Friday, September 18, 2009

A Love Cake

This week has seen a lot of celebration in my household.

Sept 15th was our 3rd wedding anniversary
Sept 16th was my husbands 33rd birthday
Sept 17th marked one month of Chowder

Special occasions like this are always good for reminding me of how blessed I am. It's also a good excuse to bake a cake. Not just any cake will do though!!

My arsenal of go to recipes has a few feature attractions. One of them happens to be a carrot cake. When I was a teenager, the church that my family attended put together a cookbook with recipes that were contributed by different members of the congregation. The major benefit of being raised in a southern baptist church was the food. Southern potlucks RULE. I can still remember walking past all of the tables filled to the brims with deviled eggs, dressing, banana pudding, cakes, cornbread... It was enough to make you fall to your knees and shout Hallelujah!!

When I first took up an interest in learning how to cook, one of the first things I wanted to do was to bake for the holidays. I made several recipes from that book. Three in particular were massive hits with my family. One of them was this carrot cake. Over the past decade, I cannot tell you how many times I've made it. It was always a major resolution to do so because it requires shredding three whole cups of carrots. This was super special because the carrots came from our garden. Before I had my standing mixer, I also had to mix the icing by hand and that will put serious biceps on anyone!

I like to make the joke that this cake was one of the things that helped me to reel in Chris. He usually requests it for his birthday and I figure I should be nice and make it for him. It is so loaded with fat and calories that I only make it once or twice a year now. It can be quite labor intensive (unless you cheat and buy those dried out pre-shredded carrots) and it helps if your efforts are fueled by love.

The Cake that made Chris love me.

2 cups of white sugar
1.5 cups of oil (the recipe specifies Wesson but I used safflower)
4 eggs
2 cups of flour
2 tsps of baking powder
1 tsp of salt
2 tsps of cinnamon (I actually add a lot more)
3 cups of grated raw carrot
1 cup of crushed pecans

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

Mix the oil, sugar and eggs together. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl and sift into the wet mixture. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well.

Pour into two layer cake pans and bake for 30-40 minutes (depending on your oven). This recipe yields two thick layers of cake.

Cream Cheese Icing

1 8 oz. bar of cream cheese
1 stick of butter
16 oz of powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Let the butter and cream cheese soften at room temperature. Combine them and slowly add the sugar. Beat out all of the lumps. Add the vanilla.

I am pretty sure you can take it from here! :-)

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