I know I haven’t posted since..well, the first post, really, but I’m getting around to things, and some people (a certain Sam) request that I post more (specifically the cake-making feat he participated in). For now, though, let me take you back in time to, say, May, was it?
Mother’s Day and my mother’s birthday are both in the month of May, and it is by some misfortune do they fall within a mere couple of days apart, depending on the year. We still separate the occasions, of course – she deserves it. I mean, who squishes the two into one event and one present? A jerk, that’s who (my own birthday is near Christmas, so I understand that feeling of being jipped). I digress. My mom is really wonderful, so I thought I’d show my appreciation for her by making her favorite cake: carrot cake!
Many a time I have taken pastries and things to work, a piece of this cake being one of them. My boss has this strange allergy to carrots when they’re raw, but even so, this is his favorite type of cake (this recipe got the thumbs-up from him). I mean, let’s be honest here. What’s not to love about a spicy cake with delicious cream cheese frosting? It’s not all that bad; you get some sort of nutrition out of here also, right? Or, maybe I’m trying to make myself feel better. I’ll never know.
This recipe is a slightly modified version of the one found on Sally’s Baking Addiction.
For the Cake:
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil (I used canola, which did its job)
- 1/4 cup plain or vanilla greek yogurt
- 3 large eggs
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup grated carrots (more or less; whatever amount floats your boat)
- 3/4 cup pecans, crushed
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray (and flour, if you choose) two 8-inch pans with cooking oil.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, nutmeg, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar and oil with the mixer on medium speed. Add the greek yogurt and beat until combined (it should still be pretty gritty). Beat in the eggs one at a time. Mix in the vanilla.
Being very careful not to over-mix the batter, gradually add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, mixing until just combined. Fold in the shredded carrots and crushed pecans.
Distribute the batter evenly between the two pans. Bake for 32 – 38 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. I checked the cake constantly around the 32 minute mark; no one likes a dry cake. Cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting:
- 16 oz. (2 packages) of cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups powdered (confectioners) sugar
- 2 – 6 Tbsp heavy whipping cream (optional)
In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. On a low speed, beat in the confectioners sugar until well combined. Add in the vanilla and cream, then beat until fluffy without over beating.
Just a note: After I frosted the cake, I crushed some extra pecans and mixed them with semi – sweet chocolate chips just to cover the cake. It turned out to be a nice addition.