By Lindsay Owens
Most 7-year-old girls want a pink, sparkly cake with a unicorn, LOL or some other trendy toy for decoration. The 7-year-old I know instead asks for a carrot cake. Not one from the store though. She wants a homemade cake. Challenge accepted.
This particular cake recipe I found in an old church cookbook but have updated to reflect the modern conveniences we now have at our disposal. The recipe is very forgiving. In fact, this was supposed to be a two-layer cake but I left it as single layers so the family could take home a whole cake and I could better meet the dietary needs of some of the guests.
Here’s what you’ll need:
2, 9” round cake pans (the recipe is for 2 layers. I have not tried to cut it down)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon fine sea salt or regular salt
1 ¼ cups vegetable oil
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 large eggs
3 cups of grated carrots (you can buy grated carrots at most grocery stores)
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
½ cup raisins (optional)
For the icing:
2 blocks softened cream cheese
2 sticks salted butter softened
1 lb. powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the cake pans then coat the bottoms with flour.
In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon until blended.
In another medium bowl, mix oil, both sugars and vanilla. Add eggs into the mixture one at a time.
Using a rubber spatula, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then add gradually into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Gradually stir in carrots as well as nuts and raisins if you are using them.
Divide batter between the two pans and bake 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Cool cakes for 15 minutes then place on cooling rack.
In a large bowl, whip cream cheese until smooth. Add in butter and continue to mix until well blended. Mix in vanilla then slowly add in powdered sugar. Beat until fluffy.
Icing the cake
While you can ice the whole cake, I typically only ice the top even if I am using this as a single layer cake. If you plan to use this as a double-layer cake, I recommend putting extra icing between the layers so it fluffs out a bit. Garnish the top with additional shredded carrots, nuts or decorative icing.