Do Over Surprise... Congrats Carrot Cake

    I never understood the draw of carrot cake until about 2 years ago when I made Weston one for his 22nd birthday. I remember it so well, too - baking in a student-housing kitchen. A BOY's student housing kitchen. You can imagine the adventure, hmm? I think all I could find in the ways of ingredients were salt and cinnamon. The only recipe for carrot cake that I've ever known is the following one which my mom has been using for as far back as I can remember. The batter is divided into 3 parts and the secret is in the amazing flavor and moisture the added pineapple provides. Adding pineapple might not seems so special nowadays since people are throwing all kinds of things into cakes - tomato sauce, Coca Cola, you name it. But this recipe was honestly ground-breaking back in 1992; once again proving that my mama and her friends were way ahead of their time.

    Again, the recipe has been modified some because in my opinion, 4 eggs is wayyy too many for a cake and you never need 2 cups of oil when 1 will do the trick.

    Group A:

    3 eggs

    1 1/2 cups sugar

    1 cup oil

    Group B:

    ½ tsp. salt

    1 tsp. baking soda

    1 Tbs. cinnamon

    2 cups flour

    ½ tsp. nutmeg

    Group C:

    2 cups grated carrots

    1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

    ½ cup crushed pineapple

    ½ cup pineapple juice

    Mix Group A in a large bowl

    Mix all B in medium bowl

    Add A & B together

    Add Group C one at a time and mix

    Bake: grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan

    350° 35-40 minutes


    ½ stick butter

    1 cup powdered sugar

    8 oz. cream cheese (room temp so there are no lumps)

    1 tsp. vanilla extract

    1/4 cup sour cream (optional, but tasty)

    1 cup chopped pistachios (to sprinkle on top)

    Cream butter and cream cheese together

    Add remaining ingredients

    Frost, sprinkle with nuts

    * let cake cool BEFORE frosting otherwise you'll have an unsightly mess

    Now, this particular cake was created to surprise my friend Sharon, who you will remember from the plan that failed only a month ago - when I made her chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. This time, I was able to deliver her surprise with (almost) no hitches.. dang lab meetings running over all the time and sitting alone in the Student Center with a tiny cake in front of you :) Congrats to you for getting into VCU Med!!!!!!!!!

    Since I couldn't carry the entire thing to class, I got a little gung-ho about the upcoming holiday...

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