I admit, my memories of carrot cake are a bit abnormal. When a bakery shelf becomes your natural before school nap habitat, you catch glimpses of bakers taking full sheetcakes out of a room-size, ferris-wheel oven.
You watch your mom carefully remove parchment papers the size of a small child off bottom of each cake. You drool as each cake is cut into the sizes requested for each special-order customer.
You nap some more.
You wake up to dozens of 8-inch carrot cakes decorated with cream cheese frosting and carefully placed in a revolving case.
You pretend you can eat the cakes through the glass. You run to the back next to your momma’s side when you notice a customer giggling at your dramatic, cake-longing expressions.
You watch the carrot cakes go out the door one by one as customers proudly carry their box out to their cars to their celebrations.
You play with plastic cake decorating embellishment toys. (Even though I was shaped like a muffin and never danced, the ballerinas were my favorite).
You laugh as, once again, the baker purposefully trips and pretends to drop a gorgeous wedding cake and your mom’s heart rate drops. “You jerk,” she replies to the man who signs her paycheck. This is almost a daily occurrence.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Carrot Cake Ingredients
- 2 3/4 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- Dash of freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups carrots, grated
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 cup raisins (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts (optional)
Place dry ingredients into mixer and mix until stirred together. Stop mixer and add remaining ingredients. Mix well.
Butter and then flour 2 8-inch pans or one 9X13 pan. Pour batter into pans (or pan).
Bake for 45-55 minutes. Cake is done when fork comes out clean.
Allow cake to cool completely. If baking in 9X13, just wait for cake to cool completely, make half a batch of frosting, frost top of cake, and serve out of pan.
If making 2 8-inch cakes for a layered cake, make complete recipe of frosting. Wrap each cake in plastic wrap and freeze overnight or for a few hours then place on platter and frost. The easiest way for beginners to frost a cake is to use a decorating bag with a large tip to decorate. This alleviates crumbs that can happen when spreading with a spatula. Freezing your cakes before frosting also helps cut down the cakes and creates a moister cake.
- 8 ounces unsalted butter
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 2 pounds powdered sugar
- Sea salt (to taste – this might take up to a teaspoon)
- Few drops of water if needed
Mix frosting ingredients together on lowest setting until powdered sugar is combined. Turn up speed and whip for about 8-10 minutes. If frosting is too sweet, it needs more salt.
And then you grow up and you realize. Cake is community. And you start a food blog. Cuz everyone deserves to have a community of happiness. And cake. And jerks. And happiness.