Before the holidays, during the holidays, and after the holidays, there's no shortage of cake at our house. With many birthdays surrounding and infiltrating the holidays, eating cake becomes almost a daily event in our household. Along with festive holiday cakes, decked out with sparkles and frosting, we had several birthday cakes, including NY cheesecake, and chocolate cake with butter cream frosting.
I didn't bake any of these cakes, although I do have a recipe for an amazing carrot cake (originally from San Francisco, I believe) that I made for a birthday in October. If you bake this cake, your home will smell like heaven. I may make this cake again soon, for my daughter's upcoming birthday (more cake!).
CARROT CAKE with CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
(about 12 servings)
(about 12 servings)
2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup corn oil
4 cups finely grated raw carrots (8 or 9)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans for garnish, if desired
Extra-large pecan halves for top of cake, if desired
Preheat oven to 350º. Butter and flour or spray a bundt cake pan. (Although it can be tricky to remove cake from a bundt pan--grease generously--I like to use this type of pan because the cake is already in sections for neat cutting.) Thoroughly stir together dry ingredients--flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon--and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs until frothy, then slowly beat in oil. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until smooth. Add grated carrots and blend. Pour batter into cake pan. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into cake's center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes, then gently remove from pan, invert, and cool additionally on rack. While the cake's cooling, blend together the first five ingredients to make the frosting. Frost cake when cooled. Garnish with pecans if desired.
For another take on cake, please visit Lost in Fiction for Lucy Hannua's enchanting interview with Gaile Parkin, author of Baking Cakes in Kigali.
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