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Old-Fashioned Carrot Cake

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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

Printable recipe

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
4 eggs
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.


Chocolate Cherry Cordial Cake

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I had today off and finally had the time to make a cake for the December babies in my family–Dennis, Danielle and Lacey.  Yes, I’m horrible.  Yes, I’m the worst wife and sister on the planet.  Yes, I only made one cake for all three birthdays.  And I didn’t even bother decorating it.  But there were NO complaints, let me tell you.  I do not have the vocabulary to express just how awesome the flavor of the buttercream is.  If you like cherry cordials, you’ll love this cake.

I know not many will appreciate this blog since it’s New Year’s Day and you most likely wrote “LOSE WEIGHT” at the top of your resolutions (again), but save the recipe for Valentine’s Day–by then you’ll have lost enough weight to afford a slice and your sweetheart will be clamoring for cake since you banned it from the house for the last two months.

Chocolate Cherry Cordial Cake

1 Devil’s Food Cake, prepared according to package directions
1 recipe Cherry Chocolate Buttercream (recipe follows)
Marashino/Candied/Fresh cherries
Sliced almonds (optional)
Dark chocolate chips (optional)

Frost the cake with the buttercream and embellish with the cherries, almonds and chocolate chips or whatever else you want to use.

Cherry Chocolate Buttercream

3 sticks butter, room temperature, soft
4 ½ cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon cherry extract
¼ cup + 2 tbsp. milk
1 1/3 cups cocoa powder
1 ½ oz. melted semisweet chocolate

Beat butter; Add sugar and mix until moistened. Add salt, extract, milk, and chocolates. Beat until fluffy and desired consistency, several minutes.  Makes enough to fill and frost two 8 or 9 inch layers, plus more for decorating.

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