in the confectioners sugar and beat until mixture is free of lumps. Stir in the vanilla.
Once cakes have cooled, frost. Sprinkle the top or sides with chopped walnuts. You can always toast those walnuts for extra flavor if you think about it ahead of time!