Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Laura's Carrot Cake

Here is a recipe for my girlfriend Laura's carrot cake. This is very popular in our house, so much so, she has made it 3 times over the last 2 months. It's rich, very big, very moist and tastes fantastic. She takes the recipe from her mum back home in College Station, Texas. I hardly need say that when a mum recipe shows up, it should be seized with both hands. What is it with mums' and their recipes? They're always too rich, too filling and too good.

What you will need:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts
3 cups grated carrots

The Cake:

Combine all ingredients, except the last two, blending thoroughly. Fold in the carrots and pecans. Pour into three
round cake pans that have been greased and floured. The cake pans won't look very full (maybe at 1/3 to 1/2 depth) but don't worry! Bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit (150 Celsius) for 40 minutes, until toothpick comes out of center clean. Err on the side of MOIST. Let cool completely (while still in the cake pans) before removing or frosting!!

For the Frosting:

2 parts cream cheese
1 part unsalted butter
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Lots of icing sugar (sifted so you don't get clumps)

There are many recipes for cream cheese icing out there. Whichever one you use, I recommend doubling it so you have LOTS of the good stuff to lather up your cake (and you'll inevitably want to lick up lots - as will anyone else in the house). Generally you'll need a large block of butter and two large packs of cream cheese. Set out these the previous night so they're nice and soft, then cream together thoroughly and add vanilla. (Almond extract also adds a nice touch at this point - play with it if you wish.) Have a couple of large boxes (or bags) of the icing sugar, then mix in with the cheese/butter mixture until the right consistency is reached. Remember, you want it nice and creamy, but JUST thick enough so it will stick to the sides of the cake without dripping down. When you slather it on, BE GENEROUS. Optionally, garnish the finished cake with walnuts/pecans/etc.


1 comment:

fifi said...

Just stumbled onto your website and found your recipes: this is the same carrot cake I have been making for over 25 years and I got the recipe from my friend’s mom in Irving, Texas. A few trivial differences. She used 2 tsp of cinnamon and no allspice and she sprinkled a thick layer of pecans on top of the icing instead of mixing into the batter. I started using one huge rectangular pan to bake it (only works in a big oven, though) and found I could reduce the oil by about 1/4 cup. It makes it easier for icing, too, no worries about drips, just leave the cake in the pan & slather a thick layer sweet creamy goo on the top (plus fewer pans to wash). She had specific amounts for the icing, too, which helps us non-mathematician types: 8 oz cream cheese, 1/2 stick butter (4 TBSP), 1 lb Powdered sugar (3 1/2 cups), 1 tsp vanilla