Thursday, July 5, 2012

Gram's Carrot Cake

I've made this cake so many times in my life. 
I made it for multiple wedding cakes for people I LOVE.... for birthdays, office gatherings, anything that needs a little celebrating.  Today I made it for my BFF's birthday party.  I made her this carrot cake into her wedding cake too.  Lots of people save the top small layer of their wedding cakes to eat a year later on their first anniversary, and even though I told her that the top layer wouldn't be very good eating after a year in the freezer, she assures me it was "the best".
Always cook for people who are enthusiastic... that's the best feeling ever.

I usually customize the recipe for the person we are celebrating... haven't you noticed how some people don't like coconut, some don't like nuts (!) and some don't like raisins?  I have made this cake without each of those, but I do prefer to make it with ALL of them. It's up to you.

This recipe comes from my grandma, "Gram".  I copied it carefully on a index card when I was 17 years old as I went off to Scotland as an exchange student for a year.  I'm not sure what my Scottish family thought of it, as veggies in cake was kind of progressive back then for the UK. My Gram wasn't the world's best cook, but her baking was pretty fabulous.    I'm showing the cake above on the Fenton glass cake plate that she loved, and I inherited.
Thanks Gram... we love you and miss you.

Makes 1 double layer 8-9" cake, 9x13 sheet cake or about 24 cupcakes

3 cups flour
2 tsp. Baking soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
2-3 tsp. Cinnamon
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 cups grated carrots
1- 8oz. can crushed pineapple w/liquid
1 cup nuts and/or raisins
2 tsp. Vanilla

Sift all dry ingredients together, mix all wet ingredients together in a separate bowl.  Slowly mix one mix into the other.  Pour into a 9x13 pan, or 2 round cake pans.  Bake about 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees. I used three 8 inch cake pans, so my layers were thinner, and they cooked in about 28-30 minutes---- don't overcook, you want this cake moist!

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8-oz. packages cream cheese, at almost room temperature
1 cup salted butter at almost room temperature
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

Whip together the cream cheese, butter, and extract until light and fluffy. Add in the powdered sugar and whip until smooth and fully incorporated. Refrigerate any leftovers (or anything you’ve frosted that doesn’t get eaten immediately).

Happy Birthday Rose! There were a bunch of candles, so it was a community effort on the candle lighting...

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