I LOVE me some carrot cake. I start craving it as we near Easter, much like I start craving pumpkin as we near the fall. Perhaps it’s the image of Peter Cottontail chewing on a carrot stick (that has been engrained in my brain since childhood) that starts to kick up the craving. Perhaps it’s the warmer days when the sun pokes its head out to give us a glimpse of the seasons to come. (Of course, I am not referring to this last weekend when Jack Frost decided to come back around for a visit) Either way, I’m excited to slowly start transitioning my kitchen from hearty and heavy comfort foods to refreshing and light seasonal delights; and this carrot is a perfect transitional dish that exists somewhere in between the two.
(adapted from a friend’s recipe)
1 1/2 cup oil (I used a mix of Coconut Oil & Canola)
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 3/4 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 lb grated carrots
1 cup pecan pieces
1/2 cup butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
Mix eggs, oil, sugar and salt with a paddle until incorporated. In another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients to the mixture and mix until combined. Add carrots and pecans. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake at 375 for 35-45 minutes or until done. Let set in pan for 10 minutes, then remove and cool on wire rack.
After cake has completely cooled, beat softened butter and cream cheese until well blended. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until creamy. Frost cake and serve.
*You will have a lot of frosting left over if you bake a 9 x 13 cake. This was the best option for me this weekend, as I was serving to the masses. Another option is to cook 2 rounds cake pans and stack them to create a double layer cake; in which case, you will use all the frosting.*
**If you’re high altitude, like me, add 1 egg to the recipe and reduce the baking soda and baking powder each by 1/4 tsp.**