One of my great weaknesses (okay, I have many!) is carrot cake. My grandmother’s version is one my family has used for years; it never fails. The cream cheese icing isn’t too bad either.
But earlier this month I tasted a carrot cake that I really, really, really like. The New Oxford Thursday night dinner group celebrates birthdays each month, and in June Wayne brought carrot cake using Rose’s recipe. Got that? Rose Lansing and her husband, John, are owners of Redbud House, a shop on the circle in New Oxford that features table linens, kitchen gadgets and bakeware, and fun gifts for the home. There isn’t much Rose doesn’t know about the kitchen as she is a former caterer, has worked in the restaurant business, and spent years in kitchen retail. And, she owned an award-winning bakery in Baltimore.
So to know all this is to know that any time Rose sets down a dessert in front of you it’s going to be good. Really, really, really good. I am so tickled she shared her carrot cake recipe, and now you, too, can enjoy this tasty version.
INGREDIENTS (Carrot Cake; Cream Cheese Icing below)
3 cups flour
2 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 teaspoon ground mace
2 2/3 cups sugar
1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple (reserve juice)
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound carrots, grated (or 3 cups grated carrots)
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup raisins (optional)
Coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 10-inch round baking pans with parchment paper, or grease with butter and flour. Note: I used a 9 X 13 x 3 inch oblong pan.
Place crushed pineapple in a fine strainer over a bowl or 4-cup (or larger) measuring cup. Allow to drain thoroughly; press gently with a cloth to remove most of the juice from the pineapple. Add enough oil to the juice to make 2 cups total.
Place all of the dry ingredients (except sugar) in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to blend.
Place sugar and the 2 cups of pineapple/oil in a mixing bowl. Blend. Add eggs one at a time and blend; add vanilla. Add flour and blend until just mixed. Stir in carrots, drained pineapple, walnuts and raisins.
Divide batter evenly between the pans (or place in oblong pan). Bake for 50-60 minutes until done (oblong pan was about 65-70 minutes).
CREAM CHEESE ICING
1 8-oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups confectioners sugar
Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla with mixer until blended. Add sugar gradually until desired taste and consistency is reached by beating until blended.
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