Carrot Cake

June 3, 2007

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Carrots are vegetables. Vegetables are good for you. Vegetables loom large on the food pyramid. Does this mean you can eat Carrot Cake anytime your heart desires? I believe it does. People put a lot of extra stuff in carrot cakes, like coconut and pineapple, but to my way of thinking, all you really need is carrots, spices, and nuts. Here’s your chance to use a good quality cake flour like White Lily. If you don’t have a good source of spices—and supermarket spices, in my opinion, tend to be stale—try a company like Penzys. And there’s more … Remember I told you you can make a great icing out of cream cheese and confectioner’s sugar? Here’s a recipe for that also. So wonderful! Have fun! SAM

1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup salad oil
1/3 cup water
3 eggs
4 large carrots, finely shredded (2 cups)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup chopped pecans
Cream Cheese-Pecan Icing (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans and set aside.

With an electric mixer fitted with beaters or the paddle attachment, beat the sugar, oil, water, and eggs on medium speed. Add the carrots and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg and add to the carrot mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in the pecans by hand. Turn into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes before turning out onto the rack to cool completely. Ice in two layers with Cream Cheese-Pecan Icing.
Makes 16 servings.

Cream Cheese-Pecan Icing

1/4 cup butter, softened (1/2 stick)
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (12-ounce) box confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans

With an electric mixer fitted with beaters or the paddle attachment, cream the butter and cream cheese on medium speed. Add the vanilla extract and sugar, beating until well blended. Stir in the pecans by hand.
Makes 2 1/2 cups, or enough to ice one 2-layer cake.

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