Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

Cooking has never been my mother’s thing. She did it out of necessity. Families like to be fed. She put food on the table. Usually overcooked, or what you might call burned. But that’s okay because she can bake some things well, and in my opinion, that’s where it counts.

Her carrot cake recipe is a favorite in this house, especially at Easter. My family and I part ways in what we want inside our cake. I want raisins and walnuts like my mother made it. My kids and husband claim that no self-respecting cake would be caught dead with raisins and walnuts. So I go without.

My family also wants copious amounts of cream cheese frosting. I like my frosting in the middle and top layer. Not only do I hate frosting the sides of a cake, but I feel as though I get too much.

You will have to decide for yourself.

The cream cheese frosting I like comes from Baking Illustrated. It’s a creamy, not-too-sugary with a hint of sour cream, frosting. However some of you might enjoy a more straight forward sugary, cream cheese frosting. It’s a bit stiffer. A little easier to frost a cake with… so I’ll give you the original recipe as it was given to me as well as the yummy Baking Illustrated version.

Oven at 350 degrees, (2) 8″ pans greased, parchment rounds on bottom, grease top of parchment. ( You could also put it in one large bundt pan, however it will bake for about 80-90 minutes and will be crunchier on the outside.)

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 c. canola oil
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. walnuts (or pecans would be good too!) (optional)
  • 3 c. shredded carrots
  • 1 c. raisins (optional)

Shred carrots with a food processor attachment or with a hand grater.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, or in the bowl of stand up mixer, add eggs and sugar, beat until fully combined.

Add oil and beat together.

Add dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and walnuts and raisins if using. Mix partially and then add carrots. Mix it all together until no dry flour pockets can be found.

Pour into (2) 8″ round pans. Divide batter evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes.

Orginal Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 oz. unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • 16 oz. confectionary sugar (1 box)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Place it all in a food processor with a metal blade and whip it all together. Stop and scrape down sides after 10 seconds or so. Then continue until fully combined.

Cream Cheese Frosting #2

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 5 TBS. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 TBS. sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/4 c. (5 oz.) confectionary sugar

Process the first four ingredients in a food processor. Scrape down bowl. Add sugar. Process til combined. It’s quick! [If your cream cheese and butter are still a bit cool it will make frosting the cake easier if you are frosting the sides. At room temperature, it is creamy and best for the top and between two layers.]