Carrot Cake

Carrot cake has always been a favorite in my household. When I bake birthday cakes for friends, they have two in the family who prefer carrot cake over all other flavors. There is something about the tender bits of carrot and spices that make one feel healthy and happy indulging . . . Just don’t take into consideration the oil and butter!

Carrot Cake
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed light or dark brown sugar
4 tablespoon (1/2 stick butter)
1 cup vegetable oil
5 large eggs
3 cups coarsely shredded, peeled raw carrots
1 large, green apple, peeled, cored and shredded.
1 ½ cups chopped walnuts or pecans.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 13 x 9 inch baking pan.
In a medium bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.

In a large bowl combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and butter; beat with an electric mixer until evenly blended. Beat in the oil until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then beat until thick and light, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the dry ingredients and beat just until blended. Stir in the shredded carrots, apple, orange zest, and nuts. The batter will be thick. Pour batter into prepared baking pan. Bake 50 to 60 minutes until the top springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan. When completely cool, dust with powdered sugar or glaze with lemon icing.

Lemon Icing
2 cups powdered sugar
Enough lemon juice to form a thick paste.

The recipe can be  baked as cupcakes, too, just adjust your baking time.

Sunday Carrot Cake

When I make dessert, it is usually on Sundays because calories don’t count on Sundays, right . . . and please do not take away my illusions on this. Anyway, I was making a birthday cake for a friend and forgot how easy it is to get a carrot cake into the oven or how good the house smells while it is baking. Thought I’d share my recipe.

Sunday Carrot Cake

3 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups finely shredded carrots
2 medium green apples, peeled and finely shredded
6 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

This recipe will fill a couple of 15×9 1/2-inch baking pans, three 9-inch round pans, or make over three dozen cupcakes. If making cupcakes like with cupcake papers. For the cake pans, spray lightly with vegetable oil spray, line with parchment paper and give the paper a light spray to insure a smooth removal after baking.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat until just mixed and all ingredients are smoothly incorporated. Spread batter into your prepared pans.

Bake for 35-45 minutes depending on the size of the baking pans used. Cake should be golden and spring back to the touch when done. Cupcakes will take a lot less time.

Cool for 15 minutes and remove from pans. Completely cool before icing.

Most people seem to prefer cream cheese frosting but I’m a fan of lemon butter cream frosting.

Lemon Buttercream
2 sticks of butter (margarine is not an option)
6-8 cups of powdered sugar
zest of one lemon
Juice of one lemon

Beat the butter in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add about five cups of the sugar, the lemon rind and the lemon juice and beat well. If the icing is too thin, add spoonfuls of powdered sugar until to attain a spreadable consistency. Don’t forget some colored sparkles and small candies for decorations!