This was such a typical mid-autumn weekend at our house. Saturday was blustery and gray with clouds zooming by with bits of patchy blue skies making an occasional appearance. And, then Sunday was the kind of bright and sunny fall day where it is crisp in the morning, but by the afternoon you can almost get by with a t-shirt and sandals. And, as is almost always the case in mid-October, we were feeling overwhelmed by all of the house chores and autumn yard work that needed to get done. Our apple tree had dropped a huge dead limb, so Tom spent today chopping up all of the branches for kindling. I trimmed back our perennials as well as six or seven of our big bushes and trees, and now my hands and arms are kind of quivery. We also managed to do a zillion loads of laundry, Tom finished putting a gutter on the roof of the wood shed, and I cleaned my studio.
The whole time I was trimming and twisting branches, I was trying to figure out which sweet treat I would reward myself with. I'm so darn food motivated. I decided to make carrot cake since it is my most favorite kind of cake ever (as long as it doesn't have raisins in it). If it has raisins, it is my least favorite cake ever. I'm sorry, lovers of plump, warm raisins - please don't be offended.
This is my favorite carrot cake recipe. My mom's friend from many, many years ago used to make this cake when we'd visit her. I have one distinct memory where I was 4ish and peeking through the grate in the floor into the kitchen staring at a huge, magnificent carrot cake with a little orange carrot frosted onto the center of the cake. I remember thinking it was the most beautiful creation ever. Years later, Dorothy came to our wedding and gave me this recipe as part of her gift to us. I treasure her recipe because it makes the most perfectly moist, spiced, carroty cake.
2 c flour (I use 1 1/2 white and 1/2 whole wheat)
2 t cinnamon
2 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
1 t salt
2 c shredded carrots
2 c sugar
1 c oil
1 c chopped walnuts
sift dry ingredients (except sugar) together
mix sugar with oil in mixer
slowly adding the dry ingredients
alternate dry ingredients with eggs and the sugar/oil mixture
mix well after each addition
add carrots and nuts
grease cake pan
bake at 350
1 hour if in 9" tube
35-40 minutes if in a square pan
(check it as it bakes because of oven temperature variations)
1 stick of butter
2 t vanilla
3/4 lb of confectioners sugar (roughly)
1 8 oz pk cream cheese
Whip all of these ingredients with your mixer. mmmmmm.