Barb’s Favorite Carrot Cake

Carrot cake was not a popular thing when I was a kid. In fact, I never heard of it until I was in my 20’s. I remember that it didn’t sound very appealing. A cake made with a vegetable? Come on. Really?

But my mother-in-law at the time swore that it was delicious and she was a pretty good cook. With a bit of apprehension, I watched as she grated a bowl full of carrots and mixed the batter. When the cake was finally baked and frosted, one bite was all it took to win me over.

In the year’s that followed, carrot cake became more popular and it now regularly appears on restaurant menus. But those dense (and usually ice cold) blocks of cake with the candy sweet frosting don’t begin to compare to the moist and delicate texture of cake and the soft, creamy frosting of the homemade version. This is the same recipe that Barb used all those years ago which quickly won me over.

Barb’s Favorite Carrot Cake

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 cups grated raw carrots
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • (in addition, I add a 1/2 cup of raisins along with the nuts)

Cream sugar and butter. Add eggs and lightly hand beat. Measure and combine flour and other dry ingredients in a second bowl. Add to butter and egg mixture and beat lightly. Fold in carrots and nuts (and optional raisins). Bake in a preheated oven at 350 ° for 35-40 minutes. Makes 3 layers.

*If using larger 10″ round cake pans, cut the baking time to 30 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1  8 oz pkg cream cheese
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 2 tsp. vanilla

Combine cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add vanilla. Add powdered sugar and beat well until creamy and spreadable. Frost cake when it is completely cooled.

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