Dennis’ Grandma Joy turned 90 this month, and when I found out there was going to be a family celebration, I immediately volunteered to make the cake. I jump at any opportunity to aid in a celebration, especially if baking is involved!
She requested carrot, and I was tempted to make The Best Carrot Cake, since it’s my favorite, but I opted to make a more old-fashioned cake because I thought Joy might appreciate a cake that brought back memories. This is my own recipe, adjusted from several I found in cookbooks.
*Update 9-22-09: I received many compliments on the cake at the party, but Grandma Joy recently told me that people at her Church are still talking about that cake and how good it was. So please take their word for it and not my awful, hastily-taken picture’s representation!
Veronica’s Old-Fashioned Carrot Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 ½ cups finely shredded carrots
¾ cup vegetable oil
½ teaspoon freshly grated ginger
½ cup crushed pineapple, well drained & juice reserved
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts
Cream Cheese Icing (recipe follows)
Add enough water or rum to the reserved pineapple juice to equal 1 cup. If you already have a cup of juice, you can add as much rum as you want—you just want at least one cup of liquid. Heat to boiling, remove from heat, and stir the raisins into the hot liquid. Leave to soak.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8 or 9-inch round cake pans & set aside.
Stir dry ingredients together in a large bowl: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda & cinnamon.
Strain the liquid off of the raisins. Whisk eggs in a medium bowl & stir in remaining ingredients: oil, ginger, carrots, pineapple, raisins (but not the soaking liquid) & walnuts.
Stir the wet mixture into the dry and stir until combined. Divide the batter between the two round pans and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool completely on wire rack, then frost with cream cheese icing.
Cream Cheese Icing
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
8 cups (2 lbs.) sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Cream butter and cream cheese, then add the sugar and vanilla. Use milk or additional sugar to change the consistency to thinner or thicker as needed. (Most people would use half this amount of sugar, which makes a more creamy frosting, but I make it thick for decorating.)
Makes: About 5 1/2 cups of icing.