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Monday, August 1, 2011

Best Ever Carrot Cake

Not that it's getting cool and crisp around these parts yet (I only wish), but we were in the mood for some good Thanksgiving spice. I'm not usually a big fan of carrot cakes. Raisins in baked things disturb me, and most carrot cakes I've had are too ... I don't know, sweet? But my mother-in-law has a recipe for carrot cake that hooks me in every time. She once made one while I was in the hospital delivering a baby. When she thoughtfully brought me a large slice, it was nearly the highlight of my day--second only to meeting my adorable son, of course. I made that one slice of heaven last my entire two-day stay, rationing out the bites as little rewards. Too much information, perhaps, but that's how much I like this cake! It's moist without being gooey, and not super sweet so the cream cheese icing gives a nice contrast.

Lor's Favorite Carrot Cake

1 1/2 c. oil
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon (heaping)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. flour
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
3 c. shredded carrots
1 tsp. vanilla (I usually add a bit more)
Blend oil and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Sift together the dry ingredients and then add to the first mixture. Stir in the nuts, carrots, and vanilla. Pour into three (greased and floured) 9"pans and bake at 350 for ca 30 minutes, depending on your oven. Remove from pans and let cool completely. Make icing and frost, stacking all three layers on top of each other.

Cream Cheese Icing

1 8-oz. package cream cheese at room temp. Do not use low fat--ruins the flavor and texture!
1/4 cup (half of a stick) butter. Forget the diet and use the real thing : )
Approximately 1 lb. (half of a bag) of powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla -- plus an extra splash or two
A dash or two of salt

Mmmmm. Maybe I should go make another one...

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