Sunday, November 9, 2008

Carrot Cake

Do you ever forget you've got carrots in your refrigerator and find yourself buying yet another bag of them at the supermarket? It happens to me more than I'd like to admit, and I was getting a bit tired of cooked carrots as a side dish to dinner. So I dusted off an old recipe I used in the 1970s when carrot cake emerged as a standard dessert in my repertoire. Although I loved it then, it was a bit heavy and weighed-down with ingredients, including crushed pineapple and shredded coconut. So I omitted those ingredients this time around and made this version instead, which I have to admit, I like even better. I hope you will too.

I baked this recipe in two 8" x 8" Pyrex glass pans. I dusted one of them with powdered sugar and we ate it right away. The other I put in the freezer, later thawed, and served with a buttercream frosting. You could also make this in a rectangular 8" x 13" pan, or in two 8" round layer pans.

Carrot Cake

2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsps. vanilla
2 cups sifted flour
2 tsps. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg
2 tsps baking soda
1 1/2 tsps. salt
1 pound of carrots, grated
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts

Grease and flour the pans and preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, beat the sugar, oil and eggs together until pale yellow. Add the vanilla. Sift the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt together and add to the wet ingredients. Grate the carrots, either with a food processor or by hand, and add them to the batter with the raisins and walnuts. Mix well.

Pour the batter into the pans and bake for about 45 minutes, or until the cake bounces back when lightly pressed. I also use a toothpick to test. Poke it into the center and if it comes out clean, the cake is done.

Dust with confectioner's sugar when cool, or frost with a buttercream or cream cheese frosting.

Buttercream frosting:

2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
4 tbspns. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
a few tablespoons of milk

Beat sugar, butter and vanilla together and add milk, a tablespoonful at a time, until the frosting is creamy and smooth. This makes enough for one of the cakes - double if making one large 9" x 13" rectangular cake.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1/2 cup butter
1 8 ounce package cream cheese
2 - 4 tablespoons of milk
1 pound confectioner's sugar

Mix butter and cream cheese with vanilla and gradually add the sugar. Add a little milk, one teaspoonful at a time, to thin it out. Beat until smooth. This is enough for a large 9" x 13" rectangular pan or for two 8" square or round pans.


  1. I made carrot cake for my step-sons birthday - he LOVES it, but no raisins or nuts.

    He loves cinnamon so I made a buttercream cinnamon frosting and everyone said it was amazing. Now my daughter wants that cake for her birthday too!

  2. Biz319 - So glad you enjoyed the cake and hope your daughter has a wonderful birthday. I love the idea of a little cinnamon in the frosting. Will have to try that next time.