I hope that Christmas was merry and bright for you all, and I apologize to all my readers for not writing more in December. This season was especially stressful, yet still left us with much to appreciate. I intended to bake for Christmas, but I came down with a nasty upper-respiratory infection that seemed determined to turn into bronchitis, or worse. The good news was that I was able to avoid a doctor's visit.
Now that I am finally more mobile and functional, I needed something sweet to usher in this new chapter. I debated on what to make, and I decided that a good, hearty carrot cake would just about fill the bill. You don't need a huge piece, because this sticks to your ribs. We found that as much as we wanted to eat more, we were pleasantly full after one slice.
• 2 cups sugar
• 1 cup butter
• 4 large eggs
• 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (substitute ½ cup whole wheat)
• 1 tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp salt
• 1/8 tsp ginger
• ¼ tsp cardamom
• ¼ tsp cinnamon
• ¼ tsp cloves
• ¼ tsp nutmeg
• 3 generous cups grated carrots
• *optional 1 cup raisins or chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350° (app. 175°C*)
Butter two 9" round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment circles.
Cream butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices together.
Add flour mixture, carrots (and raisins or nuts if you choose to add them) to the sugar, butter and egg mixture, and mix well (so that all flour is wet and ingredients are evenly disbursed throughout the batter.)
Pour the batter equally into the pans and bake for approximately 30 min. (check at 20 min), cake is done when a toothpick stuck in the center of each cake comes out clean.
Turn cakes out of pans onto cooling racks.
While cakes are cooling you can make the cream cheese icing. Here is the recipe that I use and love.
• ½ cup butter cut into pats
• 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
• 3 cups confectioners sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla
Beat cream cheese, butter, confectioners sugar and vanilla into a soft cream. When cakes are cooled, place one round onto a plate and apply a generous amount to the top of that round. Place second round on top, frost the top and sides until entire cake is covered. Store in the refrigerator. Cake will taste good the first day, but improves over the next day or so.
*I use an online conversion chart and round up or down, as seems appropriate. Please adjust according to your judgement, and send me a message if you find an error. Thank you.