Wednesday, November 3, 2010

In Honor of Dad

Yesterday was my dad's birthday and in honor of him, I baked one of his favorites - carrot cake! He has a bigger sweet tooth than anyone I know and what better way to say, "I'm happy you were born" than with a good ole' fashioned sugar rush?

I made this cake a few months ago, merely to test its goodness and determine if it was worthy of a birthday cake. And after sending a few pieces home with my mom and receiving a voicemail from my dad the following day gushing over how tasty the cake was, it became clear I had picked a good one!

This delicious version comes from Pinch My Salt (shocking, I know!). It definitely delivers as a perfectly sweet treat! I love to pair a nice thin slice with a bold cup of coffee for that perfect balance.

Carrot Cake
recipe courtesy of Pinch My Salt

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 eggs
3 cups grated carrot (about 4 medium/large carrots)
1 1/2 cups canola oil
3/4 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour two 9-inch or three 8-inch cake pans.

In a large bowl, sift together first six ingredients. Stir in oil then stir in eggs, one a time. Add carrots and stir until well blended then add nuts. Divide batter between two 9-inch or three 8-inch cake pans and bake in preheated oven, 30-35 minutes for the 8-inch pans or 35-45 minutes for the 9-inch pans. Cakes are done when a toothpick inserted the center comes out clean. Let cakes cool in pans on a wire rack for ten minutes, then remove cakes from pans and let cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

2 8-oz. packages of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter (one stick), softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

With an electric mixer, cream together cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and blend until well combined. Blend in vanilla extract. Use immediately or refrigerate, covered, until ready to use. If refrigerated, the frosting will need to be brought to room temperature before using (after frosting is at room temp, beat with mixer til smooth).

all images courtesy of Pinch My Salt

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