Sunday, April 10, 2011

April

Stepping out on the front porch on a Sunday morning in April is a wonderful feeling.....the Sun shining down and the warmth in the air makes me excited for Spring. This excitement makes me realize it is time once again to make the traditional Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese frosting.

Over the years, I usually have a few friends request this be made for their family Easter dinner. Of course I am happy to fill in as the baker (I know this recipe so well it can be completed with my eyes closed). While I was never a fan of carrot cake for years, I have come to love this cake because of how excited other are when they see it....



Unsure if that is because of the cake itself or just the fact that Spring is here...Either way it is a great reason to heat up the oven.  (Sorry for the basic photo. This was taken quickly before I boxed up the cake and took it out the door)

Here is my favorite Carrot Cake recipe
(Adapted from the Betty Crocker New Cookbook)

1 1/2 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Vegetable Oil
3 Lg Eggs
2 Cups Unbleached All Purpose Flour (I prefer King Arthur)
1 1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1 1/4 Tsp Homemade Vanilla (... of course)
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/4 Ground Nutmeg (I grate fresh nutmeg)
6 Shredded Carrots (I use a fine grate)
3/4 Cup Chopped Pecans
Cream Cheese Frosting (see below)

Heat oven to 350 Degrees. Grease bottom and sides of 2 round pans with shortening, line pans with parchment paper on bottom and grease paper, then lightly flour entire pan. (Parchment paper allows cakes to slide out easier).

Mix sugar, oil and eggs in large bowl and mix for about 1 minute. Stir in flour, cinnamon, baking soda, vanilla, salt, nutmeg until well mixed. Add carrots and pecans. Pour into prepared pans.

Bake rounds about 32 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack. Fill and frost layers with frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4  Cup Unsalted Butter, softened (Unsalted is the only butter I keep in my home)
2 Tsp Milk
1 1/4 Tsp Vanilla
3-4 Cups Powdered Sugar

Beat cream cheese, butter, milk and vanilla in medium bowl with electric mixer on low speed until smooth. (This is where I love my KitchenAid...) Gradually beat in powdered sugar on low speed, 1 cup at a time, until smooth and spreadable.

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