100 Days to a Happy Housewife 39: Carrot cake

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Thumbnail image for HappyHousewife.jpgI don't know what's up with me and baking recently, but I got that itch again today. I don't even particularly like carrot cake, but I realized I had carrots and cream cheese in the fridge, so I decided to go for it.

I looked at some recipes online, and decided on recipe found in a discussion thread on Cooking Light.

  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 pound carrots -- coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup pecan halves -- toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 package cream cheese -- (8 oz.) softened
  • 4 tablespoons butter or margarine -- softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar. sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  1. Make cake: Heat oven to 350 degree F. Grease a 10-inch springform pan (or grease a 10-inch round cake pan; line bottom with wax paper; grease paper). Combine raisins and bourbon in small bowl; set aside.
  2. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, baking powder, cinnamon, and cloves in bowl.
  3. Beat granulated sugar and oil in large mixer bowl at medium speed, until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, scraping side and bottom of bowl after each addition. At low speed, beat in dry ingredients just until combined. Drain raisins through sieve; discard bourbon. Add raisins, carrots, and pecans. At medium speed, beat 5 minutes more until batter is well blended. Pour into prepared pan; bake 1 hour and 15 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.
  4. Cool cake in pan on wire rack 15 minutes; remove side of pan. Cool completely. (For cake pan, run a knife around side of pan. Invert cake onto rack; remove pan and wax paper.) Transfer to serving plate.
  5. Make frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter in large mixer bowl until smooth. Beat in confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice until light and fluffy. Spread over top of cake.
Makes 12 servings. Nutritional facts per serving: calories: 610 , total fat: 36g , saturated fat: 9.5g , cholesterol: 67mg , sodium: 388mg , carbohydrate: 69g , protein: 6g

I made a few changes, based on what we had--I substituted dried blueberries for raisins, then added a tablespoon of molasses with the sugar (since many carrot cake recipes called for brown sugar, which we don't have right now) and a couple of teaspoons of vanilla. I also used baby carrots processed in the food processor, because of the lazy. I also used a square cake pan, because that's what I had handy. Finally, I didn't drain the bourbon off the berries--I just threw it all in.

Going into the oven, it looked like this. Which reminded me why I don't like carrot cake batter. Ew.

When it came out and cooled, I made the frosting as described. The lemon juice is remarkably nice in it, and it's not overly sweet, which is nice. The finished product isn't lovely--I'm not a cake decorator--but it is pretty good.


Mmm, I like carrot cake. I made one recently from Cooking Light that has crushed pineapple and coconut in it and I loooved it.

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April 2012

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