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This Carrot Cake recipe is old fashioned comfort food, at its BEST, and you probably already have all the ingredients you need at your house right now.
Carrot Cake is Perfect for Spring
Spring’s right around the corner – although the folks in Nashville will tell you it’s already here.
I don’t even think we HAD winter this year.
My friend Cheri up in the Pacific Northwest would tell you that she drew the short straw this winter, and suffered the entire NATION’S winter this year. So, on behalf of a grateful nation, Thanks, Cheri. And…er…sorry about that.
Anywho, with the advent of spring (and I promise, Cheri, it IS coming! You don’t really live in Narnia!), I always think of carrot cake.
Why do I always think of carrot cake?
Could it be the Easter Bunny’s fault, perhaps?
Might it be tied to a slightly superstitious belief on my part that this incredibly delicious carrot offering will appease and please the Easter Bunny, so that therefore, there will be more chocolate bunnies for me?
Carrot Cake is Easy
Whether or not that’s true, I have a SCRUMPTIOUS carrot cake recipe for you, and some really GOOD news, too. Ready for the good news? Carrot Cake COULDN’T BE EASIER!
It came to me like an Easter morning epiphany, while I was making this cake. Carrot cake is really just like making banana bread. Only different. 😀 (You know, banana bread is that quick bread that everyone makes to get rid of their overripe bananas.) Hold the bananas, grate the carrots, and you’ve got a carrot cake.
Most cakes are made by creaming butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy. Often, that means beating them in the mixer for upwards of five minutes. And then you have to alternately add the dry and wet ingredients. It’s a process that’s a little more complicated. But carrot cake is practically a “dump and run” kind of a cake. In essence, it’s a quick bread. Measure the dry ingredients and whisk together, pour in all the liquid ingredients, barely mix till all the dry ingredients are moistened, and you’ve got a cake in record time, with minimal effort!
Using Oil in Carrot Cake Makes a Difference in the Texture
Because the fat in carrot cake is vegetable or canola oil, the exterior cake develops this crispy edge that, to me, is swoon-worthy. Couple that crispy texture with the sweetness and slightly tanginess of the cream cheese frosting, and my knees start to buckle. This dessert is that easy, and that good. Go make a carrot cake! Go make THIS carrot cake.
The Easter Bunny will be pleased, and you may have Easter candy favor.
You Don’t Need an Electric Mixer to Make Carrot Cake
Once you have poured the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mix only until all dry ingredients are moistened. You don’t need an electric mixer to do this cake, at all. Mixing too much will cause gluten to develop, making a tough cake. Mixing only till all the dry ingredients are moistened will yield a more tender cake.
Personally, I do use my mixer for the frosting. It creams the butter beautifully.
The Recipe for Old Fashioned Carrot Cake
- FOR THE CAKE:
- 3 c. grated carrots
- 2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 t. baking powder
- 2 t. baking soda
- 1/2 t. salt
- 2 c. sugar
- 1 t. ground cinnamon
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1 1/4 c. canola or vegetable oil
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- FOR THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
- 1 8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 c. (1 stick) of butter, softened
- 1 16 oz. package powdered sugar
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- FOR THE CAKE:
Combine first 7 ingredients - the dry ingredients - and whisk together in a mixing bowl.
- Stir in the beaten eggs, oil, and vanilla - the wet ingredients - and mix until all dry ingredients are moistened.
- To make a layer cake with 3 layers, grease and flour three 9" cake pans, divide batter evenly between the three pans, and bake at 350 degrees, for 30 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of each layer comes out clean.
- TO MAKE THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
Combine cream cheese and butter, beating until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy.
Once you have poured the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mix only until all dry ingredients are moistened. You don't need an electric mixer to do this cake, at all. Mixing too much will cause gluten to develop, making a tough cake. Mixing only till all the dry ingredients are moistened will yield a more tender cake.
To make cupcakes:
Spoon batter into paper lined muffin tins, filling each about half full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool on wire racks. When completely cool, frost with Cream Cheese Frosting. Yield: 2 dozen.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 669Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 462mgCarbohydrates: 91gFiber: 1gSugar: 73gProtein: 6g
Please pin this recipe on Pinterest, or share it on Facebook, or yum it on Yummly. I have some other Easter-worthy recipes as well, so don’t miss out on my Green Beans Gremolata, which Ina Garten says is her favorite side dish for the holidays. Or maybe some Springtime Fresh Strawberry Pie, if you’d like cake AND pie.