March, April, May

St. Patrick's Day ~ Easter ~ Mother's Day ~ Memorial Day ~ and other Springtime recipes and ideas.


This is a very heavy, dense carrot cake.  It's a great dessert for Easter or any spring occasion.  My mother even made it for my baby shower (and that took place in the fall), so keep it in mind for any special event.  Scroll down right below the cake recipe for its perfect compliment ~ an amazing cream cheese frosting.

Yes, it is as good as it looks!  I can almost smell the freshly grated carrots, walnuts, and cinnamon just looking at it...

Mum's Carrot Cake

2 C sugar
1 1/2 c. vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla 
3 c. flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
3 c. finely grated carrots
1 1/2 c. walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a bundt pan.

2. Finely grind carrots and then measure out 3 cups worth (don't pack down too much). I used 9 carrots today, but it's going to depend on their size, so you may need a little more or less. 

3. Measure out 1 1/2 cups of walnuts, and then finely grind them.

4. In a large mixing bowl, combine oil and sugar, mix on medium until a creamy yellow blend. Add eggs and mix well.  Add vanilla. Then add dry ingredients. Then carrots and nuts. Blend well, but do not over-mix. 

5. Pour/scoop batter into greased bundt pan.

6. Bake in pre-heated oven at 350 for 60 minutes. Then reduce heat to 325 and bake another 45-55 minutes.  Start checking at around 40  minutes with a toothpick to see if it's done. When toothpick comes out clean, it is done.  

7. Cool in pan at least 30 minute. Go around the edges with a knife to help loosen any stuck areas. Then turn out onto a cooling rack.  If you are going to frost it, cool completely before doing so. If you don't want to frost it, you can leave plain, or dust with a good coating of confectionery sugar. 

Options - You'll notice there are no raisins in this carrot cake.  You could very easily add some in if you prefer that. 

Tip - Whether making the batter or frosting (or any recipe) always remember to scrape the bottom of the mixing bowl with a rubber spatula every now and then to make sure you are completely mixing everything. You don't want chunks of butter, flour, or whatnot getting stuck at the bottom that never get a chance to get blended in with the rest of the ingredients. 

My Shortcut - I am not a cook or chef.  I am just a mom who does home-cooking.  And I get tired, like most moms or career women, so when I can find a shortcut, or find a way to create less dishes to wash, I go for it (as long as I still get good results). When I bake, I rarely ever mix my dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then add to the wet ingredients.  I just add the flour on top of the wet, and then I add anything else (like baking powder, salt, etc.) and I mix it around and blend it by hand (using a spoon, usually the measuring spoon) right there in the mixing bowl, on top of the wet ingredients.  Once that is done, then I turn on the mixing bowl to blend the wet and dry together.  It saves me from having to wash one more bowl (the one where most people combine all their dry ingredients).  And I've never had a clump of anything (like baking soda, or whatnot) in any of my baking.  So, it works. Probably the only times I don't do this is when I need to sift the flour.  Then I need another bowl (or paper plate or rubber mat) to sift the four out on (or in) anyway, and so can just sift the rest of the dry ingredients right there. 

adding the baking soda, powder, and salt on top of the flour, on top of my wet ingredients

mixing it all in with the flour with my measuring spoon

looks good, and is indeed well blended

Optional - If you want to decorate for Easter, you could add pastel colored sprinkles on top of the cream cheese frosting.  Or even put some jelly beans and baby carrots around the cake platter.  We went "no-nonsense" with our cake.  Sprinkles just take away from the smooth and creamy texture of the frosting.  We have our jelly beans in our Easter baskets and carrots with the dip.  To us, looking forward to biting into this simple looking, yet amazingly delicious cake that we usually only have once a year at Easter is enough anticipation.  We don't need any extra decoration.  We are just ready to dig in! 


What is a little different about this cream cheese frosting is there is no butter in it.  It doesn't even have vanilla extract in it (and almost everything I ever make for sweets has vanilla in it, or some other extract).  But that is the way I grew up eating cream cheese frosting.  It is by far my most favorite cream cheese frosting I've ever had, but then again, having grown up on it, I am partial to it.  You can certainly use your own favorite cream cheese frosting on the carrot cake recipe I just posted, but sometime give this a try and see how you like it.  It's so good! 

Mum's Cream Cheese Frosting

1 1/2 packages of cream cheese (8 oz each....so a total of 12 oz), room temp
3 1/2 c. confectionery sugar
1 tbsp milk

Put the cream cheese in your mixing bowl.  Add about half the confectionery sugar and mix until well blended.  Scrape bottom of bowl with rubber spatula. Add more of the confectionery sugar and drizzle a little milk in at a time until it gets to the right consistency.  I prefer it a bit thick, especially when icing the big bundt-shaped carrot cake. (Don't forget to scrape the bottom of the bowl here and there to make sure you are getting everything well-blended.)

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